A Backyard Memorial to Those Who Couldn’t Swim: A Joint Photography Project Feat. Lily Haddox

A Backyard Memorial to Those Who Couldn’t Swim: I’ve been cheated on, felt not good enough, hurt, and ghosted by people I thought cared, and so to process these emotions after living and reliving them for the past 4 years, I decided to create this memorial with one of my best friends and fellow photographers, Lily Haddox. Her and I collected mementos, created the memorial, then watched as it burned to signify a new beginning. Through poetry, creative process, digital, and film photography (coming later), here are the beautiful results. Rest in peace, I won’t miss you.

A Backyard Memorial to Those Who Couldn’t Swim: The Poem

Don’t fuck with me

Don’t lie to me

Don’t lead me on

Don’t “love” me but rather, LOVE me

Don’t ever make me feel like I am not enough

I’ve been ghosted and cheated on and left all because I “wasn’t good enough”

I believed you all

I believed that there was something inside of you that made you better than me

But now I sit here realizing that it’s actually the reverse

You are not good enough for me

So now you are all my muse,

You might be good enough for that

A photo project memorializing then erasing you, who used to mean something,

but are going to soon mean absolutely nothing

Proper mourning

The only good to come out of this is the love I’ve learned for myself

The way I’m now able to look in the mirror and see a person I love

The way I’m able to stand up again even after being knocked down and washed out to sea

The way I think and learn to love again

These scars on my skin are not from you because I will not let you have that power

But rather they were from a time of me not understanding who I was

And why I was not enough

But never again will that knife touch my skin because I am more than what you make me out to be

I used to think that you leaving was a part of me missing

But instead it’s a part of me being discovered

The “hole” you leave me with is not actually a hole

It’s the safety blanket of my heart and once you’re gone all I have left is me,

completely and utterly raw

I used to think it was ugly and shameful

Instead, it is only ugly and shameful to be disgusted with the most beautiful parts of me

With or without someone by my side

I am going far

I have dreams and aspirations that you allowed me to create without you tying me down

Through this project, you are being erased

I’m making this memorial and tribute to you, because I can only thank you for pushing me off the edge of who I was and allowing me to fall into a river of who I actually want to be

But once everything burns, you are gone

I’m starting over

Forgetting about being left, cheated on, forgotten, and not being enough

I am leaving to sit on an island of self-care where I am more than enough and you are not but a thought from my past

I am leaving to thrive and I hope you do nothing but drown

Not everyone can swim in these waters


A Backyard Memorial to Those Who Couldn’t Swim: Lily’s Documentation of Events (Copyright © Lily Haddox 2018; contact the artist and see more of her work at lilyhaddox.wixsite.com)


A Backyard Memorial to Those Who Couldn’t Swim: My Digital Documentation (Copyright © MAKluz Art and Photography 2018)


A Backyard Memorial to Those Who Couldn’t Swim: My Film Documentation COMING SOON!




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