John Pasmore's Occassional Blog

Life Before Death by John


Artist Walter Schels explores what lies ahead for all of us in a series of striking and haunting before and after portraits. Read here at The Guardian.

An example:

Rita Schoffler, 62
First portrait:
February 17 2004
Rita and her husband had divorced 17 years before she became terminally ill with cancer. But when she was given her death sentence, she realised what she wanted to do: she wanted to speak to him again. It had been so long, and it had been such an acrimonious divorce: she had denied him access to their child, and the wounds ran deep.

Second portrait:
May 10 2004
When she called him and told him she was dying, he said he’d come straight over. It had been nearly 20 years since they’d exchanged a word, but he said he’d be there. “I shouldn’t have waited nearly so long to forgive and forget. I’m still fond of him despite everything.” For weeks, all she’d wanted to do was die. But, she said, “now I’d love to be able to participate in life one last time…”

One Response to “Life Before Death”

  1. […] of terminally ill patients, before, and, their very first pictures, shortly after dying. (Thanks to for the heads […]

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