It doesn't matter how many years pass - the time after goodbye remains an uncharted ocean. Waves of grief come out of nowhere. Some days are quiet, reflective, and beautiful. Other days feel stormy.
Grief doesn't get easier. It changes.
Looking back on photographs can help connect you to the times you shared together. When I started doing this work, I thought it would be the joyful photographs that provided the most comfort for people. I've been surprised to see how much of an impact the other images have - the care that happens during the end of life, the dog's-eye-view of the staircase she can no longer climb, the seemingly constant sleeping while bundled for warmth.
These images, which are full of love rather than joy, make a tremendous difference.
In the end, it really doesn't matter how well the body works. It doesn't matter what kinds of things you can do together.
What matters is that you have each other. What matters is love.
I think you can see that in any photograph because you heart is so full. It's the quiet moments without distraction that will overflow on you. Seeing those from your own life and time together is . . . well, it's love. Just love.
I'm Shannon, and I love and am loved by four Great Danes, four cats, and one horse (four Danes, one cat, and one horse are no longer walking this earth). Here I'll share stories of my adventures in grief photography for companion animals, my own grief journey, and thoughts on caregiving.