Wednesday, July 01, 2020

Photos help a lot

Photos are a wonderful thing, especially when they remind us of better times, or the people who made them so good. Despite being aware of this for a very long time, it’s only been the past couple weeks that I’ve begun to truly appreciate photos of Nigel, and looking at them has helped me a lot.

Four months ago today, I posted “Photographic evidence” in which I gave what to me is the single best advice I’ve ever given:
Take photos of your loved ones—lots and lots of photos. Take too many photos, way too many, because when your loved one is gone, you won’t say, “I wish hadn’t taken so many photos of them.” What you’ll actually think, no matter HOW many photos you took, will be, “Why didn’t I take more?” Trust me on this: I know.
At the time I wrote that, I was sad and disappointed about how few photos I’d taken of Nigel (while he was awake…). Yet despite going through those photos and thinking a lot about them, I didn’t actually need them. In fact, what with lockdown and everything else, I largely forgot about them.

What started my recent re-interest in photos was the Facebook Profile photo I posted last week (at the bottom of this post). I always liked the photo because Nigel and I were so clearly happy and having a good time. I checked to see if I’d ever shared it, and apparently I hadn’t, so it became my Profile Photo.

My mother in law asked for a print of the photo, something that I never do, to be honest—and that right there is what I think is the reason I kind if forgot about the photo project. That’s because when I got ready to go print the photo at one of those kiosk thingees, I decided to do some other photos, so I picked a couple from our marriage ceremony because she was there.

The photo up top is one of the ones I printed for my mother in law, and me, too. It’s another one I never shared: Nigel and me right after we’d signed the registry to make our marriage legal. It’s a nice photo—again, it was such a happy day (though I was nervous as…).

A couple days later, I was thinking about the photos again and I remembered one of Nigel the night his Kia Puawai programme won the Category Award and Supreme Award at the 2019 SOLGM awards (photo at left). I found it on his computer the other day when I was having a quick look though the photos in his “Photos” App, which was mainly photos from his phone, and so, ones I didn’t have. It was an awesome photo of him, and I decided to print out an enlargement for my mother in law, and one for me.

As if all that weren’t enough, I had a frame that holds three photos, and I decided to pick three from our marriage. And then I also chose two photos for 8x10 prints—the one below and the old one of us that sparked the original project.

At this point I thought maybe I might be getting carried away with this framed photo thing, but then I realised that for some reason I needed photos more than I had up until now. When I first started going through the photos, they often made me cry, especially these photos and others taken in happy times. And then I didn’t cry (as much).

I thought maybe I was being desensitised, but I realised that it’s something much bigger than just that: I was getting a sort of a hug from those photos. They were reassuring. They weren’t just a reminder of better, happier days, they were also a way of feeling them again. I liked that.

I also know that eventually I won’t want or need so many framed photos around the house, and I may well put them all together—eventually. Just not today, or this week. Looking at them has helped me a lot, and I think that’ll be true for awhile yet.

It turns out, I was right: Take lots and lots of photos of your loved ones. Those photos can really help your loved ones when you’re gone.

1 comment:

rogerogreen said...

You're right. Lots of pics of the daughter , but not so many in the past 5 years.