In early 2020, while away from home for the longest I’d ever been, I got really homesick and realized how much I missed my family.
The night I returned, jetlagged, I took a walk through the neighborhood. I came to the idea of a photo series about my dad. He was always a fascinating man to me.
One summer night in 2003, when I was eight years old, my dad had a bicycle accident. Blinded by the lights of a car, he fell down a ditch and broke his neck. He told me that at that moment, his life played out in front of his eyes, and the last picture that he saw was me. A voice said to him, “You’re not ready yet.”
Suddenly conscious again, he crawled up to the street, and then another five hundred meters, when he came to a restaurant where some men were playing cards. Those strangers called an ambulance and saved my dad’s life.
My dad lived for another seventeen years, for which I am eternally grateful. We created so many memories. We traveled a lot together and saw countless concerts, somewhere north of one hundred different bands, and even went to the Wacken Open Air festival together. We always drew attention at shows, father and son together as best friends. He always supported me in everything that came into my mind. I love him.
In 2019, my dad was diagnosed with cancer a second time, but that didn’t stop him. That very year he walked the Camino de Santiago, eight hundred kilometers in forty days.
In April 2020 he went to the hospital and the cancer was removed.
Thanks to Corona, I spent most of the year at home and could work on this project. My parents and I celebrated my dad’s 61st birthday at the Baltic Sea, where they recently bought a tiny house. They talked about all their future plans there and showed me the forest and the exact tree where they will be buried one day.
Three weeks after I had an exam with this project I made about my papa, we suddenly lost him.
There are no words to describe what we’re feeling right now, but I can say that I feel a lot of love in me. I’m so thankful for having such a great man as my dad who keeps on living in all the people who knew and loved him.
Christoph ‘Krenny’ Kötter
AUG 15 1959 – NOV 9 2020