Before and After Photos

April 30, 2018

2016:

I had my photo taken yesterday for a new headshot.
I ended up crying when I saw the proofs.
Not for the typical reasons you might imagine.
But for what I saw and didn’t see in my eyes.
I hadn’t yet noticed in detail
the nuanced ways grief had etched itself into my face.

I kept going back and forth between “before and after” photos.

Then I called my sister. I told her how the photos upset me. We talked about it.
She reminded me that my old photo was taken six months before Mom died.
“In fact, Mom helped you pick out the one you’ve been using”, she said.

“We were still innocent”, she said. “We didn’t really know what was ahead of us”

So true.

2018

Over two years have passed since I wrote the above. Since then I’ve compared many “before and after” photos.

I’ve looked at my own photos and those of my siblings.

We six siblings, aka Team Boyle, do a group photo a few times per year. (We’ve been in group photos for over 60 yrs since Mom and Dad started sending out Christmas photos.)

This year I noticed that everyone looked happier and lighter. Finally!

The stress of caring for beloved parents on hospice or in memory care has eased. We’ve sold their property and divided their estate.

We made it!

And the photos agree.

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