The Beacon: 2024 04/07

In today's world, photos are an integral part of our lives like never before. Remember when you had to go to your local studio to have your family pictures taken? Now, our phones can do the job instantly, capturing our daily adventures. Social media platforms give us a place to share these moments with everyone. But with so many photos, bereaved parents face a unique challenge: What to do with all the photos and videos of deceased family members, both those that have been taken and those that have yet to be taken?

I remember the emotional moment when the team took their first group swim photo after Texa died. Texa's absence overshadowed what should have been a fun-filled day during the Summer Splash swim meet. As teammates gathered for a group picture, Jerry and I smiled through our tears, feeling the sadness of Texa's absence deep in our hearts. We imagined her standing there proudly, wearing her Sectional cap, surrounded by her friends. Despite my inner turmoil, I watched the team posing for photos, each member wearing a silver swim cap bearing her last name. The resulting images were a reminder of her absence and captured the complex emotions we felt that day.

We used to send Christmas cards featuring many of Texa's accomplishments, but since she passed away, I stopped sending them. I don't know how to incorporate Texa's absence into these happy images. It's not just recent photos - existing snapshots, digital images, videos, and social media profiles all serve as reminders of Texa's vibrant personality.

CS. Lewis accurately addresses the struggle between memory and reality in times of grief, and he's spot on. While photographs are valuable, they only capture fleeting moments and do not fully capture the true spirit of our daughter. Over time, these images remind us of her gradual disappearance from our lives.

I'm determined not to turn our home into a shrine, but finding the balance is hard. Preserving Texa's memory amid fading memories is a constant battle. I wish there were a way to stop this gradual fading and honor Texas for who she was - a vibrant, accomplished person who still lives in our hearts.

The challenge lies in holding onto Texa's true self amidst the fading memories. It's a fight against reducing her to just an image. We're trying to keep her true character alive amidst the ever-changing nature of the photos. But despite our longing for a solution, the way forward remains unclear, leaving me wishing for a way to keep Texa's spirit alive forever.

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