July 16, 2013

It’s been a while since I’ve posted an entry on my blog – but then life has been a little topsy turvey since February. Together with a few friends and fellow photographers, we have decided to put together a chain of blog posts – all on the importance of photography and what we do with the images.
The loss of a loved one is a life changing experience – an experience that I and my family are currently going through as my Dad lost his battle with Dementia in March this year.
 I have a several images up at home  – two group images as well as one image of my Dad taken just over 18 months ago. I haven’t yet summed up the courage to start looking through my albums as that just seems too difficult a thing to undertake right now – but I know that they are there waiting for me. However the framed images that I see every day in my living room have brought me much comfort over the last 4 months. 

My overriding feelings when I look at the below images of my Dad – is how alive they feel – that may sound strange in view of the circumstances. Despite the fact that my Dad is no longer with us – the images still make his presence seem very real. This was the only occasion on which I took the time to take a proper series of images of my parents. I wish I had taken more, but as my Dad’s condition deteriorated last year this became something that was not necessarily at the forefront of my mind as we spent time together. However these images make me smile too,  because they remind me of when he was in a better condition and also remind me of the many tea-times that my parents and I went out for when I went to stay with them (the images were taken on one such occasion). Going out generally became complicated as my Dad’s condition deteriorated – but going for tea at a local garden centre was still possible for some of my visits last year. It was easy to get to and who doesn’t take pleasure from a lovely piece of cake and a nice cup of tea?! The expressions on my Dad’s face also show that typical bemused expression he seemed to carry so often. He also looks like he’s about to come out with some rude comment about what I was doing! 

The next image was taken in the summer two years ago “remotely” by my sister-in-law – who is a superstar for always remembering to try and get an image of us all together. Unknowingly – this particular image was the last one taken of all 7 of us together. It’s a happy image as my Dad was still relatively OK at this point and due to good weather we were able to get out into the garden. A simple enough exercise – but with the physical constraints of my Dad’s condition and the complications of getting him outside and into the garden – the fact that we were all sat outside together was a triumph in itself.

The last image makes me very sad as 3 of the people on the image have lost their lives in the last year.  Despite it being a sad image it is also a very important image, as to me it portrays the close relationship between two families through 3 generations and over 60 years. Despite living on different sides of the world, despite serious illness and despite busy lives – we all managed to see each other for a lovely lunch in a pub on a beautiful sunny day. 

All of the images above help to keep memories alive and to cherish those that we have lost and this is for me one of the beauties of photography – particulary as we get used to the absence of somebody. Of course I won’t forget my Dad nor other loved ones who are no longer with us – but these images provide a focal point for remembering.

In this age of digital photography we tend to keep images tucked away on hard disks or on CDs. Who knows if such media will continue to exist in the future? It is therefore so important to not only take the images but to have them in albums, photo books or framed in some form or fashion. They can bring so much pleasure – not just at sad times – and if they are stored away somewhere we forget about them. 

In Memory of my Dad – John, of Margaret and of Paddy.
……
If you like this blog post, please feel free to share. You can also find me on Facebook!

If you’d like to read the next chapter on this subject and follow our circle of blogs, please visit Todd and Moore Photography and follow the chain.

And so the story continues…we hope you enjoy the journey with us!!

We’d love to hear your thoughts and views on the subject so please use the “Add a comment” section below and tell us what the printed image means to you. Thank you!

You can also visit the websites of my inspirational co-bloggers here:

Eliza Boo Photography, Norwich

Judi Checketts Photography, Oxfordshire  (also featuring guest photographer Wendy Bowie)

 

love, Claire
  

comments

  1. Ryan Glanovitis

    July 16th, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    Beautiful photos, Claire. Thanks so much for sharing them with us. What you've written is beautiful too and so right. We all need these cherished memories and photos mean so much especially when loved ones are no longer with us xx Lots of love, Elaine x (sorry, this has come under my son Ryan's account but it is me!)

  2. boo

    July 17th, 2013 at 9:22 am

    I have a huge lump in my throat Claire. Hugs xxxx The warmth of the love in your family is so evident in these pictures.

  3. JUDI CHECKETTS

    July 18th, 2013 at 9:57 am

    I feel the same when I look at the images of my dad. That was 3 years ago now but the pictures keep his presence near. My Mum put a collage of photos of his life together for his funeral – very emotional but also comforting xx

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