It’s interesting, the way stories intertwine—the way lives brush up against one another, touch and make a difference, move toward and pull apart.
My maternal grandmother passed away last night at 8:58. To know it’s coming, to be waiting for the call, to be sitting on the couch watching TV under the afghan your paternal grandmother crocheted years and years before that matches your living room perfectly, and to see the phone light up with your mother’s cell phone number… it is numbing and shocking and everything in between.
In early October, we asked Burgh Baby to take photos of the family. We knew grandma was going to pass away. The stage of leukemia she was diagnosed with didn’t leave much time. The photo set to take place one weekend was postponed to another weekend as grandma was admitted back into the hospital due to complications with the progressive disease.
By the time the next weekend rolled around, the whole family couldn’t assemble. My husband couldn’t make it. My brother and his family weren’t able to be there. Grandma endured another complication of her cancer; her eye was swollen shut.
And still we joined together on The Farm on a beautiful October afternoon. I scouted out spots for photos before my favorite photographer and one of my dearest friends arrived. I stood by a the plum tree and looked out over the hill. I looked at how the light might play with our eyes, cast shadows, and what if we just angled a little bit more this way allowing for the golden trees down the hill to be visible in the shot.
The photos arrived the morning before we lost Grandma. I looked through them and my heart slowed; my family is changing. And in the midst of that change, a friend showed up and shared compassion and love for a grieving family. Friends have reached out non-stop over the past four months since we lost my paternal grandmother; they have been equally horrified and saddened that we’ve lost these two women one day shy of four months apart. We have been covered in love by so many people, our stories intertwining with so many others.
In the midst of the heartache and sadness, our family feels the love of so many around us.
All photos by Burgh Baby. She’s an amazing Pittsburgh Photographer and you should hire her. Yesterday.