….love (and loss) in a time of COVID

June 2020

I took the iPhone image below this past weekend when I was lucky enough to get a haircut.  It’s a stark contrast to the last time I sat in that chair at ‘Bliss’ hair salon https://bliss-hairstudio.com…..back then on January 18th, 2020 at about 11:00 am, all was well in my world, in fact, things had never been better.  Given the New Year was still fresh, my stylist and I chatted about our plans.  For me it included practising my sailing skills, a trip to the UK for my brother’s wedding in August (with me as their wedding photographer) and a jaunt to Australia in the Fall to go sailing with friends.  The deep-seated feeling that’s haunted me on and off over the years that….”life is too good to be true” and “something is bound to go wrong” was not plaguing me that day.  So I walked out of Bliss feeling on top of the world, with a trendy haircut and ready to go to a sailing club social meet up that afternoon with darling husband.  A couple of hours later I received a phone call from the UK that would change my life forever.

Love is an intense and interesting emotion, if we are lucky we experience it for many people, places and things throughout our life.  What I didn’t realize until January 18th, 2020, when I learned that my younger brother (38) had been killed that day in a motorcycle accident, was the exclusivity and uniqueness of the love we have for any of the aforementioned.  When the person is gone, you still have all the love for them in you, but there is nowhere to put it…..they are no longer there to receive it and it turns into pain.  The amount of pain is commensurate to the amount of love.  A love that can’t be redirected to anyone else, because it was for the one person only.

I shared some of the feelings I have for my beloved brother in a blog I posted in 2015 after he came to visit us in Vancouver, Canada. https://carrymycamera.com/2015/03/27/o-brother-where-art-thou/  I knew then it was a really special time we were able to spend together and I am more thankful than ever now that we made it happen.

Our family’s armour has a deep chink in it from a blow that has left us all reeling and searching to make sense of what has happened – knowing that we really never will. Terence Michael Gerrard –  brother to me and my two sisters, an only son to loving parents, a dad to 3 daughters and a stepson, a fiancé to his wife to be, an uncle, a nephew, a cousin and a friend to so many, with a smile that would never fail to melt your heart, lived his life to the fullest.  He was a legend.

The loss of my brother has been compounded due to COVID19, by the inability for loved ones to grieve in person, to feel the comfort of loving arms and share a box of tissues in the same space when the inevitable wave of emotions rush in and out like a tsunami.  That said, the “distant” support we have received from friends and relatives has been incredible – we are loved.  We are also a close knit family, we have always looked after each other and we will make it through this.

My heart is heavy with grief at the moment, and I don’t know when I’ll be able to “carry my camera” again, but I know I will, and so will keep my blog going and await the time when inspiration moves me to experience the joy in doing something I love to do.



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