Warning. This post has little to do with photography and more to do with me personally. It may be upsetting though so read at your own risk.
Often I have not written what I want to write here on the blog for fear of offending someone. For fear of scaring away potential clients who come here to see what my business is all about. What I have realized though is that this is who I am and it is a big part of why I am able to connect with people so well. The stories about my life that I feel compelled to share are just as much a part of me as the portraits that I take. I hope this story will not only let you get to know me, but also give you a glimpse into the ways that we are all people here in the community and we all share the same trials.
Letting go is the hardest thing for me. Well, maybe on a list of hard things for me if I were being totally honest. What I have realized is that I tend to really hold onto things. Maybe for too long. I just can't let go. It's something I am working on. I mean I try my hardest to look at life, to know when I need a change and can see when it will be good for me. It takes me a long time to actually jump. But the letting go part. That's when it gets really hard. You know what I mean? But I learned something this year and was reminded again in the last ten days...
You see I get really stuck sometimes and this week it happened in a big way. I got really stuck. I am running this photography business and trying to do a great job for everyone and be a good attentive mama to my girl. And it has been a crazy few months. And then on top of everything being a bit unusually nuts there was this big, well, death. There I said it.
And I don't know how to move on. I have a dear friend. One that I have known for the last almost 9 years. She is someone who would do anything for you. And she has been there for me and supported me in many ways, at many times, when I needed it most. She was 18 weeks pregnant when, two weeks ago, her water broke. She gave birth to a baby boy that was just too tiny. He was just half a pound.
This is not my baby. This is not my tragedy. But, I was there with her though. After 20 hours of waiting with she and her husband I watched her give birth, helped cut the cord, held him and mourned with them. I said goodbye to this little person that we were all so excited to get to know. I feel this profound loss with them.
It's a story that is all too familiar for many many families. I have no idea how people live with this. I applaud and respect them. And yes, time will heal this wound. I do know that. I know that time will weave this story into my life and hers. But this tragedy made me stop in my tracks. It made me really think about what we have in this life. How truly fragile we all are. I mean I think about that fairly often anyway, since I am a mama and totally neurotic. But to actually experience the fragility of life was more than sobering.
It was also a stark reminder of all that is wonderful in this world. It seems crazy to me to say so, but I also found an absolute transcending peace in saying goodbye to this little boy. This part I am not so sure of. I just know it happened and I keep feeling fleeting moments of it. I guess my awareness was heightened in the knowledge that we are all here on this ride together. That we truly need each other to hold onto. Especially at these times. And that we don't have the control over anything that we wish we had, but we have all this beauty around us. There is just so very much of it. If we can reach out and take it and choose to experience it.
So now at over a almost two weeks later I am here in the process of "moving on" while I try and get back to business and everyday life. While dealing with people who have no idea what happened. It all seems very surreal. And I am watching my dear friend experience all of this x10000. I wish that I could help her more. That I knew what to say that would make it better. But most of all I wish her all the peace that will come in embracing this sadness because I believe that is truly the only way to live again.
I guess what I think about letting go is that we hold a place in our heart for every experience that becomes a part of who we are. It doesn't need to devastate us when we visit it again (though I think it may for some time), but it needs to remind of us of what we learned from it. Who it helped us become. I know that my dear friend will become an even more kind hearted, loving, giving, wonderful person and parent than she already is. That she won't ever really let go because her baby boy will be with her forever. In a really big, beautiful, and hopefully peaceful way.
I think I will do the same. Maybe I will just skip letting go. It's the wrong saying. We don't need to let go. We just need to accept. And make our hearts just a little bit bigger.
In life and love. - Jen