bygone bliss :: my brother
Yes, my brother is a wonderful memory for 10 years, now. He and his passing changed who I am and what photography means to me – way before I became a full-time professional photographer. It also taught me a lesson about family after he has long left us.
Feb 2014 my brother’s passing has its 10th anniversary. He was 1.5 years younger than me. We lived in the same small room for nearly 15 years. We grew up together, did nasty little sibling things to each other, laughed till our tummies hurt and had an awesome childhood in a beautiful old villa with a gigantic garden around it. He taught me how to play trumpet, how to read music in the process, sang with me in a youth choir and actually met my husband before I met him. He made me go to Norway, where Daniel and I became a couple. So you can tell, I somewhat owe my little brother. 🙂
His Battle with Cancer
He also taught me to be humble and take what life throws at you with a knowledge and faith that God NEVER leaves you and will take care of you. He did this during the last months of his life while battling cancer. But even after he had lost that battle, he still taught me that it’s not the end of the world, when someone you deeply love dies. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.
My Value of Photography Changed
During those gloomy days, I realized that with time I would forget things about him and that he eventually would be far away from me. So I started hunting down every single – good or bad – photograph of my brother and us as a family. Digital or in print it didn’t matter. I was on a mission. I put together a book for all my other four siblings and my parents with all I could find of my brother. I figured that those photos will bring back what gets lost in the past. When I go through this book I remember what we did, where we went and what he said. Those photos became priceless to me, the moment my brother was not around anymore.
What Family means
It also has changed how I see family in general. I realize not everybody has that connection to their family and relatives can cause hurt and separation. For me or us going through this experience of loss with so many wonderful siblings has brought us closer together. We are kinda like invisibly bonded. We love each other and we make a point of telling it to each other, too. We realized we only have a certain amount of time with one another and if we are not making the best out of it, we are actually loosing! Suddenly little quarrels, money or belongings get in the bigger scheme of things a different importance. It has guided me through my decision-making in the last 10 years a lot – thanks to my brother.
Insights gained during the last 10 Years
10 years have passed and my eyes still fill up writing this blog post. I guess what I want to leave you with are a couple of insights I gained:
– Enjoy life. Be grateful for family. Forgive and show love.
– Take photos of the people you love. At some time that might be the only thing that helps you remember. And make sure there are enough photos of you, too, for those who love you!
My brother only turned 22 years old but these photos are now older than he was. Photography has more to it than only what the eye meets and I am grateful I can help make memories tangible with my job. How awesome it that! The blog post lead image of my brother is probably my first attempt at portrait photography about 6 months after I got my first SLR in 2000. Am I glad I took it now!
Tell someone in your family today that you love them and have a wonderful weekend,