A Fierce Life Ended: My Grandma

Art, Philosophy of Life, Photography, The Fierce Life

Hi Fiercelings,

My paternal grandmother, Dorothy, passed away on March 4th, 2017. She had been declining pretty drastically since Christmas and in the long run for the past 2 years. She would’ve been 97 years old this year if she had lived to her birthday this year in August.


Usually adorned with rings, but not here.


In her 20s she did modeling – still beautiful!


My grandma always lamented about her wrinkly old hands


I shared this on my personal facebook page.

Many of you know that my grandma has been declining for quite awhile. She mercifully went to heaven this past Saturday very early. I say mercifully because the last week she was in a very bad way. The last time I saw her was Monday night before her death. I made a point to take some pictures of her hands about 2 weeks before she passed. For as long as I can remember I would admire my grandmother’s hands, primarily because she was always wearing a beautiful ring or bracelet. Anytime she would catch me looking at her hands she would lament about how wrinkly they were. She would lament about one of her thumbs that were bent out of shape. She would then admire my hands with my long fingers and any rings that I was wearing, which was and is generally at least 1 ring on every finger – haha! I always claim that I inherited my love of sparkly things from my grandma. As I got older and we would repeat this conversation at family gatherings I would think when she would lament about her wrinkly hands that they are an outward sign of having lived for a long time. Not everyone lives long enough to gain wrinkly hands, afterall. I know the world seems obsessed with this age cream or lotion, which is fine, I want to look my best too but wrinkles are a sign of living and not everyone gets to live a long time. My grandma had a very full life. She was born in 1920. She lived through the Great Depression, through World War II to the War on Terror, she lost her first husband to WWII but because of that went on to marry my grandfather, she beat breast cancer, she was kind and generous, she loved her family, particularly all of her grandchildren. She once lamented to me that me and my younger siblings didn’t know her as the “fun” grandma. She would always tell me that her oldest grandchild, Amy, knew her as the “fun” grandma but though I tried to tell her she was plenty fun whether she felt that way or not I will cherish the memories I have of her. I mourn her earthly death but I celebrate the life that she had here. I mourn having to answer my 2 year old’s question, “grandma die?” but I celebrate that she lived long enough that one of my children will hopefully have memory of her. And like her, I hope to live long enough to lament wrinkly hands. Dorothy Dunn 1920-2017.

There is something about death that makes you contemplate life. My grandma lived 96 years. She always said how inside she still felt like she was 20 years old. Her life went by fast as all lives do. My grandma’s graveside service had a small, intimate group of family and extended family. Many of her peers have already passed or are in ill health and were unable to attend. Thinking about her I think of my mantra word, fierce. She was a very fierce lady indeed. And she will be missed. I rejoice that she is no longer in physical pain.




Fierce Beliefs. Fierce Ideas. Fierce Art. Fierce Life.

Photographer, Blogger, Artist, Entrepreneur

Email me at alexandriafiercephoto@gmail.com for photoshoot and wedding bookings




Life & Death 

Philosophy of Life

You know that joke that people die in threes? Well, I guess it is true, and then some. In the last month I’ve known 3 people directly that have passed away. And then I know about 5 people by one degree of separation that have passed. I feel like it’s a season of death. But it’s Spring and since I was gardening the other day I feel like this isn’t right. I planted a few tulips and lilies and geraniums so in my mind it is officially Spring – it even felt hot a few days ago! Spring is supposed to be a time of life and blooming. Not death. A few posts ago I stated I wanted change but I didn’t mean I wanted someone to die. 


Two weeks and a day ago I got one of those dreaded phone calls. The one where someone asks you what you’re doing? This person has died. I need you to meet me at their house. My husband called to tell me that his mom was dead and he needed me to meet him at her house. One of those phone calls. So I get to her house and find police cars and a medical examiner truck outside. The least I can say is I’ve had a bad 2 weeks life wise (business wise I am doing well!) and I’m trying to recover, reflect and make sense of what’s occurred. I’m trying to make peace with this change. I am trying to find a way to be in the land of the living with some levity while dealing with death which can be weighty. I wasn’t close with my mother in law and my husband wasn’t close with her either so it’s not as if I just lost my best friend but you don’t realize the importance of someone’s role in your life, regardless of their level of significance they play, until they are gone. My daughter has lost her grandmother. I have both of my grandmothers living as of now and I adore them and the relationship I have with them. So I’m making peace with the fact that the possibility of that relationship with my daughter is gone. No more. I like change, I desire change. But I didn’t mean it like this.


Have you ever put your hands in a spinning fan? Like this windmill I feel like I have gotten spun in one of life’s wheel that it spins you through and hopefully it’s done spinning me because I am dizzy but things are getting clearer.

Fiercely reflecting and rejoining the land of the living,