This has most definitely been one of the most difficult weeks of my life, one filled with extreme highs and lows of the kind that make me feel as though I’ve lived not seven days, but seven years. I flew out last Sunday to my first-ever WPPI, celebrating my 29th birthday with dear friends in Las Vegas over drinks and yummy dessert (thanks again Brock!)
On Monday, as I was on my way to a platform presentation, I got a phone call from my Dad that his mother, my beloved grandmother, had died. She was 92, just a few months shy of turning 93. And though she’d been ailing in recent weeks, I had no idea we were going to lose her as soon as we did. I was in shock for a bit, but when my dad called again with details for her weekend funeral, I lost it. There I was, trying to navigate the labyrinth of halls of the MGM Grand (where the convention was going on) to make it back to my room while crying my eyes out (and trying to keep my head down so people didn’t think I was crazy). I would have been a mess had it not been for my amazing roomies. To Maya, Tina and Courtney, I say THANK YOU for being my rock for the short time I stayed in Vegas with you all. From hugs to condolences to a glass of wine to sooth my frayed nerves, you three were there for me when I needed friends the most.
I flew home on Wednesday and then spent Thursday, Friday and Saturday with extended family on my dad’s side. It was beautiful to all be together, a powerful reminder that, in tragedy, we come together with loved ones in ways we don’t make time for enough. At my grandmother’s funeral on Saturday, I mustered up the courage to eulogize her, reading the words I’d written on the plane ride home. I prayed that I’d have the strength to get through it without breaking down and I barely managed to do just that. But it was a tribute I was honored to pay to someone who meant so so much to me over the years.
Being at a conference where I listened to amazing photographers speak to the power of photographs, I thought it only fitting to share with you all one of my favorite images of me with my grandmother. This was taken on my own wedding day and I cherish this image—this moment captured in time—in a way I cherish few others. That sentiment only grows stronger with the realization my last living grandparent is now gone.
And while my grandmother knew how much she was loved by all of us, it never hurts to say it again. I love you Grandma and I hope you know how much you’ll be missed.