Grief Series; “Pennies From Heaven”

Time only does so much healing because the things we learn from the people we lose, are the things that time cannot erase.

It’s rare for someone to come in our lives and teach us our worth, respect us, and want to keep us in their lives regardless of our title with them. It’s rare for someone to be fully engaged in a relationship with absolutely no expectations back from us, so when we lose someone that gives us all of that, it’s very hard to move on from what we learned by their presence. We may accept that they pass, acknowledge the pain, but have a hard time introducing others in our lives the same way.

People can never be replaced, per-say, but sometimes we do attempt to find stand ins. We try to find someone who almost completes that void. Although this filling-in never replaces our original person, or never extinguishes the pain, it does help us feel normal again. Kaleigh lost her best friend in 2014. Their relationship started more romantic but faded to a very strong best friend relationship. Regardless of the status, they wanted each other in their own lives – no expectations of anything more than pure friendship.

Best friends are some of the hardest relationships to lose. Whether a true loss of life, or a break up, these people know us deeper than most romantic relationships and more than most family relationships. They are almost a judgement-free relationship that is completely chosen. Sometimes we call or text this person daily, or hourly, or other times we go weeks with no communication with complete understanding that life is chaotic. When they leave our lives, all you want to do is call, talk to them, hear their voice, laugh at their texts –

Conceptually and visually images speak so differently. This body of work is a bit harder for me to choose a main image because of how visually engaging each image is, and how each image states a different meaning. Kaliegh talks about Pat often, thinks about their friendship, acknowledges this hard grief daily, but also lives her life the way he would have: joyfully, adventure-finding, seeking the good in life. Images with faces help us identify, but images focused on the background rather than the individual faces show this push and urge to move beyond the grief that holds us captive.

We must feel pain. We must feel grief, but we also must try to find some light, some normalcy, some joy and reasons to pursue the future. People will let us down as we navigate new relationships. Our bad memories or interactions with those we have lost will become muddied or forgotten.

The good times will replay on repeat and cause us to miss those we have lost even more. These waves of emotion, just like water on the shore will repeat time and time again. We will feel the strong power and force of the painful moments that beat us down. Sometimes these moments feel never ending. Sometimes it feels like the water will take us under. But the moment the grasp from the undertow lets us go, we are able to step back and take in the full view and find a sense of peace.

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