Have you seen the movie Coco??
It's not a secret that I am a crier, and last night was definitely no exception. I saw the movie last year and watched it again last night. Boy did it hit me hard.
The film is based on the Mexican holiday of the Day of the Dead. This is where family put out all their photographs of loved ones, and in remembering them it allows them to cross back over for one night. In the film it was clear that family and love were everything. Nothing else mattered. It struck me as so deep and so profound that this family continued to love, and celebrate their loved ones no matter how long they had been gone, and in doing so, kept their memories alive.
What caught my attention (no surprises here) was the importance of the photographs, but how they were used as a tool to remember. The photographs acted as a connection between those here and those on the other side, and it affected me so much because it's exactly how I feel about the power of photographs.
Photographs allow us to remember people as they were. To remember the aliveness, the passion, the vibrancy, no matter what sort of condition our loved one was in when they left. They allow us to celebrate who we are and where we came from, and to keep their memory alive.
My husband Stevie and I were a bit upset when we realised that in terms of our family histories and where we came from, there is a lot that we don't know. We have committed to learning from our parents and grandparents as much as we can, and I am starting a photo wall in our house where we will have framed photographs of all our loved ones, on this side or the other.
Here is a photo of my Granddad who is on the other side, and this is how I choose to remember him. It's a screenshot of a print, but that doesn't even matter. It'll still be one of the first portraits to go on the wall :)