Holiday Remembrance | Tacoma Grief Photographer

December 11, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

 

Saturday, December 10, Mountain View Funeral Home, Memorial Park, and Crematory hosted a beautiful and moving remembrance gathering complete with music, ceremony, and empathy.  These events can be so difficult to attend.  People who are new to grief are apprehensive about emoting in front of others they don't know, and they aren't confident they can make it through the event without being knocked over by grief.

I talked with a man after the ceremony.  This is his first holiday season without his wife.  She was 69.

He told me that everything "was just too hard."  It is.  He's creating a different life for himself after sharing his for more than forty years.  He'll need to figure out what, if any, traditions he wants to continue and where he wants to start over.

He told me that I reminded him of his wife.  We looked similar.  That was an enormous and generous compliment from a man who dearly loves his wife.  He sat beside me and proceeded to share a few pictures he had on his phone.  The first was of a gorgeous, vital woman beaming into the camera.  The image had incredible energy, and I commented that she had a great zest for life.  He nodded.

"But this is what she was really like," he murmured as his thumb scrolled through his photo library.  He enlarged a picture of the same breathtaking woman, her head tossed back in hearty laughter and one hand keeping a pink Santa hat on her head.  I cannot understand his pain, and yet I can begin to imagine how much of a void he feels.  This is a woman with a big heart, a big laugh, and a big personality.

Ceremonies have the potential to bring comfort to the bereaved.  "This may be the first time in a long time you've heard your loved one's name spoken out loud," the general manager at Mountain View said.  These ceremonies are safe places where people come together with the understanding they are all in different places and yet all bound together by a shared experience.  

This year each participant received a glass icicle ornament.  Grief can take the color out of our worlds and turn everything monochrome.  While we will always carry grief, it changes over time.  Someday, we will see color again.  Each icicle had color.  I'm going to focus on the color, and I hope my new friend will be able to appreciate the color when the time is right for him.


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