PROJECTS: Remember Me
(to see the Pulitzer entry click here)
Carolynne St. Pierre knew how she wanted to die: surrounded by her family. But before she did, she wanted to create a record of her life and the love she had for her three kids: Melissa, 15, Brian, 13, and EJ, 5.
I began documenting the family in the spring of 2006. Carolynne, a maternity nurse who was known for her sharp wit, had been diagnosed with a rare form of liver cancer in 2004, two weeks before she and her husband Rich were married. She died at home on Feb. 10, 2007, at the age of 44.
Rich lost his own mother as a child and struggled with the prospect of becoming a single parent. He still struggles today, especially with Brian, who got into more trouble at home and at school after his mother died.
But Rich, 45, finds comfort in the record of Carolynne that they created, partly through these photographs. One of his and Carolynne's biggest fears was that EJ, the youngest, wouldn't remember his mother. That fear motivated Carolynne to hang on and endure painful treatments for as long as she could. Now it's up to Rich to make sure her children grow up to be just as strong as she was.
To see their story in a six-chapter multimedia presentation, go to the Multimedia section