My hubby is a creative photographer and one of the perks (not for me) that come with it is that he gets to be with the incredibly beautiful girls at the most beautiful locations. No, he is not a fashion photographer. He is a wedding photojournalist, doing documentary style photography catching people with their most genuine emotions and telling a story. What more, he even gets to go to the places where no boys are allowed, I mean the bride is getting ready and he is there on the pretext of clicking her and her friends! Yeah, it involves behind the scenes too. Are you boys jealous?
On any assignment, he is virtually with the couple and their immediate families like a shadow. I usually keep hearing stories about how this girl was looking so glamorous, another one who kept posing for shots, and another one who kept hovering around, and also the one who had a figure to die for. But this time when he came back home, there were no girl stories. He had something else on his mind. The guy who was getting married had lost his younger brother just a year back in a car crash in US. What amazed my hubby was the way his parents were behaving. The usual reaction by parents who has just lost their son (a year is not a long time) would be grief stricken eyes and sudden outbursts just remembering him wishing what if fate hadn’t played a spoil sport especially on a happy occasion.
On the contrary, there was not even a single moment where they let go of the happiness and allowed the grief to take over. For a moment, I thought were they in denial? But that was not the case. They talked about their son as if he was right there with them, even if it was in the form of a photograph. A smiling endearing face, which was just a memory in anyone’ eye was not a memory after all. For them he was living, not in flesh and blood perhaps but some far off place. There was no use of past tense with anything describing him. I wonder if this was the feeling, his existence somewhere, that gave them the strength.
They were not sad and whenever they talked of him, there was gleam of light in their eyes. I am sure it would not have been an easy journey; coming to terms with something as real yet as unacceptable as death and moving on to a stage where they could talk about him with content and pride and not tears in eyes. I am sure there were many questions they had to put to rest – Why us? Why our son? They must have fought for even the slightest ray of hope to bring their life back to normal. It is not easy to start living life and looking at the future with your loved ones no longer in it.
Will they ever forget? I am sure they won’t. Will they not miss him? I am sure they will, all their life. It is just that they know that he would never be at rest if they keep grieving. He is no longer with them but he is certainly at some happy place feeling proud that his family remembers him for the 21 years of togetherness and not what life could have been if he hadn’t gone.