Every now and then in life, there is a person–or a pet, a single moment–or an experience, that touches you so deeply, they, becomes embedded in your soul, a piece of you forever. It, or they, are now a part of your personal blueprint. Once this happens, you might find a way to honor the experience or the individual. For me, I’ve found I rely upon a variety of ways to do this.
I often write about the experience in a journal, hopefully tell the person how much they mean to me or shower my pet with love. If, in the moment, I recognize how momentous it is, I might try to capture it with my camera, and by that I usually mean my iphone.
Like when your heart is bursting during a fireworks display, or your friend is walking down the aisle at her wedding. You just can’t help yourself; you have to take the shot.
But if it’s a person or pet that has moved on, the opportunity to capture them has passed. If I’m lucky, I might have a library of photos to look back through, or songs we loved playing on repeat. I often write them letters to keep our dialogue going.
I’m not talking about grief, but after the grief has lessened it’s hold. I’m talking about love and commemoration and remembrance, honoring their time here on earth with joy and laughter and community. I’m talking about keeping our relationship going.
Nine years ago, I lost a friend all too soon. Every year around his birthday (February 8th), my friend Jen and I raise a toast in his honor. Sometimes we share stories about him, and sometimes we don’t.
We’ve gone out to dinner. We’ve FaceTimed. We’ve always raised a glass, of something, to remember him. We even stopped in for a beer during the Superbowl parade five years ago (Go Eagles!)…an easy choice to make.
“May good fortune precede you, love walk with you, and good friends follow you.”
“May your troubles be less, and your blessings be more, and nothing but happiness come through your door.”
“May everyday bring more happiness than yesterday.”
“My heart is as full as my glass when I drink to you, old friend!”
Truthfully, just knowing we have a date to celebrate him is enough. Often we take photos and post them on his Facebook page. They don’t have to be perfect. Or edited. Or anything special…yet taking them feels special, and perfect and important.
These are photos I cherish: love-filled, momentous, embedded in my blueprint. As worthy as any prize-winning pulitzer to be in the collection of photos that make up my life. They’re the ones I go back to again and again. I have a feeling, you might have a collection of “perfect” photos too.
Until next time,
Holly ~ Soupatraveler
Holly, I really really love this tradition. And I think your friend would too.