This Existence

Rosie and Adam

Rosie, age 62, sits in her hospital room in Los Angeles.

“This Existence” shadows the relationship between Rosie and her husband, Adam, as she battles cirrhosis of the liver from 2011-2013. Rosie, married twenty years and is herself almost twenty years older than Adam, is dependent upon him for care. Adam is one of the few individuals who does not judge Rosie, yet he tells people who ask that she suffers from cancer to avoid the stigma attached to cirrhosis. Adam explains, “With cancer, it is nothing of your doing.” In spite of certain closeness between them, Rosie is often lonely. Rosie shares, “My anxiety comes back. I’m scared. I’m lonely. I’m sick. I think what will happen later. I am very scared of my life. I very soon [sic] call to Adam or somebody.”

Rosie passed away in 2013. In his poem “When You Are Old,” W.B. Yeats writes, “How many loved your moments of glad grace, And loved your beauty with love fall or true; But one…loved the pilgrim soul in you, And loved the sorrows of your changing face.”

A portrait of Rosie in the hallway of the convalescent hospital.

Rosie motions to Adam that she does not want him to leave during his visit to the convalescent hospital, where she was placed after the hospital.

Adam's hand on Rosie's leg.

Rosie in bed.

Adam signs "Against Medical Advice" paperwork to remove Rosie from the convalescent hospital.

Rosie sits in her wheelchair as Adam stands behind her in a motel room during a vacation.

Adam helps Rosie walk to his van.

Rosie examines her face before leaving the house.

Rosie cries because of anxiety about being judged us unattractive in public.

Rosie and Adam look at each other during dinner at a coffee shop.

Rosie approaches the van as Adam sits in it.

Rosie cries as Adam dabs her face with a tissue paper.

Rosie sits in her room before Adam goes to work; Adam drives a bus for a living.

Rosie looks up at Adam as she sits in her bed.

Rosie and Adam look at each other while standing on the beach.

Rosie approaches Adam as she walks down the hallway of a motel in Palm Springs, CA.


Adam leans in to be intimate with Rosie, but she grimaces.

Rosie and Adam sit in her room.

Adam holds Rosie's hand at the hospital during the final hours of her life.

Adam caresses Rosie's head after her passing at the hospital.

Adam cries at Rosie's gravesite.

A shadow behind a privacy drape at the nursing home where Rosie resided for several months.