The night before my 27th birthday, my husband and son took me out to dinner here in Greenville. It was nothing fancy; each year my wish is pretty much the same-- I want to have a full belly of comfort food without having to cook it myself.

Greenville SC Photographer Latoya Dixon Photography

 

We indulged in a few appetizers, my entree of a ginger-crusted salmon with a side of wasabi mashed potatoes (thank you, Yard House...this is my go-to order now), and had just received my complimentary birthday dessert when I got the call.

Greenville SC Photographer Latoya Dixon Photography

 

It was my grandmother. I quickly answered as I figured she was calling to wish me an early birthday. Instead, I learned that my godmother had suffered a fatal heart attack.

Greenville SC Photographer Latoya Dixon Photography

 

“WHO?!”

 

She repeated herself then encouraged me to call my godbrother who was apparently with her during the time of her passing.

Greenville SC Photographer Latoya Dixon Photography

 

I was stunned myself. I didn’t know what to say. But I called him anyway. And I just couldn’t believe how he even had the capacity to answer the phone to confirm what had happened.

 

The rest of the weekend and the days following I tried to process what happened. I still ride around in my car asking questioning whether she’s really gone. I didn’t understand it then and today is not much different.

Greenville SC Photographer Latoya Dixon Photography

 

Because I didn’t have the words to vocalize or even journal to share how I was feeling, I decided to take some self portraits.  A year later, I can still look back and remember that initial feeling of both disbelief and surrealism. And I realize that although I may never understand why my godmother left us so suddenly, I do have a photographs I took of her even those smartphone selfies we took together that help me remember her smile, her side eyes, and her voice.

Monica A. Young

1970-2017

Greenville SC Photographer Latoya Dixon Photography

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