52/2017 Project: Week 23 | Jacksonville, FL Photographer

I feel strange posting this in the middle of all that’s happened since it was taken. Week 23. I took this minutes before the worst news I’ve heard in such a long time. Life doesn’t go on, not just yet. This is probably what many of us will be doing all weekend.

The larger photography community I call home, as well as my tribe of girlfriends who are so so important to me, have lost a part of ourselves in our friend Sam’s passing. Details are hard to come by and I am okay with that, but just in case, I feel compelled to just put into the universe that telling someone you’re there for them isn’t enough. It feels good to say it, and I have no doubt everyone who says it truly does mean it, but if you see someone going through something heavy, you just have to put your hand out for them.

They just aren’t going to come to you. I think everyone has felt that they are a burden at some point, whether large issue or small. It does not take a large leap of logic to realize that sometimes, some of us feel that everyone would have an easier life if they did not have the burden of our problems on their shoulders. I have felt that way, more than once. I could not break through that fog to reach out for a loving embrace or a kind word.

So many people have dozens or more friends that they try to keep up with through social media, so it can be very hard to slice out time. It can be emotionally exhausting. And sometimes it won’t even help. But that is absolutely no excuse not to try.

Even if you feel like an idiot and you aren’t really sure what to say, a phone call or even just a stupid text or facebook message can be life altering in ways neither of you might even see at the time.

Sam leaves behind two absolutely gorgeous and incredible young ladies as well as an entire world who loves her. Nobody might even see this, but her family needs help. There is a GoFundMe for her funeral and for her two little girls who are going to have such a long hard road ahead.

The world is darker without your shining eyes Sam. We will miss you so much.

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