this year has been a year of many firsts. one of those was photographing my first set of funerals for the project shine in peace. one of those funerals wasn’t an ordinary one – it was one for one of my former students.
hearing the news of her death was hard enough. many wept before even entering the chapel for the viewing. as we signed the guestbook, the inevitable set in. we couldn’t escape it. we were confronted with the reality of her laying there, and never coming back.
as i sat in a wooden pew, i wiped tears. then i saw one of the most beautiful things i’ve ever seen at a funeral or memorial service. the light hitting donitra’s casket was golden, and as funeral goers said their last goodbyes, it hit them too. it was definitely God to me. i can’t even sit here and deny that. i am sure that through her death many lives were changed, and the light i saw quite indicative of that. below is what i have to offer those who were there as a memory, those who were touched by her life and death, and those who are considering taking another life. all of the violence begin and ends right here.