Walter Schels - Life Before Death

Klara Behrens, 83

Maria Hai-Anh Tuyet Cao, 52
Edelgard Clavey, 67

Rita Schoffler, 62

Elly Genthe, 83

Roswitha Pacholleck, 47

Peter Kelling, 64

Heiner Schmitz, 52

Gerda Strech, 68

Beate Taube, 44

Barbara Gröne, 51


I keep starring at these portraits by Walter Schels that capture people alive and then dead. They are from the series "Life Before Death." They unsettle me. As I look at the portraits, I contemplate my own death. I think about the reality that, one day, I will die. It's startling to look into the eyes of the men and women when they are alive, to see the life in their faces, and then to see them dead, still, completely lifeless. What is death? How can a person cease to be? It is a terrifying mystery. If you follow the link below, you can learn the stories of each participant in the series and hear their thoughts on dying. Some were scared, others were at peace with death.

Find more information at:

http://www.theguardian.com/society/gallery/2008/mar/31/lifebeforedeath

http://www.walterschels.com/h/noch_mal_leben_25_de.php