Savannah, Georgia

Savannah, Georgia | Photo by Trevor Coe

Megan Luther and Francis Allen created two walls—one in the Historic District on the side of an old bus station, and the other on Waters Avenue, a corridor of abandoned buildings and storefront churches. Responses such as “resurrect myself,” “sing for an audience,” and “be a hero” filled up the incredibly vibrant walls and, as is the risk with any project open to the public, a handful of crude remarks appeared as well. “This infuriated a church lady who purported to represent the neighborhood surrounding the Waters Avenue mural, pointing out that there were churches around and that churchgoers had to walk past this ‘disgusting’ affront to their neighborhood,” said Francis. “Interestingly, many church members would actually stop by the wall and write or read responses on their way to and from church.”

We love to hear how people have turned their responses into a reality, and this happened with the Savannah wall in a very moving way. Soon after the Before I Die book came out, Candy received an email from a woman who saw her anonymous response featured in the book: “I’m the one who wrote ‘Before I die I want to be in a healthy relationship for the sake of my daughter,’ on the Savannah wall,” she said. “The more I thought about it, the more I realized that the whole point of what I wrote on the wall is that I need to change my thinking process, my decision making, to focus on what is best for my daughter and me—and to stop making decisions based on pleasing someone else. I kicked out the man I thought I could never leave and have never looked back. I saw my comment in your book and was blown away. It is easy to let others/life/our own fears get us down. I have shared your book with all of the important people in my life and it is so neat to reflect and discuss with them. I can’t thank you enough for giving me the tool to see my vision and to change my life.”

March 2012

Built by Megan Luther and Francis Allen

Photographs by Francis Allen and Trevor Coe

Selected Responses

I want to be in a healthy relationship for the sake of my daughter.

I want to overcome my fear of flying.

I want to climb a giant redwood.

I want to quit smoking.

I want to cure cancer.

I want to be self-reliant.

I want to have a great love of my life.

I want to build a treehouse with my children.

I want to change someone's life.

I want to prove to everyone that all arts an become a successful profession.

I want to see more good in people.

I want to donate lots of money.

I want to be at peace.

I want to influence someone's life for the better.

I want to love like my dog.

I want to give everything, fear nothing.