What I Want My Children to Know

travel-photographer-chamonix-france

I recently returned home after 4 days in France, at Mont Blanc, photographing the one and only destination wedding job I said yes to this year. A kind, beautiful, wonderful couple in a spectacular setting. I had decided this would be my last wedding abroad, not just this year, but for the foreseable future.

2017 has so far confirmed what I felt when I wrote this blogpost last august, sitting alone in the mountains in a Norwegian cabin. The changes I have made since then, have felt right!  And so, I think I will continue to listen to my heart and my gut.

So in the end of June I flew to France, knowing that it was kind of the grand finale to a hard but beautiful phase in my life and photography career.

When getting ready for a solo airplane trip, leaving my kids behind, is always the time when I am most accutely aware of what "lessons" I would like to pass on to them. I don't much like flying. Or rather should I say, the control freak part of me don't like flying. So basically the "fear" of dying from my kids at a young age, strips away all the daily parenting concerns about table manners, and the "don't tease your sister" conversations and leaves only the bare bones of what I think is important in life for my children to really take to heart. As someone who "lost" her mother at age 16 and then shortly after saw her wonderful aunt die of cancer and the consequences of this for the children left behind, this is what I would like my children to know, should they lose me at a young age:

1. It is okay to be sad. It is okay to be angry. It is okay to cry. It is okay to mourn.

2. It is okay to talk about the loved one you have lost! (I cannot emphasize this enough) Even if it makes you sad or makes you cry all over again. Even if it makes people around you sad, it is always okay to talk about the person you miss, all the wonderful memories you have of them, as well as your anger at the world (if you feel that) for "taking" this person away from you.

3. And maybe the MOST important one. It is okay to suddenly laugh if you see or experience something funny. It is okay to live your life and be happy. It is okay to move on. It does not mean that you are forgetting or abandoning the person who have died.

4. Don't let the loss of a loved one make you hard. Don't let it make your heart hard. Don't stay bitter and black. Forgive! Be kind, both to yourself and others. LOVE! And LIVE!