In case you missed the first two installments about Desiree, go read this first and then read this second. Ok, now we are ready to talk about Desiree’s grief photos.
So, I was at this photography convention in Las Vegas and I was planning on buying this huge, expensive, rainbow maternity dress. It was on sale at the convention, so now would be the time, but something about it didn’t feel right. The pastel and smiles just wasn’t jiving in my mind with how I knew Desiree was feeling. I went to bed thinking about it that night, and I woke up in the morning with this grief session in my head. I jumped on my roommates bed and said, “I got it!” THIS felt right. I wanted to capture in photos all of the vast range of emotions that she has been feeling. I also wanted to have a rainbow in there, but not a pastel rainbow. So, instead I got these jewel toned wraps and made a little belt out of them.
Saturday morning in Maui, I took Desiree’s family out for an adventure. I asked Desiree if she felt comfortable climbing down this path of rocks to get to the blowhole. She said, “Let’s do this!” We took it slowly. I went first so that, if she fell, I could catch her or she could land on me. Right out of the frame at the bottom of this picture is a sign that tells you to be careful not to get sucked into the blowhole. Awesome! 🙂 I’m really safe, I promise! 🙂 I will go to pretty extreme lengths for photos. 🙂
After we got down near the blowhole, I had Desiree put on the black lace dress. Her husband told us later that there was a huge group of tourists on the rocks above us wondering what in the world we were doing. Desiree was covered in dirt at one point. Apparently the tourists thought we were crazy. Well, maybe they’re not that off. Haha! 🙂
There are supposed to be five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. They don’t go in order, and it’s not like you can check them off and be done with them. Especially after losing a child, grief is complicated. It is unique to each person. What makes this hard, is that a blessing of a new child came in the midst of vast grief. So, although Desiree had a set of emotions about the new baby, she also at the same time still had a set of emotions about losing her daughter. It’s complicated. I wanted to shed some light on just a few of the emotions we talked about.
“My body searches for her. My arms reach out for her. My eyes continue to look for her.”
Loss of Control
Desiree had her baby two weeks ago. It is a little girl named Briar Rose. Last Sunday, one year after losing her daughter, Desiree found herself at the same hospital with her brand new baby girl being admitted. Lots of prayers went up for this sweet new life. Desiree brought a picture of Aurora to the hospital and told everyone that Briar Rose has an angel big sister looking out for her. Thank heaven, they were able to come home last night. The baby is on the mend. I’m sure that prayers in their behalf would still be very welcomed. I can’t even image how this has shaken them.
Next week I hop on a plane to meet this sweet girl and take her pictures. Stay tuned.
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