Memorial Day is a day set aside in remembrance of those members of the Armed Forces who have made the ultimate sacrifice. This Memorial Day, photographer Kate Woodman released a series called War Widow, that gives an intimate look at the life of those left behind. The series manages to honor the families of the fallen by approaching the pain, grief and loss they suffer with a raw, unflinching eye.
While many of us spent this Memorial Day with our families, getting out of doors and enjoying our loved ones, there is the silent minority who spent it remembering loved ones lost and dealing with the empty aftermath of having said goodbye far too soon.
War Widow is a fearless, honest interpretation of what loss looks like for a military family. While the death of a loved one affects each person in unique ways, there is also a universal quality to the vulnerability of loss, and the way grief can create moments of madness in the stillness, that transcends boundaries and professions; anyone who has lost someone dear will always speak the language of loss.
Each image is crafted with cinematic precision, including the careful use of light and color, the small details Kate included in several scenes that give haunting reminders of a life together before tragedy struck, and even the way the centered compositions leave the subjects surrounded by emptiness.
These images show clearly that sacrifice is not given solely by the serving family member but also borne, often with great dignity, by the family, who need not feel alone in their pain or ashamed of its private messiness, but are now in the company of all those who have suffered loss and learned to live again.
The rest of this poignant series can be seen on Kate's website, here.