This female great horned owl is keeping her owlets warm. In a couple weeks, they will be big enough for me to get a peek at them. Great horned owls are opportunistic nesters. They will take over abandoned bird nests, squirrel nests, and even man-made nests as this family has done. Great horned owls have a 5 mile radius of territory, which means this lady, her mate, and their owlets are the only great horned owls for five miles.
It's been almost two months since my dad passed away. It's hard to put into words the sense of loss, loneliness, agony, desperation, denial, surrealism, etc. that comes with grief. I haven't felt much up to working with anyone, yet, but Kory contacted me to see how I was doing and if there was anyone I'd want to start back into image making with, it's her. We've worked together many times, we are friends, and she's excellent and interpreting what I'm trying to say in images. We just get each other.
So, today, we talked for a couple hours before we eased into shooting. Or should I say I cried and talked, she listened. Then she filled me in on the happenings in her life and I listened. It was great to catch up and in a way, it was cathartic to just let it all out.
I felt like my head was in a cloud of emotions. On top of that, it's a strange thing that we have to "erase" evidence that someone existed after they pass. Within the first two weeks, you have to remove their name from all documents. Along with "erasing" evidence of my dad's existence, I felt like I was erasing a large part of my history.
Most days, I no longer want to get out of bed. I go through the motions. I do what society expects of me, but I feel dead inside. When I don't feel dead, I'm torn apart, hollow, empty, and at times, I'm crying so much I don't think I'll ever stop.
Society is uncomfortable with death and grief. People feel awkward around someone who is grieving and they don't want to be around the dying or the elderly. Maybe it's because they have to face their own mortality and feelings, but the reality is that we will all die and we should learn to be compassionate and kind to those around us, especially the elderly. They are alone. The best gift you can give anyone is your time.
I am a Warren, MI based photographer.