Flowers Wilt, Grief Does Not
I'll admit, I have favorites.
When I am with a family at a cemetery or memorial park, that family has my attention and intention until my work is done. Then I tend to meander and visit "friends."
This angel watches over a little girl in Tacoma Cemetery, Tacoma, WA. The first time I saw this angel I was taken by his right wing. Even with that injury he provides expert guardianship of his charge, Shamiah.
He's also working with a gigantic spider just south of his armpit. He's a trooper, for certain. This is the kind of vigil we hold in grief.
Shamiah's family visited recently and left one dozen roses for her. They have wilted, as flowers do. Grievers know that grief changes over time; unlike flowers, however, grief doesn't wilt. Grief remains alive and well, sometimes inviting itself to the party at the most inappropriate times as anyone who has been unexpectedly knocked down by a wave of grief can attest.
It's the box of tea at the grocery store that was her favorite.
It's the back-to-school pictures of friends' children.
It's the receipt from the last thing you did together that somehow shows up on your desk four years later.
I have a tendency to be drawn to the graves of children and I am convinced that those children direct me. Although Shamiah is just three months old, she asked for a visit this time around. I needed to see those roses.
When I processed the images at home, I was thankful to see this.
See the perfectly round, whitish area above the angel's head? I think that's her. It doesn't match the rest of the bokeh (the creamy, blurry background) in that space and could be a spirit orb.
Keywords: Tacoma Cemetery, Tacoma funeral photographer, child loss, death, grave, grief, roses, wilted
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