2016 Photo Contest, Long-Term Projects, Stories, 2nd prize

A Life in Death

Photographer

Nancy Borowick

28 November, 2013

Howie, who always had the last word in any conversation, characteristically wrote his own eulogy, which he left in an envelope with his daughter.

Laurel and Howie Borowick lived out the final year of their 34-year-long marriage fighting cancer together. Laurel had been diagnosed with breast cancer some 17 years earlier, Howie was told he had terminal pancreatic cancer in December 2012. They chose to spend their last months creating new memories, rather than becoming preoccupied with their troubles. Their family used the time they all had left together to the fullest. Howie died on 7 December 2013, a year and a day after his cancer was discovered. After that, Laurel’s cancer worsened and she passed away on 6 December 2014.

The photographer is Laurel and Howie’s daughter. She chose to document her parents’ final chapters in order to hold on to their memory, and to capture their essence and strength in a trying time. She wanted to focus on their love, both individually and for each other. She says that everyone wants to find purpose in their lives, and that Laurel and Howie’s final purpose was found in this moment, in the gift they gave her of allowing her to tell their story. This is their legacy.

About the photographer

Nancy Borowick

She is a graduate of the documentary photography and photojournalism program at the International Center of Photography and holds a degree in anthropology from Union College. Ove...

Technical information

Shutter Speed
1/250
Focal length
35.0 mm
F-Stop
2.2
ISO
640
Camera
Nikon D800

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