A Letter From Jessica


Earlier last Summer I received a rather beautifully sad letter in my email box.  It was from a girl named Jessica Dufresne in Montreal and went like this:

Dear Mr. Grant,

My request will seem a little bit strange, but I would like to know at which place this picture was token in Iceland.


My boyfriend just died from cancer in last february and while he was sick, we were thinking about a road trip in iceland, that we would do when his health would be better… Then, he found that picture on google and put it on his Facebook cover page, as a inspiration to continue his battle against the disease.
Now that he’s gone, I want to go there for him, and for us.
In fact, I just bought my tickets for Iceland and I’ll be there in the middle of august. 
I would really like to find that place and collect my thought there, in the memory of my boyfriend.
Thank you so much,
Jessica Dufresne
The photo she was talking about was from my first trip to Iceland [right after the giant Eyjafjallajökull eruption]. It was of a small little barn in the south of the island, complete with volcanic ash haze.  I did my best to tell her where it was, and even to this day I can picture where  the barn is exactly in my head.  It’s hard not to get moved by a letter like that, so I told her when she got back to send me over a note of how it went.
I got this back today:


“Last year, after just a few months following the death of my boyfriend, I decided to leave for the trip he had dreaming off for so long.  I went to Iceland, with this mission to find a little house lost in the mountains, which appeared on a photo Ian had taken in Iceland. During Louis-Philippe’s illness, he often looked at this picture and told me that one day when he was  fine again, we would travel together through Iceland and we would forget all these difficult times that his illness made us live.”


“Unfortunately, my boyfriend lost his battle against cancer and his dreams, including the one visit to Iceland, flew away. Then, in order to enable him to see this land of ice through my eyes, I decided to jump in this adventure and to leave for Iceland, trying to find this house and especially, to feel my boyfriend’s energy in every part of this place which releases a legendary calm and a unique serenity.Although I have not managed to find the house in question, I found in Iceland this tranquility that only this place could get me.


This quest brought me to an unforgettable and indescribable times.Far from taking this trip as a failure to find the purpose of my quest, I believe that if I failed this time to find this mythical small house, it is that it will take me another trip to Iceland to succeed. What a pleasure for me to know that I’ll have to go back there, because I am pretty sure that I still have a lot to learn from this beautiful place.

A special thanks to Ian for helping me to try to find this so significant place for me and for taking the time to read my story.” 

As a photographer it can be nice every one in awhile to be reminded that what you do actually matters and can inspire those around you, even if you’ve never met them.  Many thanks to Jessica for letting me be a part of this even in the smallest of ways.  I also asked her to send along some photos from her trip and here’s a few from her Flickr account.


Photos above courtesy of Jessica Dufresne


  • Emilie - Wow !
    My friend Jessica was and still is, so in love with her boyfriend Louis-Philippe. You made this love live again with this ! Bravo !

  • ian - Thanks Emilie. :)

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *