disclaimer: this is a heavy post. this is a personal one and it’s just going to be words and no images. i try not to be too personal sometimes on here as i want people to focus on the photographers and their work. however, recent events have put a complete stop on this blog. forgive me as i’m not a writer and my brain and heart are feeling all sorts of things so this will come off as discombobulated. there isn’t really a way to describe how i’m feeling right now.
i don’t really know where to start. i actually don’t really even know what to think.
on thursday, june 6th, 2013, around 7:30 PM, my sister’s boyfriend collapsed suddenly and passed away. they did an autopsy the next day and there were no immediate signs or causes for his death like an aneurysm, a blood clot, etc. there are toxicology reports being run i believe, but those take more than a few weeks. and at that rate, what really is the point? he’s gone.
he was only 36. he was perfectly healthy. he did not do drugs. he was not a heavy drinker. he was none of that. went on walks with their dog. his career was on the fast track of success doing some amazing work for pancreatic cancer. he was at his peak. he was the perfect one for my sister. they were together for 8 years and had been living together for probably 4 years.
my sister was not with him when he passed. she was in reno for part of her general surgery residency program and he was back where they lived in oakland. she did not get to say goodbye or physically hold him and say goodbye. i actually don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing. he was an organ donor therefore we never got a chance to say goodbye. but that’s how amazing of a human being he was.
when my sister called friday morning to tell me the news, my first thought was my grandma, then my parents, then maybe my sister had broken up with him. it did NOT cross my mind that he had died. he was THE last person i was thinking of. i was in nyc when all of this happened. my parents rushed up to be with my sister and her friends drove from oakland to reno back to oakland to pick her up. i flew there as soon as i could to be with her. though i’m not sure how much help i was cause i was a sobbing mess.
my sister, oh my dearest darlingest sister. my heart is aching for her. there are no words or actions that can comfort her. people go up to her and give her their condolences and say “it’s going to be alright”. well frankly, no it isn’t. it isn’t going to be ok. how can you say that to someone who just lost the love of their life? what do you say to someone who has lost that someone who loved them unconditionally and knew at the end of the day, they were made for each other? this isn’t a break up where you know it will be ok. he is everywhere in that apartment of their’s, he is everywhere in the neighborhood they live in, he is everywhere in the dog they own, he is everywhere in her heart, soul and breath.
my sister is a damn strong person. she’s a general surgeon after all. but gaddamn, this…this is just too much. honestly, i don’t know how to be there for her as a sister. cause i really don’t know what to tell her or what to say to her. i really don’t know. i don’t understand the situation. why did he have to be taken away from her? what did she do to deserve this devastating heartbreak? why her? why them? i know i won’t ever get answers. but as a sister, i loved him because he loved my sister so wonderfully and so beautifully. he had the patience and kindness that i would want my sister to be showered with. he also gave that to me. while my sister was in med school, he would keep me company while i visited her. he made me those thin pancakes i loved, take me out to lunch, talk about interesting historical facts together, taught me how to take care of their puppy. he had jokes for me and shared the same sense of humor and sarcasm. in fact, we were similar with certain behaviors and my sister would point out how freaky it was at times. what more could you want for your sister? what more could you want in a brother?
i don’t know. i’m still trying to process it all. i’m still in shock and disbelief. i get sick to my stomach thinking about it. i walk around like a zombie feeling numb. i have multiple breakdowns a day. i lost a brother. trying to understand why he died is one thing, trying to understand why it was so sudden and unexplained is a whole different ball game. and this is just me…you guys can’t even imagine what my sister is going through. even i won’t ever to be able fully comprehend. i struggle with how i’m suppose to be around her and what i’m suppose to do for her. cause even i don’t know what i’m supposed to do. i just can’t believe he really is truly gone. i want him back so bad and i feel so helpless that i can’t make this situation better. cause there really isn’t any way. my sister’s heart and whole self aches every day. it’s a major struggle to want to wake up and fall asleep. the only time she feels ok is when she’s finally sleeping and not thinking about it.
it’s already hard to understand death. those that have a prolonged death from a serious illness- it’s a catch 22 cause you have the preparation to say goodbye, but it’s so dragged out that it’s probably not healthy either. a freak accident like being hit by a car…at least that’s explained. but shit…one split second and he’s gone. no rhyme or reason…no explanation. my mind just can not wrap around that fact. not like it matters, he’s gone anyways.
i think what hurts the most is how good it was with my sister and her boyfriend. they had plans. they had fucking awesome plans together. they barely ever argued. they were that couple. they had one of those relationships that once you have it, you don’t let go of it cause it’s that good. one of the things my sister has said in the past few days is she does not regret anything about their relationship, that she has said everything she has ever needed to say to him, she knows that he knew how she felt about him and loved him to the moon and back and back and back and back times infinity.
that freaking stupid saying “life is too short”. well fuck, that really hit home. i hate that saying cause i’ve heard it being said way too many times over the 27 years of my life. and while it’s supposed to encourage you to take risks and take that leap. more than ever right now, it’s teaching me to not fret about the small crap. get mad at your loved ones, but don’t forget to tell them you love them after no matter how pissed you are at them. love with all your heart. hug everyone tightly more often now. you just really never know when it’ll be your last chance. whatever it was that bothered you about them before, just let it go. it’s just not worth it. so not worth it. i find myself getting annoyed at facebook/ twitter updates that talk about how frustrated someone is over something idiotically petty and stupid. i want to tell them to shut up and buck up. if my sister can freaking go back and save a life in two weeks while going through this hell hole, they need to get a grip on their life and bring it back into perspective.
