Most fortnights I write a small puff piece for the local regional newspaper. The paper is so small, it doesn’t even have a web presence!
By popular demand (hi Mum), I’ll reproduce some of them here now and then.
There’s a rather unfortunate anniversary approaching. In the coming weeks it will mark 8 years since the death of my Father. As the old saying goes, ‘time heals all wounds’ and 8 years is a long time. Of course such a wound can never be entirely healed, and there will always be times when the aching will make a return, and anniversaries are definitely one of those times.
I tend to become sentimental during times of sadness, and last night I sat with my 9 year old looking through old piles, boxes and albums for pictures of my Dad. I was unfortunately reminded that a vast majority a the pictures we have were taken during the last few months of his life when a combination of chemotherapy and other drugs had transformed him into a shadow of his former self.
I hadn’t ever really thought about why this photo imbalance existed, however, I think I’ve started to make sense of it now all these years later. We were just trying to capture every possible second in perpetuity. Suddenly life seemed so fragile and temporary, and the realisation that from that moment forward, we only had a finite time to capture a lifetime worth of memories. I realised that there would be no photos of my dad with my children during their birthdays, weddings etc, and was compensating for this significant future loss.
Many of my clients are similarly detached from family, but not because of death. Disagreements, betrayal and resentment see families deliberately remove loved ones from their lives. This sad situation is so common, there wouldn’t be a day that goes past that I don’t speak to someone affected*. Unfortunately, people often realise the significance of their decision to remain estranged when it’s too late – when death permanently removes them.
*I recognise that sometimes due to horrific abuse of one type or another, reconciliation isn’t always possible.