Remember Me

 

  • Andri
  • Aubrey
  • DSC_1311
  • Hugo
  • Johan
  • Johani
  • Kaboelie
  • Kaliefie
  • Lehani
  • Margie
  • Nico
  • Petro
  • T_Nellie
  • Vanessa

Have you ever heard the saying – every dark cloud has a silver lining? When my husband’s best friend committed suicide a few months ago it was really hard to believe that even this dark cloud will have a silver lining.

Needless to say that dealing with the death of a close family member or friend is extremely traumatic for everyone involved – even more so when the person decided to take their own life and leave those that stay behind with regret, pain, frustration and all the unanswered questions.

The first couple of days we were all left speechless – it was only once we arrived at church and were handed the funeral pamphlet that the reality and permanence of our friends’ death hit us. Speechless I looked at the photograph of our once happy friend – the picture that I’m staring at only a vague memory of our friend that has left us all with such a whole in our hearts.

While the service carried on I couldn’t stop staring at the picture – with effort I kept myself from shouting – No, not me. When it is my turn to go I will make sure I’m remembered the way I choose! And right there, at that moment I saw it – the silver lining. Here, in this hurt and sadness was an opportunity to be remembered in all my wonderfulness the way I choose!

Have you ever asked yourself – Who am I? Just me, plain and simple without all the preconceived ideas of the world, all the expectations of those around me, all the labels that society forces on us  - mom, woman, wife, lover, grandma, business woman, sportsman – free from all these ideas, just me – who am I?  Have you forgotten somewhere along the way who and what you dreamed of being when you were only a child with the world at your feet?

If you are gone tomorrow will you be remembered for who and what you really are or the person you tried to be because the world, your family and your colleagues expected something different of you?

I’m a professional photographer and the tragic death of my husband’s friend indeed had a silver lining. A Couple of days after the funeral I decided to send an email to friends and family to invite them to have their remember me portraits done. I asked everyone to take their time and to really think about who they are and how they want to be remembered. Not only one day when you’re no longer here, to me these portraits also serve as a daily reminder to ourselves to be honest with yourself and to be exactly who and what you want to be and to live a life of abundance for yourself and not because of the expectations of those around you.

What an amazing journey it’s been so far to be a part of other people’s “remember me” moment. Because of everyone’s uniqueness there are a wide variety of interesting portraits.

I want to challenge everyone to stop to think a bit about your own “remember me” If you are not here tomorrow – how will you be remembered and what memories do you leave your loved ones with?

We are lucky to live in a time where technology are so easily accessible – use your phone and send a loved one a beautiful picture of yourself, write down a few ideas about dreams that you maybe had years ago and see how it is possible for them to come to life again – today still – remember who you are in the depths of your soul and always remember – keep looking – every  cloud has a silver lining.