Today I received horrible news about a dear friend of mine. Perhaps the saddest part is we still aren't sure when he passed away. He had a kind soul and an open door for any friend in need. He was a giver, laugher, and true friend. He was a quiet kind of friend who kept to himself and never much cared for the holidays. So a rejection to my usual holiday invite was expected but never received. It bothered me, but I didn't think too much about it until I saw a panic-y post on his facebook page by some female. So I started contacting everyone he is close to to see if anyone had heard from him. A few confusions about time line cleared up the next day, we resolved that his presence has been mia since December 18th. Thankfully someone else volunteered to go physically check on him to find a box full of mail and alarm going off. One call to the police later, and his body was discovered. The mission to let his family know begins only to discover that the panic-y female was infact his sister. He always referred to her as "my sister" and she was one of his greatest joys along with his niece. How I miss the obvious sometimes.
I will miss my friend. His barbeque invite nights. His Halloween parties and general love of Halloween. His love of Sci-Fi and DragonCon. Playing silly games and eating cheese puffs. The way he adored his niece and their adventures photographing animal bottoms at the zoo. Super Bowl Sundays and parties for no reasons. His beautiful candles he hand made, and most of all his company.
The lesson in this broken heart is simple and applies to all, not just photographers. Don't forget to take photos of the people you love. We have been friends for 10 years and I have 3 photos of him (one of them is out of focus shot of us together my husband took), and the others are halloween costume photos. How sad is that. I'll let you in on a little secret, photographers tend not to bring their gear to events because they don't want to spend the entire event working. Well we need to start carrying a point and shoot or one of those tiny cameras with the phone that never works. Photograph your memories, once they are gone, they are gone.