The Inspired: Understanding Grief
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Understanding Grief After Mourning 

Mary Young x Emily Battaglini

The Inspired is a series we produce every few months when inspiration strikes; we ask a photographer we love to produce a visual story in collaboration with an artist who inspires us. The artist gets to play the role of the subject behind the lens, and the collaboration manifests in response to something (a story, quote, paragraph, visual) in our body of work that moves our subject to create, elaborate, design, engage. 

"Grief has no understanding of time. Questions remain, years later. How do you pick up the pieces, when you need your father? There is a hole in your heart where you miss him constantly." — Emily Battaglini

In this installment of The Inspired x With/out Pretend, writer and photographer Emily Battaglini asks her friend Mary Young about what it was like to lose her father. Emily and Mary were inspired to have this talk after reading Forest Fires by Margeaux Feldman, published in The Vault by With/out Pretend.

See the full intimate shoot here.  

"If your body was a piece of land, that space right under your breasts, that circle, would be the forest. And that emptiness that you feel marks the loss of so many trees now gone. If you’re doing the math, one man should equal one tree. But you’ve never been fond of math, you could never follow the formulas. He was one man, but he was also your world. He cared for you as a father would, provided you with the shelter you needed. But you cared for him, too. Helped feed him and bathe him before he turned fifty. Or maybe he was fifty. You try to do the math, but really: does it matter?"

— Margeaux Feldman, Forest Fires 

Forest Fires

Written by Margeaux Feldman, Illustration by Wenting Li

Anyone who has experienced losing a loved one will immediately recognize the visceral, sharp waves of feeling at the core of this personal essay about grief. For those who haven’t, here’s an opportunity to look out on this erratic sea with practical curiosity — because though death is a topic we should be inherently built to understand as mortals, it’s often the event we fear most.

Em is a photographer and writer living in Toronto. She is enrolled in Ryerson University's Photography program. @embattaglini

Mary is the is a designer behind Mary Young, an ethically designed & produced line of intimates based in Toronto. @itsmaryyoung
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