Healing from Grief Close Up

TULIPEYES“Use the macro setting on your camera,” says Kathy, teaching the photojournalism class at TC3. “See how close you can get and still maintain focus.”

“My camera doesn’t have that,” I insist, afraid if I press the menu button I’ll never return to normal function again.

“Look for the tulip icon,” says Trent, the student sitting nearby. “See, you have it. Just click on the tulip.”

“Whoa, um … thanks.” I plant the camera before my face to hide my sheepish glee. Then I take shots of my pack, my shoe, the computer and Trent. “Hey, it goes back to regular focus when I turn the camera off,” I say in disbelief. My world has just expanded and I still have some control.

The next day I take my camera with its newfound tulip button to my mother’s house in Massachusetts where I hover intimately close over flowers and a moth stunned by the rains. I peer into a cup of latte, discover caverns in my cake, and bend low to photograph my feet. I stalk the yarn store cat.

When I step closer to my sister to capture her blue eyes I find they have turned green. When I hold my hand in front of the camera I notice my nails need a manicure. With my new tulip-eyes I see things I never noticed or thought about before.  The past three years I have missed the intricate perfection in the world. Up close there is more beauty to be found. There are smudges and flaws.

I wonder what else I’ve missed since I was blindsided by grief. And why am I so desperate to hang onto normal all the time?

Step Closer
Song by Marika Warden

I close my eyes,
Go somewhere far away.
It’s no surprise
You’re standing in my way.
I turn to memories,
I turn to happy days.
I can’t rewind, instead my mind replays.
Step closer.  Come a little closer,
Come a little closer,
Come a little closer.
Step closer.
Step closer.

I can’t pretend
There’s something far from here.
It’s not the end,
Just whisper in my ear.
It’s not reality,
There’s nothing I can’t do.
It’s just a fantasy. ‘Cause I am here with you.
Get closer.  Come a little closer,
Come a little closer,
Come a little closer.
Get closer.


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