on mourning...

"Guide me in your truth and teach me,for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long." Psalm 25:5

Woodside Picnic Wedding Photographer | Cheryl & Rob

Recently I found out someone I knew lost her father. At the same time I've been wrapping up the final weddings I shot around my mother's death. I shot a wedding the weekend before, of and after my mom passed away. And truthfully it's been a struggle to even look at the images from these weddings. When I look at the images I want to see how happy I was to photograph each couple. I want to remember how blessed I felt that each of these couples chose me. I want to remember how happy I was with my mom at those times, but I struggle to. All I remember is that my mom passed away and the regret that comes along with that.

I regret... ...that didn't get my mom a red velvet cupcake from that picnic wedding. ...that I was too busy editing to spend time with her. ...that I went to a photo shoot instead of hanging out with her. ...that I wanted to shoot a destination wedding and arrived there four days earlier to explore. ...that I stayed upstairs all night to finish my editing before my trip, instead of going downstairs and spending time with my mom. I even walked downstairs to hang out with her at one point, but it was too late because she had already gone to sleep. ...that I didn't say good-bye to my mom the day I flew out to Toronto. ...that I waited two days before I called her. ...that even though I was fearful she would die and I'm a photographer, I didn't take more pictures with her. ...that I never remembered to give her my extra external hard drive. ...that it took me so long to clean for her.

I am learning every day that mourning the loss of a loved one is a long and arduous journey. I still find myself lost in crying on days that don't seem to ever end and feeling as if I've already forgotten her. Even when I want to reach out to someone to help me with my sorrow I realize I can't. There's nothing for me to say except to say that a part of me is lost forever. Since the day my mom passed away I've become more aware of how much of my life included her. My routine is gone because a lot of my day revolved around her. My ability to sort out of my feelings is gone because my mom was my main sounding board. My translator is gone because my mom always knew how I was feeling or what I wanted to say and knew how to explain that to others. I can't even really explain how much my life has changed since I lost her. I just can't fully put it to words.

Many of my friends who've gone before me tell me the sadness never leaves, but they reassure me that it does get easier to bear. So I look forward to those days. And I force myself to remember all the good (because there's actually so much of it).

I remember... ...that I got to talk to my mom before she passed away. ...how much my mom loved me. ...my amazing couples who were incredibly understanding and compassionate to me. ...that my mom and I had a great relationship. ...that my mom knew I loved her. ...that I got to help her at kindergarten promotion. ...the many happy trips to craft stores and daiso and starbucks and quickly and jamba juice. ...my mom died happy. ...my mom would encourage me to forgive myself for my regret if she were here. ...the endless list of things and people whom I'm thankful for. ...no regret would ever change how much my mom wanted me to be happy right now. ...there are more happy memories than regrets.

God is always faithful. And even in our saddest and weakest times He is there to give unending peace and comfort.

Life doesn't always make sense, but hope does not disappoint.