Faces of Fortitude

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The Faces
May 26, 2022

Their stories, their words — the subjects from the Faces of Fortitude project — talk about suicide; be it loss, survival, ideation, first responders. Faces of Fortitude shares the portraits of those affected by suicide in any way, and a few of their words from my session with them. THIS blog is an extension of that. This is a safe space for those Faces to share more of their story. To tell you their truth. Please join me in celebrating their br...

I am one of the SIX
May 26, 2022

They say six people are deeply impacted by every one suicide. If we’re counting family members, friends, colleagues, neighbors (the list goes on), I’d argue suicide directly affects so many more. For arguments sake, let’s agree the number is only six. With 800,000 people dying by suicide worldwide every year, that means at least 4.8 million people are deeply affected, heartbroken and struggling to understand why or how they could have changed thin...

Monique – Session After thoughts
May 26, 2022

I went into my Faces of Fortitude session prepared to share my story, but I was not prepared for the reaction I got afterwards. I was pretty confident walking into my session, but unsure of what to expect out of this experience. Mariangela made me feel so comfortable, and sharing my story with her felt natural. I will be forever thankful for her passion and vision for this project. She just has a way of making people feel comfortable to talk about...

Xico – Taking Inventory
May 26, 2022

You may have heard that Seattle has been a bit of a, shall we say, ruthless, frigid bitch these past few weeks. It has already been declared the snowiest February on record and we aren’t even halfway through. Up until this point the winter had been really quite mild and it’s almost as if Seattle had forgotten about winter up until the last minute and then tried to fit the whole thing into a two-week period. Some people have loved it (looking at yo...

Angie’s Story – 11 yrs after her Fathers suicide
May 26, 2022

In 2007 my father killed himself. My father was brilliant, hilarious, and a great dad. His mental illness was undiagnosed, but looking back I see that we navigated his illness for most of our lives. I have spent many years being very angry with him. I felt like his death and the manner that it happened was a dirty little secret that I didn’t want anyone to know about. Even in the immediate days after he killed himself, a prominent emotion that ...

Marika – Vulnerability Hangover
May 26, 2022

I was born with a brain that has never been remotely interested in things that are good for me. If my brain was an actual person, that person would sabotage me at every turn, then photoshop Adam Levine into all of my Instagram photos. For much of my life, I thought I was broken, an awkward Polynesian Peter Pan with a brain that rejected things like love, stability, adulthood, and every potential path to success. Instead, my brain embraced chaos. U...

Heather: Teacher & Survivor
May 26, 2022

As this school year began I sat in a staff meeting. The school counselor clicked and a slide showing behaviors and warning signs of suicidal students. I shifted in my seat, the descriptors painted a picture of me from my teenage years well into my 20’s. My colleagues sitting in the presentation with me didn’t know how many of those checkboxes I owned. I was hesitant to share my story with Mariangela for Faces of Fortitude, if I put my story out...

Liam – His Story
May 26, 2022

Every morning I sense a feeling of guilt, from where this emotion comes from is unknown and at times extremely confusing. My brain seems to try and pull a reason from somewhere, was it an embarrassing moment at work? Did I impulse spend too much money last night? Did I drink too much? Where are my keys? Did I lose them and my subconscious is trying to feel the pain now rather then later? None of these questions are answere...

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