Photography project shows the humanity in palliative care
"The Heart in the Image of Elders" (Originally published in French as Au coeur de l'image des aînés) book project came during the middle of the political debate on physician assisted suicide in Quebec. In an interview with Cross Country Checkup's digital producer Ayesha Barmania, he said, "There were strong feelings on both sides of the issue, but we felt that one of the things being lost was the humanity at the core of it."
Stockland's role was to take photographs of the participants. On multiple occasions he was struck by the beauty of the moment and the beauty in the people that he was photographing. He recounted one such instance, "[One woman] I'll never forget...looked at [the photos] and she said, 'This is the first time I've ever seen myself as beautiful.' It just tore at my heart. I was extremely happy that she saw the photo as beautiful, but it just crushed me that she had lived her whole life and had not seen the beauty in her own face."
Moments like these have contributed to Stockland's opinion that not enough is being done for those who are dying or about to die. "One of the things we are not doing, and one of the things the book tried to do, is emphasize that the mystery of the human is at the center of this discussion. We forget that, at our peril."