“(Un)expected is a photo project about the coping process of surviving relatives of suicides in West Flanders (Belgium). The book contains five stories about how these people cope with their loss in different ways: the sadness, the grieving process, but also the attempts at finding a new way to live.
In 2008, my mother stepped out of life and quite recently a friend did the same. West Flanders, the region where I grew up, has a relatively high percentage of suicides: one and a half times the European average and twice as many as in the Netherlands. Every month 20 people commit suicide in West Flanders.
My mother’s death was the most traumatizing death for me, especially as it is a suicide. The death of my friend was ultimately the trigger that led me to make a project on this theme. For the survivors, the suicide will always present lingering questions which will never be answered.”

(Un)expected by Peter Dekens (1/4)

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