Celebrating life while processing loss!
Gracelyn Bateman and her aunt Melody Lomboy created Luna Peak Company in January 2018. They create photography books and curate stories of those who have undergone adversity and are still celebrating life.
Since Melody is a childhood leukemia survivor, they started this year with a project that photographs cancer survivors to help those currently battling cancer visualize their own remission as well. This cancer project in many ways is a book that Melody wished she had when she was diagnosed and didn't see any examples of survivors around her.
Luna Peak Company started a second project called "Snapshots of Life After Loss" which is a book that Gracelyn wished she had when she lost her dad suddenly in 2016. Since experiencing great loss, she was struck at how grievers seem to be hidden in plain sight - grief is all around us but we rarely have conversations about grief and loss in day to day life. They started this project because they personally wanted to know how others could move forward after a life-shifting loss, and how they have rebuilt their new life without their loved one. They wanted to start honest and open conversations and bring them forward to create a community - especially for those newly grieving who are struggling to visualize how they will live the rest of their life without their loved one and still celebrate life despite grief and pain.
They reached out to their friends, family, and a couple of Instagram grief advocates and artists, and conducted video interviews and photoshoots to document specific grief journeys and how each person felt at that exact moment in time. The close relationships lost include parents, spouses, children, siblings, nieces/nephews, grandparents, best friends, and mentors. The years after loss range from 1-66 years.
Gracelyn and Melody asked their participants to bring a memento that was meaningful to them; participants brought in unique and special mementos such as hats, cameras, watches, handmade jewelry, framed photos, tattoos, gum, shoes, handwritten notes, books, and ornaments to name a few.
Gracelyn, wanting to share part of her story, baked and shared her dad's secret family recipe cookies with the participants.
This project hinges on representing a community of grievers who are often silenced in society or expected to be "over it" after a couple weeks or months.
Luna Peak Company hopes to break down stereotypes and gaps in understanding about grief (between those who have and have not experienced a close loss) through showcasing over 70 stories of grief. They have pulled a wide diversity of perspectives and experiences and types of loss from their participants, and hope that others can relate to bits and pieces of each of their stories.
For more information and a chance to see the images click on these links: