PROJECT STATEMENT: Photographing family is difficult. It's especially difficult to photograph family dealing with death. I decided to photograph my father, David Lyman, dealing with the death of his father William Lyman. On the day on the burial, I found a pamphlet in my Aunt and Uncle's house. It was entitled, "Gone From My Sight: The Dying Experience." The last page had a poem by Henry Van Dyke. It epitimized what dying is. I used this poem as my inspiration. I am standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength. I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.
Then someone at my side says: ìThere, she is gone!î
Gone from my sight. That is all. She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side and she is just as able to bear the load of living freight to her destined port.
Her diminished size is in me, not in her. And just at the moment when someone at my side says: ìThere, she is gone!î There are other eyes watching her coming, and other voices ready to take up the glad shout: ìHere she comes!î
And that is dying.
-Henry Van Dyke
My father, David Lyman, holds the military bullets that were given to our family during the three-volley salute as he looks at family pictures of his father, William Lyman on December 10th 2014.
My mother, Joanne Lyman embraces my father, David Lyman, after his eulogy at his father, William Lyman's, funeral on December 10th 2014.
A contact sheet of photos of my grandfather, William (Bill) Lyman, and his two brothers.
The Military Salute during my grandfather's, William Lyman's, funeral on December 10th 2014.
After getting off the phone with his sister Christine Lyman, a missionary nun in Brazil, on December 11th 2014, David Lyman pauses to remember his father; ìHeís not in pain anymore,î he says with his eyes closed.
A photo of my grandfather, William Lyman.
My father, David Lyman, is quiet as he places a rose on the Lyman tombstone during the burial of his father on December 11th 2014.
ìD. O. D. (Dear Old Dad) Turns 70!î These shirts were made for my grandfatherís 70th birthday and my parents wore them for his burial service on December 11th 2014.
A photo of my family following my christening - (From left to right) my uncle Bill Lyman, my father David Lyman, my mother Joanne Lyman, my grandfather Bill Lyman, my aunt Christine Lyman, and my other uncle Bill Lyman II.
ìYour grandfather and grandmother are back together again. Finally,î my mother, Joanne Lyman, whispers in my ear while my father, David Lyman, adjusts the Navy grave marker at the Lyman grave on December 11th 2014.
My grandfatherís ashes at the burial on December 11th 2014.
My parents, Joanne and David Lyman, hold hands while praying at my grandfather's burial on December 11th 2014.
A photo of my father David Lyman and my grandfather Bill Lyman.
My grandfatherís cottage on Lake Ontario. It is frozen, a condition I've never seen his cottage in, after the burial on December 11th 2014.
My father, David Lyman, holds the military bullets that were given to our family following the three-volley salute at my grandfather's funeral. He had a long week, having lost his last living parent. He was ready to head home on December 112h 2014.
I placed a bouquet of roses from my grandfatherís funeral in his old car on December 12th 2014. I drove my grandfather's bouquet, strapped in, back to Rochester, where he worked for most of his life. I listened to Jazz, his favorite genre of music, the whole time.
PROJECT STATEMENT: My Grandfather, William Lyman, is my hero. I photographed him for his last Thanksgiving with us. No one told me that he was as sick as he was. I will always be grateful that I had this time with him. He passed away on December 5, 2014. He was 93 years old.
My father, David Lyman, helps my 93-year-old grandfather, William Lyman, off of the couch for Thanksgiving dinner on November 27th, 2014.
My father, David Lyman, helps my 93 year old grandfather, William Lyman, off of the couch for Thanksgiving dinner on November 27th, 2014. William's wife, Stella Lyman, holds his oxygen tube.
My Grandfather's hospice bed with the oxygen tank sits alone on Thanksgiving day, November 27th 2014.
William Lyman smiles on Thanksgiving day, November 27th 2014.
My grandfather falls asleep on the couch after Thanksgiving dinner on November 27th 2014. His oxygen tube is wrapped around his hand.
Stella Lyman, 96, watches television with my grandfather on Thanksgiving day November 27th 2014.
The Thanksgiving dinner table November 27th 2014.
My grandfather falls asleep on the couch following our big dinner on Thanksgiving day, November 27th 2014.
The snowy view from his bedroom window on Thanksgiving day, November 27th 2014.