As a news photographer, I've covered my share of funerals. Difficult and even awkward at times being a stranger with a camera in the middle of other people's sadness, I've certainly gained new perspective having lost someone close to me.
I gotta tell you, I'm glad I've always tried to carry myself with a little compassion and lots of common sense in regards to what's appropriate. I could very easily have a lot to feel guilty about at this point if I hadn't.
It's never going to be more than I can bear, but the pain of losing someone close is a difficult thing in ways that I would have never imagined.
Thank you all, I am holding up with the support of my family and friends, but it's a heartrending process to endure.
The most tearful moments so far? That came when one of my brother's best friends (Hey, Daryl!) presented a slideshow of old photographs showing many forgotten happy moments from my brother's life.
Woo, let me tell you, there wasn't a dry eye in the mortuary and I'm kind of gauging the success of the presentation by the number of people who had to step outside because they just couldn't watch.
That was some good stuff there.
You can bet it's going to be on my mind the next time I have to record someone as they leave a church or I pan and zoom looking for a tearful face as a casket is lowered into the ground.
I've never had a problem balancing being who I am and doing a job that doesn't really actually require me to be, you know humane. It's possible that I've missed a shot or two because I believe in doing what's right.
I'm sleeping a little easier tonight knowing that I have gone out of my way at times to be considerate of what someone else might be experiencing.
Having seen a part of life through my own tears and grief, I hope to never add to someone else's.