In memory of Sarah

(Sound and a higher speed connection are required to view.)

“Hello Neale, do you remember me, Sarah Cornish?”

I’ll not forget the phone call earlier in April this year. I’d photographed Sarah, her partner Wilson and their young daughter Darcey a few years prior as a portrait. And now Sarah and Wilson were to be married. My enthusiasm and genuine gushing congratulations were rather tamed by Sarah’s next sentence. She had a brain tumour. It had all started Boxing Day with a severe headache. But now that all medical tests had been concluded, she faced facts. In Sarah’s words from her blog at the time; “With 6 weeks of aggressive radiotherapy and concurrent chemotherapy, plus a further 5 months of chemo the median expectancy is 12-14 months, so I’m with a chance of seeing Christmas this year.”

I was speechless.

Words don’t often fail me, but they did at that moment. The marriage would be 21st April. Would I photograph the wedding? On the 21st April this year I photographed Sarah and Wilson’s wedding, with further plans that I would chart the next year photographically, to make a book and a journal for their ‘Darling Daughter Darcey.”

I didn’t get the opportunity to fulfill that last part. Sarah passed away on the 1st September, a swifter conclusion and one that many had not expected.

Last Monday I attended Sarah’s funeral. Since then I have revisited the photographs from that day, and with Wilson’s permission have pieced together the images and audio I recorded in my own tribute to Sarah.

Sarah, I wish I had had the opportunity to accompany you further on this journey. Your courage, your wit, your steadfastness was incredible. I am humbled, truly, to have been there for you. All my love. Neale

Donations can be made to Sarah’s charity at this address:

  • darcey manson said:

    nothing means more to me

  • darcey manson said:

    thank you ❤️

  • darcey manson said:

    thank you neale, so much, you don't know what this means to me... i cannot explain my words and thoughts right now except in the meaningless statement "thank you". but i mean them, from the bottom of my heart, thank you so much neale ❤️

    • Hi Darcey, thank you for your comment - and it's me that should be thankful to you really, not the other way around. This wedding, your mum, your dad and you, have left such an important legacy. I hope you are well. Kindness, Neale

  • I echo all the above comments Neale, your pictures will be treasured forever.

  • David Bostock said:

    Just beautiful Neale, I couldn't turn away I had to watch it until the end.

  • Freya Arnold said:

    This is quite simply an amazing piece of work Neale. I'm sure that this, along with the rest of the moments you captured on the day will be something that Wilson and even moreso Darcey will treasure forever.

  • Chris Burnell said:

    Genuinely moving and real lump in the throat stuff.

    • darcey manson said:

      you couldn't be more right.

  • Cate said:

    Moved me to tears. Amazing.

  • Izzie said:

    Truly beautiful.

  • Luci said:

    What a moving entry, Neale.

  • Ian Martindale said:

    So beautiful and special.

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