"She taught me how to dance. We actually met at a graduation party. I was the only one not on the dance floor, and her friend bet her that she couldn't get me to dance. I'd already said 'no' to ten girls, but she talked me into it. We were together 55 years. She died eight years ago, but I still dance every day."
(Mexico City, Mexico)
The above passage taken from a Facebook post by Humans of New York, in speaking with a gentleman who every day honours the memory of the love of his life in dancing every day. What a lovely way he has found to honour her memory and find joy in every day.
In grieving for a loved one lost we all do it in our own unique way and there is no right no wrong, only understanding in knowing as much as we carry on and continue with our lives beyond our loss, we always have them with us. Because we all remember those lost in very different ways there may be misunderstanding in how each of us remembers. How do you or how will you remember a loved one when they are gone? Will a song suddenly bring forth a memory of them, perhaps a place or destination where once you enjoyed a wonderful experience together. Scents, scents are often a very strong reminder of something we recall...a place, a time, a person. Furthermore, how will YOU be remembered or how would you wish to be remembered?
While we all have lost and will lose someone near and dear to our hearts, some will have the chance to say goodbye, but sometimes our loss is of a sudden and/or tragic nature. Out of tragedy many find a need to create small shrines/memorials; if you will, to honour those lost, often at roadside where last their beloved was. Not everyone feels the need and/nor will everyone feel it is appropriate, but how does one protest a hearts need to remember, to hold on. Driving along any given road there may be noticed just such a memorial. I have been documenting these in photographs and feel it is a very personal thing. Who are we each to judge and perhaps not having been in similar shoes where we have carried the pain of losing someone so tragically. I lost my niece when she was just five years old to a rare disease known as Histiocytosis. I remember her every day and think about visits to her at Sick Kids, babysitting with her and her brother and how much fun I had, and how much her brother must miss her and who she might be today, would she be a mom? Our memories fill our hearts.
One realizes and cannot ignore that any loss, in a sudden accident, in illness or disease, or simply in having lived a full long life and succumbing to a body weary from such is a great loss. Any loss brings the realization of the precious gift that our lives truly are. In having read an article about one citizen questioning the need for one memorial's ongoing existence I couldn't help but imagine how I would feel if that memorial was someone I knew, a close friend or most painful, one of my own beloved family. I have since that time been gathering information, photographs and right now putting out word for more, from anyone who might wish to share their own words in how you remember someone beloved to you, what suddenly makes you remember that person, what memory reminds you of the joy shared in knowing them. For anyone who has lost someone suddenly in tragedy and/or having created a memorial to honour them, does that give you comfort and how. What joyous moments do you take comfort in, in remembering?
My hope is to create a book; it will take some time naturally. If you wish to submit information and or photos you are welcome to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org . It needn't be a long piece, perhaps a sentence or two, but more if you are so inclined. We need to be reminded even in unfortunate circumstances, sorrowful times we might need to talk about it, share of it's affect. Lack of conversation about grieving isn't because people don't care, but because sometimes we just don't know how to start the conversation or even if we should.