Carin van der Donk

MOEDER TAAL: Mourning Walks

Dun grotsten hup valt erlangs. (“Most rain falls elsewhere.”)—Dutch aphorism

On the first anniversary of my mother’s death by suicide, I started walking just before sunrise, exactly as she had done a year before.

Going for simple walks with my mother had been our beloved routine, a way to connect with each other. Now walking alone, I would photograph or jot down short diary entries, sometimes recalling the Dutch aphorisms that had been passed down from my mother and grandmother, who were both from Noord Brabant, a rural Dutch region with its own dialect.

Both these words and images helped me find my way through my grief.