This photographer and I go way back to setting up NILMDTS together at two hospitals in the Portland area - she was my mentor in bereavement photography and the family in need were good friends of her. I couldn't say no.......
So earlish this morning (well... early for me, lol) - I packed up my gear and raced to the Children's hospital to capture the last moments of this family before they went from a family of four to a physical family of three + one angel baby.
I made it.
It never gets any easier, watching a person die. There's ..... there's a moment in time, somewhere between life and the last breath where it feels like everyone in the room is bargaining with G*d with everything they have to turn the clock back, to change it ..... to stop it.
Sadly..... the bargaining turns to tears of painful acceptance as breath leaves and doesn't come back. And... it's done. Now, a deeper level of pain sets in. What happens next is always the same and ... it's brutally emotional.
You can't do these sessions without crying.
You can't... rather, *I* can't do them without that baby and her entire family leaving it's finger prints on my heart.... forever.
So, I shot and shot and shot and shot..... thanks to the ole' Gary Fong dome- they turned out very nice.... well, poingant.... sp? sorry... too tired to spell check tonight (yes, I hear you - do I *ever* spell check.... lol).
I read somewhere that afterwards, a lot parents can't remember what happened - what they did - what they said.... they wonder if they held the baby enough? kissed the baby enough? So.... I just tried to get every single kiss and cuddle and .... tear. Of which, there were many.
I know some people might even be offended by this post.... which will make me two for two on potentially offensive posts this week..... but, this is what I did today. This was my morning.
And you know what - I'm grateful for it. Grateful that these strangers trusted me enough with one of the most prescious moments of their life. They allowed me capture their pain and their love and ... their joy. It's.... truly a humbling and amazing experience.
My heart is heavy as I edit the images tonight so that I can deliver them tomorrow.
And then my heart is joyful - because I am lucky beyond words to have both my children here with me tonight. It's yet another reminder, in what was an emotionaly hard week for me with El Capitan - that I need to grow a pair and get a f*cking helmet.... before something *really* *really* REALLY bad happens.... and you know what - there just IS NOT a 'helmet' for losing a child.
I need to buck up and move on so that I don't waste another minute of my life - of my children's life - on crying over El Capitan and his lies and his stupid Yoga Girl. What a f*cking waste of human life..... sometimes, you just don't have any more life to waste.
I'm done wasting mine. Every time I think I can do that.... another lie rises up and drags me back down.... it's so hard not to care. So HARD to move on. I actually counted the months... it's *only* been 4 months since I even found out Yoga Girl existed....
Today. Someone had a worse day than me. A worse day than I have ever known (thankfully). And the worst part of that day played out in front of me.... I need to take that with me, and make the most of *my* life in recognition of the fact that not everyone gets that opportunity. Otherwise... I'm just some blubering b*tch in the corner with a camera. When G*d shows you a miracle... I think it's best to sit up, take notes and listen carefully for the life lesson you can find in it.
Today was a miracle, a miracle of pure sadness.... but a miracle none the less.
Babies and caskets.... two words that never belong in the same sentence. Ever.