If you’re wondering why I would share photos of my grief, there are many reasons for it. While I am actually quite a private person, I think some things need to be shared publically. I’m not one for hiding important things, that need to be said, or shown. Though part of me wishes, I were not so.
Anyway, I had seen a couple of posts on a friend’s Facebook about people who had taken photos of themselves grieving. Divine timing, this was right around the time that Ryan passed. This actor shared his emotional experience of his father’s passing. And then I came across the Ashes Project. Her photos are so real, so true! What bravery. I decided to follow suit, and photograph many of my moments of private grieving.
I guess I just never want to forget the pain and agony. It’s almost as if the memory of that, is just as important as the person who inflicted it (through fault or no fault of their own). It’s just not very often (thankfully) that we, as humans, feel that deeply or even have the opportunity to capture such moments (in real time) because we are so fraught with grief. And maybe these “grief” pictures are a reminder of how much we love/d someone — similar to how we’ll want to capture other emotions and important memory. We just never want to forget how much that person, or situation meant to us. And that’s why I forced myself to take my own.
The squeeze: Trying to hold it together… containing oneself. Bracing for the reality. I saw this in other “grief” picture and then I caught myself doing it. I don’t know what it means really other than trying to “contain” oneself. *shrugs* I wasn’t angry.
I’m trying to KEEP IT TOGETHER. Holding myself as TIGHT as I can (which is why I was grimacing too), to help bare the agony of my loss.
If it were not for my two best friends being there for me, in the first few days – surely I would have killed myself right off the bat. I will be forever, gladly, in their debt. But as the months rolled on, it was as if I had a death wish. I just stopped caring for myself. And eventually I got really sick, from it.
Below… from the Ashes Project
Then my mother spent the next four months, calling me DAILY from BC to make sure I stayed alive. She didn’t stop until I told her, with great verve that I was okay. And to stop worrying, please. Then it trickled to a few times a week, and then we settled on a once a week phone call. Without her, surely I would not be here today.
My intense grieving process continued on, on a DAILY basis for about five months. I mean, daily. I couldn’t work, sleep.. I was a complete mess. I wanted to die, so many times. I started coming out of it in May; however, the August photo shows clearly I was still grieving, even when I thought I was doing much better. I became severely ill by October 2014. All the while, I tried my best to keep it together, to act normal, to find my new normal. Mostly, in vain. I have many pictures, from throughout the months So I’d say it took me until the spring of 2015 to start waking up again.
And then my business died. I wasn’t running it very well, with severe grief, anyway. But our websites got hacked with virus, and Ryan was the only person I knew who could fix it. Sigh. I still haven’t got the business back up and run, to its previous glory. It’s just been on back-burner until I can focus on restarting it. The cognitive part has been difficult to regain strength on…
I actually THOUGHT I was smiling here.
And then August 2015, my beautiful biological mother dies. I spent a couple of weeks crying, profusely. I didn’t
document my image. I instead, documented photos of apples (that I found everywhere) – her logo / nickname and cloud formations of angels. I spent time with her, and not me.
I was thankful to have had the chance to visit her, briefly in BC. And when I got the news (still in BC, and only a few days before I was going to see her again – I was in another BC town, at the town), I called my besties and again their words of wisdom and care were what I needed to hear to get back up on my feet. I don’t know how they know exactly what to say, to calm me. I don’t think I’d have the same kind of impact on them in such a horrible situation.
She told me that she wanted to hold out long enough to make sure I stayed alive, and healed from the tragedy of Ryan’s early passing. They both share the Sun sign of Pisces, Virgo Moon, and loved each other dearly. She kept his memorial card on her wall, and said it would, “dance” sometimes…
My mom said that she was so happy I was feeling better now, and a worker told me the same message as well, even though she and I knew that I had not completely healed yet – but I was surviving, and getting better. And then my Mom died shortly after my first visit with her.
Processing Ryan’s passing, which I still had not / have not got over – helped me get through my sweet Mother’s passing much more quickly. Though with her, I feel like she’s never left me. She left me so much to me, spiritually. Then again, I haven’t also had time to process her death fully. Processing two deaths, simultaneously is almost impossible.
After a couple of weeks after my Mom, passing… I took this picture of her – in thought of her (wearing her hair jewelry).
SPRING to July 2016 – Now
I’ve come a long way baby. A new normal, is found. Health restoring.Time heals, with hard work.
July 18, 2016 – Lately I’ve been meeting widows – YOUNG widows… where their husbands passed before the age of 40 years old… Today, this 44 year old widow said her husband died in an accident, 8 years ago. She was left with a 3 year old. Earlier, I had shared feedback with her, through the Johari Window. One remark I had for her was that she was “tough”. She didn’t see herself that way. And she oddly had said the same about me. Yet neither of us knew of our past. Within a minute of sharing her own past, she broke down in tears. I was composed. Until later, when we were alone and I asked a bit more about her circumstance, and she told me how it is hard Each and Every day, and that she still loves him, and has not forgotten him. Remembers him every day. I broke. I think what is worst is knowing I probably will never get over it. A haunt, for a lifetime.