Victoria Noe

Award-winning Author, Speaker, Activist

Live For The Moment

From "Live For The Moment"
They’re called “The Dangerous Demographic”: young men. And why not? They think they’re immortal, taking risks that make the rest of us cringe. They race cars, climb mountains, take chances…because they can.

But what of those left behind when things go horribly wrong? What about their friends?
A study at the University of British Columbia is shining a light on this previously invisible group of mourners. How do young men grieve their friends, those who have died suddenly from accidents?
Not surprisingly, the researchers found that men in their 20’s were not immune to societal pressures to ‘man up’. What may surprise you, according to UBC post-doctoral researcher Genevieve Creighton, is that over the long term, suppression of grief can put these young men at risk of illness, injury or premature death.
Participants in the study were interviewed and asked to take photographs. The photographs convey not just grief, but an effort to remember and honor their friends.
The photograph above is about remembering. Another in the exhibit (not available online) is explained by Markus, age 25:

“I just felt like there were all of these cracks in me. Like I would not be the same person. That’s why I took a picture of this concrete.”

I don’t know about you, but I have a crystal clear image of that concrete.
The photographs make up an exhibit entitled Live For The Moment: a research-based photo exhibit about life, death and young men, opening at The Fall Gallery in Vancouver, BC, on April 27.
This is important work. I can’t think of a demographic group more invisible than young men when it comes to grieving their friends. If you are in the Vancouver area, make a point to see this exhibit. Hopefully, it’s something that can be shared with a wider audience, too.
Men need someone to listen, and obviously the researchers did just that. Kudos to them.

For information about the exhibit and the research project: Live For The Moment