Friday, March 30, 2012

Every Precious Picture

Grief hurts, and many aspects of grief are common to all who experience it, but some are acutely individual. Some people put away all photos, all reminders, of their deceased loved one because they can't bear to see them, can't bear to be reminded, can't bear to think about it. I often wonder, though, whether that is successful. Perhaps they can control the exterior stimuli, but what about their minds? Surely then can't cut off all the thoughts, the questions, the memories.

Others treasure every photo, every little scrap of something that was made by or belonged to their loved one, and I think this is particularly true of parents who have lost a child, no matter what that child's age.

I know it is certainly true for me. I look at these photos and remember when each was taken. Often, I was the photographer and I remember why I grabbed my camera at that point, how I felt, how I wanted to preserve the moment.

Photos that someone else has taken that I've never seen before are a precious gift. There have been very few of those. Surely some of Leif's friends took pictures of him that I may yet someday see.

This photo of Leif was taken by my sister, Sherie, when she came to visit us in Kansas in the fall of 1975. Leif was only about nine or ten months old. He was a happy little rascal then, into everything, and loved to play with pots and pans. He had a laundry basket full of stuff to play with and usually just tipped it over to get at everything. You can see it in the background here.

This photo is endearing in several ways, even the yellow corduroy pants and green shirt, an outfit no kid would be found wearing in 2012. :) His hair was still blond and thin. It's hard to believe that he would be so dark-haired as a teen and an adult.

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