Undoubtedly, the most difficult part of sharing in the lives of wonderful families is the eventual news that death has come. Those phone calls, emails, and messages are difficult for me to receive; I know they are exponentially more difficult to give. I've made those calls myself.
For those of us who choose to love again and again, for those of us who would sign up for heartbreak 1,000 times because of the immeasurable joy that comes with it, the end of the year can feel bumpy. It's awkward.
Will I remember? What will I forget? When? How can I love someone else again?
Sydney, Modoc, Pacer, Marshall, Athena, Sashi, Mason, Lexi, Ruckus, Clementine, Alice, Mercy, Kona, and Brutus, we will remember you.
We will say your names in conversation. We will ask your people if they'd like to share stories, because we really want to hear them. We want to know how much better the world was because of you, and we want to see the lasting impression you made in your families.
The end of the year is one more day on the calendar. Time doesn't diminish love. It can fade memories (and photography helps prompt our brains to retrieve those memories). Death doesn't end a relationship. It changes how we express it.
We will always hold love for you, darlings.
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.