Double Exposure: Remembering Lily

Photogrief / Photogrief : Eleanor Haley

by Caitie Greene

This is a photo of my friend Lilly who suddenly died from a heroin overdose in April 2015. We met freshman year of college when we she was randomly assigned to be my roommate after my original roommate never showed up. On the surface we were opposites; she had this cool nerdy/punk rock look going, while I was more girly and innocent at the time.

After the first two weeks of living together though, we became best friends. We shared everything together, laughed together, discussed deep subjects together. We were never afraid to cry in front of each other. I never had a friend like that. We bonded over our love of music, movies and general pop culture. Even after she transferred to a different school nearby (she was sooo smart and creative she got into her dream school, Emerson College in Boston), we remained close.

Her loss was a huge shock. I attended her funeral the day she had planned on having her big 21st birthday party (she died a week before her birthday). Now I am back for my senior year of college and everything on campus reminds me of her. I am an art therapist, so I know first-hand that one of the best ways to deal with grief is to express it in a creative form. Lilly loved double exposure photography, so I tried to take some double exposure photos of my own. I fused a picture of her on campus I took back in 2013 with a picture of the same place on campus in October 2015. The photo resembles the ghost like image of what I see everytime I pass this spot on campus. Double exposure photos evoke a feeling of nostalgia and the distortion of memories. I think this picture really captures my yearning to go back in time. Although she isn’t physically with me, my pictures and memories of our shared time on campus makes it feel like she is all around me.

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