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19th Ave New York, NY 95822, USA
Nothing is Born, Nothing Dies
by Tracey Tomtene


I had lost my mom in 2011 and my brother six years later. I shot this series over five days in 2019 as a way to try to heal. Although I did not know it at the time, this process helped to prepare me for my dad’s passing shortly afterwards—which left me as the sole surviving member of my immediate family.

I wanted to use my camera to prove, if only to myself, that they were still here—that life doesn’t end, it only transforms. As long as I am still here, they are too—even if it’s just in my memories.

Through melodic tremolos and warm forests that embraced and comforted me, light and nature professed the intensity of their continuance and vivacity to me.

Their spirits surrounded me: flittering in the light through a horse’s tail, dancing inside the harmonizing raindrops on my windshield, or stirring in the quiet mist of the dawn.

When my dad unexpectedly passed a few months later, I knew it was not goodbye—just farewell.

Death does not separate us. Love cannot be dissolved.