(All these pictures are from last fall, before I took my little break)
At the end of last year, I witnessed a sweet moment between all three of my boys and quickly ran to the nearest closet to grab my camera. When I turned back around to snap the picture, I realized I had missed my moment. As I stood there with my camera in hand, I immediately became visibly upset, and Patrick asked why I hadn’t just used my iPhone camera instead? I didn’t respond, but I knew the answer. After Preslee’s death, I’m always grateful for the my high quality pictures vs. my phone images. The higher quality allows me to do so much more with them.
That’s when it hit me.
I was taking multiple pictures a day, strictly out of fear. Not because I wanted to, but because I was afraid this moment might just be our last… Even though I did take a lot of pictures of Preslee, it was different back then, fear didn’t control me.
Grief is a confusing.
It took me 5 1/2 years to realize what was happening.
After understanding my emotions, I knew the only way to conquer my fear was to do what I’ve done in the past. Just like learning how to deal with water, leaving my kids with a babysitter, and visiting the canal, I knew I needed to face my problem head on. So I packed my camera away and took a break from social media for awhile.
In the beginning I struggled, it was difficult to break a five year habit. But as the weeks passed by, that fear slowly subsided, and I quit reaching for my camera, (I did occasionally take pictures on my phone). I can’t begin to describe how wonderful it was to soak up moments with my boys and not watch them from behind a lens. Four months passed by, and then Cruiz broke his leg. The situation forced me to pull the camera back out, and it was then that I realized I had conquered my fear.
Grief is truly mind boggling. It seems to have a mind of its own, and loves to affect everyone in its path differently. Before we lost Preslee, I would have never dreamed it would still affect me as much as it does. Six years later, I’m still learning grief doesn’t automatically end one year after losing someone. It’s a process, and I’m still working through it. I’m grateful it’s not as intense as it was in the beginning. Just like a fellow Angel Mom once told me, "With time, it becomes softer," and I wholeheartedly agree.