Friday, May 14, 2010

Real Life

RealLife, originally uploaded by jashepler.

This is one of those photos that I have LOVED since the moment I shot it. Alex has the worst look on his face but what I really love is the look on my dad's face! I shared in my journaling on this page how special their relationship was from day one and that really is so true. Those two are best buds.

It seems as though I've seen the question on a couple of different message boards, as well as discussed on a recent episode of The Paperclipping Roundtable, about how you deal with scrapbooking challenging times. I've been working through this process over the last six months or so and this layout is a part of that process. I thought I'd share my take on the subject.

My dad passed away a little over six months ago. His death was a shock; completely unexpected to anyone who knew him. At the time, I couldn't imagine ever feeling right again. It was the worst feeling I've ever experienced.

But something happened as I was going through decades worth of photos in preparation for my dad's memorial service. I realized that all of these photos that have been part of my life for as long as I can remember had taken on a new meaning. I started to get a different sense of what it is we do as 'memory keepers'.

Shortly after, I stumbled across a website called Good Grief. This website was the brainchild of Amanda Probst and hosts challenges related to scrapping memories of loved ones who have passed. I honestly hadn't thought about scrapbooking anything, let alone my dad's passing, until I came across this site. So I took the plunge. I think the first challenge had to do with documenting your loved one's handwriting. It felt like a release. It didn't make me feel sad the way I thought it would; I felt more connected to my dad and realized that in preserving our stories, I could keep those small pieces of him with us always.

Now, I never shy away from scrapbooking with pictures of my dad. It doesn't soften the blow of our loss, but it is a gift to be able to share our most precious memories in a beautiful and heartfelt way.