As part of the grieving process, we tend to sit and spend time looking at photos of ourselves and our loved ones. We remember the good times and cry over the fact that they are gone. Indeed there is a general suggestion that we create a photo album of our loved one so that we have something to remember them by. But what if doing so actually causes us more pain than needed?
Photos are an incredibly recent invention. Before that we had paintings and not everyone had a picture created of themselves. It was something that was reserved for the rich. Therefore, it wasn’t common for people to have pictures of their loved ones. Photos have therefore changed how we grieve.
They can become tools of torture. We stare at them wondering what our loved one would look like now. We focus on past memories and torment ourselves that we can never have more events like this. What benefit can come from this? We are caught up in a past that no longer is and a future that can never be creating sadness in the now.
If we look to nature there is no such thing as photos. Nature is not concerned with what existed in the past or what will be in the future. It focuses on and accepts the now. Can you imagine a tree standing cuddling its branches mourning the loss of its leaves in winter as it stares at a picture of itself in summer?
So the next time you find yourself looking at pictures of your loved one and becoming overwhelmed by grief, put the photos away. Sit quietly with your eyes close and focus on the love that exists between you and your loved one. Forget what they looked like, for that is gone. Yet the love still remains and can provide you more comfort than a photo ever can.
I’m not saying go and throw all your photos out and never think about what your loved one looked like ever again. Personally I like knowing that I have photos there should I want to look at them or show them to people. Yet funnily enough, I never want to.