How does one begin to process the loss of a parent? Or for that matter, both parents in a very short period of time.

I recently lost both of my parents.

First, my father to a 13 year battle with a rare blood disease.

Then, two weeks later, my mother lost a short battle with an extremely aggressive form of cancer.

I’m reeling. My emotions are all over the place. But when I think about the two of them, I think about love.

They taught me about love.

They loved me deeply and unconditionally and always told me how much they loved me. I never doubted that. And that makes me feel incredibly lucky.

But what makes me feel even luckier is to have witnessed their love for one another.

They were constantly giving each other signs of affection. Even up until the very end, they were blowing each other kisses.

54 years of marriage. And love.

It seems fitting that I am a wedding photographer since my parents met at a wedding. My mother was a bridesmaid and she thought my dad was the date of one of the other bridesmaids…and she wasn’t happy about it.

Meanwhile, my dad was in charge of driving the wedding party around and he kept adjusting the rear view mirror…not to look at the road behind him, but to see my mom!

My mother said to me shortly after my dad passed, “I’ve loved him since I was sixteen. Since the first moment I saw him.”

I am very, very sad. I am going to miss them immensely and I am only just beginning to feel the weight of their loss.

But I also think about the many amazing memories I have of them.

I remember when I asked them what advice they had for newlyweds, and they told me this:

“Don’t sweat the small stuff. Laugh everyday. Love everyday. Touch, hold hands and kiss whenever you can. Enjoy each other.”

And I find myself thinking about the song my mother was whistling in bed in her final days…

Always look on the bright side…

self portrait

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