Yesterday I worked most of the day to reorganize my photo libraries, splitting out family and friends from the rest of my images. It was a slow, painstaking task to make sure I didn’t lose anything, and yet that was the easy part.
The hard part was realizing how many people are gone from my circles of family, close friends, friends, and acquaintances. I pushed away from the computer and walked down to the beach to catch the sunset, a bit overwhelmed by the losses over the years seen compressed into a few hours time.
Some were old when I was not, some were in their thirties when I was that age too. Some were sudden, others were long and mostly painful. Heart, cancer, age, accidents. Whatever the reason, they’re gone now. They are photos on my screen, and stories in my heart.
This morning I woke up to find another one gone, a valiant fight for many months ended in a quiet passing. My heart has ached all day for his family. Condolences, words, it all feels so small when the loss is so large.
I know there’s a circle of life, with beginnings and endings every day. I celebrate the babies when they come, and the birthdays, too. When the losses happen, I pay tribute how I can to the one who has left us behind so this is one last flower photo for Pat and the Moore family.
The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.
W. H. Auden