Photography is a popular hobby, particularly during June and July when weddings and holidays and family gatherings bring people together. Photography becomes even more popular during Fair time, when displays and judging classes bring it to the forefront. Lying on my table today are a number of photographs that need to be matted for Fair competition.
Photography can also play a major role in dealing with grief, for the very reason that we take pictures when families are together or when significant events such as births, weddings and baptisms are happening. Our use of photography in that way began when our children lost a favorite pet and could go back and see him in happy times with each one of them, playing and working as a ranch dog. A picture lends itself to a story and to emotions.
Recently we attended an event with dear friends where pictures were taken. As I was adjusting the camera for a picture of their family, I became acutely aware that one person was significantly missing, a person whose sad and untimely death changed family numbers and dynamics forever. They will always be a close family, but never the same family again.
At that moment, I was in two different time frames with two different groups of people. Family and friends like us can always combine the memories with the present. Then in a moment of clarity, I saw all of us through the lens of God’s camera, He who knew us before we were in our mother’s womb and knows us throughout all of our existence for eternity.
Just as the slide show captured all the stages of our son Josh’s life at his funeral, so God holds in His hands all the stages of our lives. The scenes include many who die before us, many whom we mourn and then miss at every family occasion, many whom we would like to fit back into the picture at least for the moment, if we only had the means.
Photographs can be so celebratory and healing if we only see them through God’s eyes, as capturing a moment of life which for one reason or another we will never get back yet which is part of the whole and reason for thankfulness and praise.
I just want to continue to share ideas about grief and life with people who long as I do for comfort and understanding.