I recently received a sobering message from one of my last wedding clients. I remember her wedding crisply – the lovely black and white images we took at her reception in a converted mill in Lawrence, Massachusetts. It was pouring rain outside, but Julia and Andrew brought in a bluegrass ensemble and did some country dancing and fiddling with a square dance caller and everything. Her grandfather, though in a wheelchair and in some pain, was looking sharp and very, very happy to be there. We made sure to get extra pictures with family members because we could tell that it was a special effort for him to be there.
Here’s the message I received from her:
January 18, 2011 at 12:07am
A rather odd note, but there it is.
My grandfather died early this morning, after five long years fighting renal failure. I found out this morning in the parking garage at Miami International Airport, where I was coming home from the wedding of two dear friends.
Already I’ve found the pictures that I have from my own wedding to be a comfort. I want to thank you again for the pictures that you took and the moments that you captured. Thank you for the attention you paid to documenting my family and commemorating that time in our collective life. Seeing pictures of my grandfather beaming at me and Andrew and my sister and cousins is bitter, but also so very sweet. They are some of the best photographs I have of him. Thank you for giving me that.
I get chills when I read this message. The fact that she even thought to write out that note at a time when she is going through so much grief is a testament to the power of the imagery. It fills me with joy to know that the images will help her remember her sweet grandfather at a time when he was happy and dapper and surrounded by family. That’s just wonderful to consider.