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Posts Tagged ‘grief’

Spending time at Grandma and Grandpa’s house was something that I always took for granted. It seemed that the house would always be there, my grandparents would always be there, we would always have another holiday to gather as one big, happy, extended family. Thanksgiving would be turkey, Christmas would be ham and presents. Easter would involve epic egg coloring, and Fourth of July grilled black hot dogs. The coming of August would bring hot air balloon races flying overhead, and hoards of cyclists passing through the neighborhood. Halloween meant chili and trick-or-treating as far and as fast as our little legs would carry us. There would always be many reasons to visit Grandma and Grandpa’s house.

With time came the inevitable changes. Family events became fewer and further between, and never seemed to last all day and all night like they used to. Eventually, the house emptied itself of living souls completely, leaving behind only a lifetime of collections that crowded each room and stood as colorful relics of days gone forever.

I brought my camera to Grandma and Grandpa’s house today, to try to capture a bit of the dwindling spirit that made this home such a vibrant place, teeming with life on countless occasions. My goal was to focus on those details that may have stood out to me twenty years ago. I wanted to capture the feel of leaning over the upstairs banister looking down, and the hesitation of a child peering down the basement stairwell, looking for monsters.

I couldn’t capture the scents of the place: yew, Irish Spring, musty carpet, freshly popped popcorn. But if you stare at the images long enough the memory of it might come back to you. You may even begin to remember the feel of knees burnished by orange carpet that was plush and bright long before I ever crawled across it. You might begin to feel the impossible heft of the door, inseparable from the squeak of the hinge and the beep of the alarm at ready. You might hear my grandfather’s laugh, and footsteps receding in the hallway, stepping down two steps, then immediately stepping back up two steps to the kitchen. You might rediscover a long lost part of yourself in those red tiled floors and brown striped upholstery. It’s worth a look to see.

I began writing this blog with long drawn out captions, attempting to describe the significance of each scene I had chosen to capture. I decided instead that the photographs could speak for themselves, or silently hold their mysteries forever.

Before long these images will be mere reminders.

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It has been four days since Smeagol died. Things are easier but I still can’t get through half a day without crying.

I became a bit obsessed over the weekend with writing my tribute blog to Smeagol. I stayed up well into the night each night, writing whatever memories of Smeagol came to mind. I dragged out boxes and rifled through my belongings in an effort to find every photo of Smeagol that I could find. I couldn’t concentrate on studying or much of anything for that matter until the blog was written, photos were scanned, and it was all put together and published. It was a rather cathartic process that leaves me feeling better.

The best thing about this weekend was the enormous amount of support and caring I received from family and friends across the board. A simple note from various sources meant the world to me. The sharing of grief helped me bear it more easily. It is soothing to know that others recognize my pain as real and valid, and that they understand it.

This is the first time in my life that I have lost someone close to me. The process of grieving has been and still is painful, but I feel well-equipped to look ahead and move on from this.

Thank you everyone.

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