The Long Way Home


Perspective
April 21, 2014, 4:48 PM
Filed under: Pennsylvania | Tags: , , , , ,
Train Trestle, South Side Slopes

Train Trestle, South Side Slopes

It’s three years since my mother passed away, and I feel more myself than I have in the longest time. I’m more alert, in-tune with my surroundings. I laugh without guilt, and take pleasure in ordinary things. My heart isn’t broken.  Scarred, yes, but I carry that small sadness around with me, a reminder that she’s always with me. Now when I hear of someone losing a loved one, it holds different weight for me. I know the complicated, heart-wrenching road they are about to travel, and yet, I still don’t know how to act, or what to say except I’m sorry. I know that death makes most people uncomfortable, that nobody wants to talk about it. I know too that it’s given me a  great deal of anxiety, which only recently I feel as if I’ve got under control. Some people have been very supportive, and others  have said clueless, insensitive  things; I’ve learned to forgive them. I asked one of my closest friends if I’ve changed since this happened; he said that I’ve deepened my connection to photography. I had to think about why that is. It’s more than just taking pretty pictures – it’s been a comfort, a way for me to make sense of who I am as a motherless woman, as an artist. As cliché as this sounds, photography makes me feel more complete. I see through my mother’s curious, creative eye when I pour through old photos she had taken. My photo adventures continue those stories, a way for us to carry on in conversation.

Crossing, South Side Slopes

Crossing, South Side Slopes

Steel City Pawn, Braddock

Steel City Pawn, Braddock

From the Rooftops, South Side Slopes

From the Rooftops, South Side Slopes

Perspective, Braddock

Perspective, Braddock

Hotel Puhala, Braddock

Hotel Puhala, Braddock

View of St. Michael's, South Side Slopes

View of St. Michael’s, South Side Slopes

Overlook, South Side Slopes

Overlook, South Side Slopes

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19 Comments so far
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I find it interesting that people are so weird about death. I found out when my own mother died 15 years ago (seems impossible) that the only thing that really made sense was for people to just say “I’m sorry” with sincerity. Time does help, but you never get over the felling of missing a loved one. That’s actually a good thing, in my opinion. They are always a part of us.

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Comment by thevintagetraveler

I’ve always found it strange too (that people are so reluctant to talk about it when it happens), and that was the hardest part for me through all of it – having people avoid me because they didn’t know what to say. It hurt me, but I am learning to be more understanding about it. I believe too that carrying that sadness is a “good” thing – it makes me feel closer to her, in a way.

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Comment by Lisa

I’m proud of you!

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Comment by Jeff

and that means the world to me. xo

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Comment by Lisa

Very lovely, Lisa.

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Comment by John

thanks, john, that’s really nice.

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Comment by Lisa

Well I love these photos–everything from the pawn shop to the bridge to Braddock. Maybe just maybe your refocus on photography–and obvious success with it–has been a new way of seeing, from grief to an expanding set of motifs of renewal and compassion. I always want to thank-you for sharing this journey.

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Comment by Michael Williamson

Michael – always, your comments make me think about what direction I should take this blog or my creative work. Thinking about photography as renewal – or capturing it through my lens – is something I will continue to explore as I go out and find more stories. Thank you for your support, it means a lot, and I’m glad that through my blog, you may have found comfort too.

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Comment by Lisa

I love this post, dude! I think your mom lives through the photographs that you take.

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Comment by Bill

it’s our talks that made me think more about my deep connection to photography. love you, dude!

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Comment by Lisa

Lisa,
your words mean a lot to me. My father passed away three years ago. My life changed so deeply. I read your post and I see my life’s choices in a different way. Thank you.

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Comment by Chiara

thank you so much for sharing, chiara. i’m so sorry about your father. i know how difficult it is, and i’m glad that you shared that with me – it makes me see how we’re not alone. xo

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Comment by Lisa

Very moving and honest post, dear Lisa! it is always a pleasure being here… (…smiling…)

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Comment by karijeppesen

kari, thank you for the kind words. i’m glad that you are a reader over here :).

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Comment by Lisa

I’m touched by this post – bereavement is a club we all get to join at some point and yet still we don’t know how to respond – how to help. Probably (in my case at least) because we know that nothing we can say will make things better. I think I understand – I feel the loss of my father, but I am thankful of the reminder every time I pick up his camera. It gets better, in time, even though there is always a loss, and a sense of that loss.

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Comment by Debra Broughton

It’s true, that over time it gets better – but there is that reminder, always in the back of my mind somewhere that there is someone missing – really missing. It’s wonderful that you have your father’s camera! What a gift.

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Comment by Lisa

Cheers to you on an anniversary for both of you and your collected and separate memories. You have done an amazing job at figuring things out along this difficult road and your imagery has show your reflection and reflective process. Know I am here if you ever need an ear.

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Comment by motherblue212

thanks so much, lady – you are a source of great strength, and helped me through those dark days. love you –

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Comment by Lisa

I love you, as well.

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Comment by motherblue212




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