Coping with Grief and Loss

Personal | 9 October 2014

This year has been a challenging year for me and majority of people in my community. My Facebook feed has not been one happy, light hearted one like it normally was. You may call it bad feng-shui, or there is a conspiracy theory behind, or fate, or just pure bad luck… no one knows WHY all these bad things happened. Only our very own Creator, the Big Guy up there will know…

Quite a number of my friends and acquaintances were directly & indirectly affected by the tragedies of MH370 and MH17. Some lost their loved ones, some had to cope with changes in the airlines industry due to their work nature, and some suffered emotional traumas not only from losing their loved ones, but having to face so many uncertainties in the feat to find closure & moving on in their existing lives.

I personally lost two people I know in one of these ill-fated flight. I have to grieve for this lost. For grieving is a nature’s way towards healing. My very main thoughts were towards their young children. So in my journey to find closure, I turned to photography and old photographs.

I am determined to do whatever I can to help their children heal from their great lost. Overnight, they lost both their parents, their pillar of life. Although they may seem too young to understand, but I know they are confused & hurting inside. I want to ensure that they will remember their parents through the photos I have taken of them together. It was a beautiful time together. And those memories should be one of the way to help them move on with their lives positively.

For people who know me well enough, I am a person who has to handle too many things at one time. Each day, time always seem to run out before I get to complete them all. Running a business from home, dealing with clients’ needs amidst my shooting schedule, editing which can never see the end of day, managing my household, providing for the needs of my family members, and the list just goes on and on. If I am a super human that can go without sleep, oh what would I have accomplished every day!

Asther Lau Photography

My family imprinted on wall canvas, a constant reminder of how much we love each other.

Well… with the lost of my friends & the awakening call of these two tragedies that is just too close to home, something awoke in me once again. Being a fulltime photographer, I slowly fell into the trap of oblivion and responsibilities. I had forgotten how important captured moments are to my own family & myself. I had been so busy ensuring my clients’ memories are captured for their keepsakes, I almost forgot about my own memories and my family’s.

So recently, I decided it’s time I start the long awaiting projects I have meant to do many years ago. All those digital files in my hard discs must see the daylight! I decided to sacrifice some part of my precious time to compile & print out photos of my mother’s travel photos into an album. With the help of Photobook Malaysia and Facebook, I managed to create two albums so far from my mum’s photos. And I managed to create an album for Haley with my instagram journeys last year.

As I go deeper into this personal project, I realized these photos are not only for my mum’s keepsake. They are for me and everyone else who loves her too. My thought slowly focused back to myself. And I found myself feeling kinda sad. For I have not documented that many memories of my own with my family. I am always the one behind the camera. Occasionally, hubby will take some photos of me and my loved ones if he is present. But I think I could have done better & more!

This process of thoughts will hopefully keep reminding myself to take more photos, and have myself in them more too in the future. Haley and everyone else who loves me will need these photos to grieve & heal in the unforeseen event that I am gone one day. (but not too soon I pray! *touch wood*)

This is what I have learned this year. From now on… I need to take it slower & focus more on what is important. My family, then my business & clients. Not forgetting my own personal needs (for I have neglected it much too often cos of the first two). For now… I shouldn’t let deadlines dictate my life. I will still do my very best in what I do, but I should not be trapped into forgetting everything else & my loved ones.

I hope this blog post will be a reminder to all my readers to do the same in your lives. Take more photos, catalogue them well, print them out, share them out to your loves ones and continue to create memories together. Life is indeed too short.

Quote by Cesare Pavese

Quote by Cesare Pavese

xoxo
Asther

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