“Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity.”
~ Henry Van Dyke
This is, without question, the hardest post I’ve ever had to write. When I did this Post-Wedding shoot, I’d even started planning what I would say when I blogged it; how I met Cristelle and Jacques years ago at separate times, in separate places, and only realised when I found Cristelle on Facebook about four or five years ago that these two nice people I’d known in the early 2000s were actually a couple. They got engaged, and eventually planned a lovely DIY wedding in August 2011. As a friend, I desperately wanted to attend their wedding as a guest, and not as a photographer, so I gave them a post-wedding shoot as my wedding gift to them.
One European honeymoon later, and one crazy Christmastime later, we finally got to do the shoot together.
Three weeks later I got the call from one of our mutual friends: Jacques had died of an unexpected heart attack. I was dazed, shocked and numbed.
“But I just saw him,” was all I could keep saying to myself. To make a horrible situation ridiculously sadder, I had, just a few days earlier, emailed Jacques a photo I’d taken of him alone, specifically for him to send to his publisher to use on his first novel, which was due for publication the following month. It felt so completely stupid and wrong that this lovely, philosophical guy who made my friend so happy, and who was on the eve of being a published author, should just pass away without any warning. So, so wrong.
I still don’t get it. Honestly, I don’t think I ever will. But I’m happier than I ever would be under normal circumstances, that I took these photos. And that photo above, of Jacques holding the pocket watch he wore on his wedding jacket? Unbelievably poignant and full of a meaning it didn’t have before.