i know for a fact that it won’t be ok. i miss him terribly so. i want him back for selfish reasons because he loved my sister unconditionally. he made the world for her. i want him back cause he was more than a friend, but my brother. my heart aches and i cry. i’m so frustrated. i’m so frustrated that i can’t figure out what to do for my sister. i just really don’t know. i still have so many thoughts and i’m so confused. i don’t really know how to write it down. all of this is only part of what i’m thinking.
my next few weeks are involving a lot of travel. we will be saying goodbye to him next weekend in canada. i’ll be up in the bay area a lot from now on to do whatever i can for my sister and to be there for her. i really don’t know if that will help at all. i’m going to take a few weeks off from this blog til i’m not sure. i apologize in advance for putting features on hold. my sister and my family comes first. well that and my own sanity. i will be back, i just don’t really know when for right now. it won’t be long cause i know he would have told me that life has to move on and not to ever let go of something this dear to me. i love this blog to pieces.
i want to thank my dear dear friends who have sent me messages of love, support and encouragement. i want to thank those who have kept my sister in their prayers and thoughts. i truly appreciate it. this community has always had my back and you have no idea how much it means to me. i am truly lucky to have you all in my life. for those that can physically be there for me, your hugs mean more to me than you will ever know. i apologize in advance for the burst of tears that happen when you hug me. for those who can’t physically be here but have been sending love and prayers over the interwebs, they are felt whole heartedly so thank you so much. thank you all for sticking through and reading all of this word for word.
to my sister, you already know how i feel. but know that i am here for you always. i’m in complete awe of how you are holding yourself together so gracefully. i know you will have your moments of breaking down and i will be there to hug you and hold you and try my best to hold you up and help you as best as i can. i love you and i will see you this sunday.
dear mikey, you meant the world to my sister. you meant the world to me because of what you meant to my sister. you will always be part of this family. thank you so much for loving her in a way only you could. thank you for taking care of me like a sister. you are so sorely missed. wherever you are, please keep looking after my sister and Cleo. i miss you and love you so. see you when i see you. xoxo.
i was suppose to blog tomorrow. but those of you who have been following my twitter and instagram feed know what’s up.
there aren’t going to be words or images here for the rest of this week as i sort out some personal matters.
all i ask in return is just prayers and strength for my sister and for mike’s family.
i’m going to try to be back next week.
back to the concrete jungle this week.
i’ll be frolicking around the city for day-time job work as well as meeting up with my best friends and photogs friends. and the main reason for going is friends are getting hitched! so excited.
there are plenty of throw confetti moments up ahead this week. so in order to be fully immersed with where i am at the moment and in the moment, i won’t be posting for a week.
an absolutely sweet engagement session.
all thanks to
for capturing this couple so fantastically.
the couple decided to use their neighborhood and the American River as the backdrop for their engagement session. definitely made for a good one, wouldn’t you say?
“Santa Cruz,CA is such a beautiful place to live it was only natural that Adam and I grew up with a love for the ocean. The first time we ever sailed was together on a catamaran in the BVI’s and it was so romantic. One of our close friends has a sail boat so we decided to get on board and set sail.
We went out in early October on a perfect, sunny day. We sailed out along our beautiful coast for about an hour and it was the best experience we could have had. The surrounding elements of wind, sun, and of course water set up for an absolutely breathtaking backdrop!”
major thanks to
for this gorgeous engagement session. loved the sailboat as a different kind of backdrop for an engagement session.
SUN AND LIFE PHOTOGRAPHY’S BLOG has much more of visual goodness, so go check it out!
staying afloat and finding balance. that’s what this past week has been about. so while i had my doubts about how well i was doing, i had the reassurance of my boss that i was doing perfectly well. i took some deep breaths, perhaps sung a few phrases from sound of music’s “i have confidence”, and tackled work head on this week. thankful for the long weekend where i did absolutely nothing and didn’t think one bit. i also took a step back from making too many efforts to hang out with too many people. i am a social butterfly, but after stressful days at work, i’d rather very much be a homebody. i’ve also added walking to and fro work now. i guiltily admit that i live about a 10 to 15 minute walk from work and i’ve been driving there for awhile now. i think these walks have helped me clear my mind for the morning and clear my mind after work is done. plus, don’t mind the fact that i can listen to more music that way too.
so i am staying afloat. no meltdowns this week. miraculously. well maybe some cuss words here and there, but all in good fun and around great coworkers at my day-time job. i’ve got this totally. and balance…well, i’m not sure if we ever find that. that’s a trial and error- work in progress- sort of job for me. but for now, walks to work, music in my ears, text messages, google hangouts, and mayhaps a meetup once a week is all i can bear right now. i need to remember to feel like me and take time to do that.
anyways, didn’t mean to ramble. here’s this week’s confetti throw fridays! sidenote, there are six images instead of the usual five. this is what happens when you’re subscribed to 130 wedding photographer blogs. so deal with it. #sorryimnotsorry
it’s becoming harder and harder to pick these. i suppose it’s the best kind of problem to have though, right?
have a great weekend! see you all next week!
sometimes at the time a couple gets married, they might be tight on their budget and missed out on getting the images they wanted to. so flash forward a few years and they are able to have an anniversary shoot with an amazingly talented photographer like Aron Goss from
Aron’s work is always stunning and gorgeous. see for yourself over on HIS BLOG. be prepared to let your jaw drop from the amazingness.