A few years ago I really focused on capturing True Emotion. That mostly was meant to capture the emotions of a wedding day, or the excitement of a new parent, or of brothers running in a field. But I’ve also documented sadness, and loss and grief. They are equally important emotions in our human experience. A family recently asked me to document their grief recently as they could not share with their community in person as they would have liked to. Here are the words of the daughter of the woman who passed away.
Her absence is like the sky, spread over everything.” – C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed
There were so many people that would have loved to come celebrate my mom’s life. So many that wanted to stand beside us in our grief and also bring words of hope and memories of her and her life on earth. It’s a difficult time to grieve a loss with all that’s going on in the world. There will be no large celebration of life for a while. It feels strange.
In the week following her death, I witnessed, especially in my dad’s life, the loss of something so much bigger than a person. He was like a ship without a sail, lost. We are all feeling it in different ways.
Up until the day before the funeral, we weren’t sure what a graveside service was going to look like as things kept changing with restrictions. I’m so glad that in the middle of the night, a couple days before the service, I woke up and thought, “I should hire a photographer!” And the one that came to mind was a man named Chris Becerra.
He agreed to come and photograph the service. And I will be forever grateful. I won’t share too many photos, but I wanted you all to see just a few. Grief and loss are part of this life, just as important to recognize as the happy times. We shouldn’t look away, even if it’s easier.
In these times, so many people are grieving. So many are hurting. People have lost spouses, mothers and and fathers, daughters and sons, friends, jobs, businesses, childcare, connection. Some struggle to hold onto hope. Many are living in fear. We need to keep staying connected in creative ways. Offer hope. Keep smiling. Keep taking care of yourselves and find ways to help those who can’t. Love always wins.
Hug your loved ones tight if you can be near them.
All shall be well. By Janine Arthur, daughter of Janis