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Joanie Becker Schwartz

It was the morning of August 13, 2014 when I was getting ready to make the 5+ hour ride back to southern Oregon.My sister and I had both been at my brother’s home for many days, and she was unable to stay any longer. We had spent time with our brother, knowing that his time here in our physical world was drawing to a close. So, the morning of the 12th, I drove her home, spent the night at my house, and woke the next morning to get ready for the drive back up to Oregon to be with my brother, my sister in law, my nephew, and my niece. After taking a shower, I was blowing my hair dry and caught sight of this image staring back at me in the mirror. This was grief. Grief spoken without words; grief staring at me through my drying hair. The sadness in my eyes was palpable. I knew that our lives were about to change, change forever, with the loss of someone whom we love so much. I had had my phone close by and captured this: the image, for me, of grief, of loss, of sadness. I’m forever thankful, nonetheless, that our love can be so powerful and precious that it can cause such sadness. This is a gift. I made it back up to Oregon that day, in record time I might add. My brother died late that night.

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