The photography series A Good Death follows John Hawkins, a terminally ill person, in the final years of his life at the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care. John was being supported by his good friend Robert Campbell, co-founder of the center whom he had known for 23 years.
In the article in the New York Times, Joshua recounts his experience of photographing John, and finding that even in the face of death, they found time to laugh and to reflect on the past.
Joshua wrote about his experience, saying: “Despite John’s physical deterioration, the atmosphere around his bedside seemed to grow warmer and more intimate with each visit. Possibly my own uncomfortable emotions towards death had begun to dissipate.”
Joshua was present just hours after John died, where he was able to take photographs, to talk about death, to affectionately tease John and to laugh.
“We could use news of a good death. Not a tragic death or a famous death, just a good one, the kind that might happen to any of us if we are lucky,” said Joshua.