Friday, January 04, 2008
the Reverend Mark Welch, rest in peace
On New Year's Day my best friend's father, the Reverend Mark Welch, passed away, surrounded by his family. They had known it was coming, but it doesn't matter, nothing can prepare you for death. He had been sick for a while and so Dodie asked me to take some family pictures for them at her son's birthday party last June.
Of course I would take these pictures. But it was one of the most difficult things I had to shoot. Everyone was so upbeat and positive and was having fun. But ever present in my mind was the fact that these were most likely the last family pictures they would ever take.
I hovered on the brink of breaking down the entire time as I watched my best friend and her family with her Dad, going through this, being peppy and bright. Funny even. Dodie and I were cracking jokes left and right trying to make her husband laugh. She even got up on the trampoline and bounced around and I caught this silliness and it's place in this whole ritual, as if it was nothing new. Just another funny antic during a family photo shoot.
But I welcomed it and it's seeming normalcy gladly- it gave me an easy out from having to face the reality that this was going to be the last time I saw her Dad alive.
At the end of our shoot I approached him alone and asked him how he was doing. He said he was tired, but good. Happy. Glad we had the chance to take pictures with his family.
It hits me at various times throughout my life how important pictures are in our lives. This, clearly, was one of those times- I am so glad I was able to do this for my oldest friend in the world.
Rest in peace, Rev. You will be missed.