by MICHELLE WOO
Jinna Yang’s father died of colon cancer almost two years ago. She tried to resume living her normal life but his passing, combined with other personal issues, ate away at her soul. “I had reached the point where I lost the will to live,” she wrote on her blog, Grease & Glamour. “I no longer wanted to wake up in the morning only to feel hopeless. I gave up on my dreams. I shut myself off from my loved ones and close friends. I developed alopecia and lost my hair at an alarming rate, where one bald spot the size of a dime, turned into six half-dollar-sized ones all over my head within three weeks.”
She needed to regain control. So the New York City-based photographer decided to truly deal with his death—and embrace the life she still has to live—by ditching the safe route and embarking on an incredible journey. A journey with her father. Yang took a life-sized cardboard cutout of her dad on a trip around the world to all the places he never got to see. She photographed herself with her father’s image at iconic destinations such as the Eiffel Tower, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Gullfoss Waterfall in Iceland. The project, she says, has helped bring peace to her family.
Yang wrote that her father sacrificed his entire life for others—his children, wife, parents and friends—and never had a chance to realize his dreams. During his battle with cancer, Yang said his courage had inspired her to “live every single day like it is my absolute last.”
Her advice to others: “So go tell that girl you can’t live without her. Tell your mom that she’s still hot. Take that trip to Hawaii. Quit your ridiculous, miserable cubicle job and start that business you’ve dreamed of starting. Go home to your wife and kids. Wake up and smell the coffee. Life is too. fucking. short.” Indeed.
See more at Grease & Glamour.
Photographs via Grease & Glamour.