I have found that, since Jason died, I crave beauty. Sometimes that craving is so strong I can hardly contain it. I feel like I’m always looking for a beautiful place to go for a drive or place to take pictures, especially on weekends. Beautiful days, golden sunrises or sunsets, foggy mornings, raindrops on flowers – all make me want to skip work and find someplace to take photographs so that I can capture the beauty. I drive through the Biltmore Estate again and again to take photographs of the various flowers as they bloom (thank goodness for season passes!). We drive the Blue Ridge Parkway each weekend in the fall, looking for a perfect place to capture the autumn colors or a sunset. It’s as though I am trying to capture beauty to compensate for the brokenness I feel and for the depth of grief I try to hide. I’ve written about this a couple of times, and have posted links here to those posts.

The picture above from Ellie’s Way came up on my Facebook feed this morning, and made me think about the time six months after Jason’s death that one of Joe’s contracts (the Westin Hotel Seattle) gave us a wonderful gift of beauty when we were so exhausted and in need of a time away. I am forever grateful for their kindness; I don’t think we could have made it without it.

It also made me very aware of how much I crave beauty. I don’t think I will ever get my fill, because that brokenness and grief will always be with me and inside of me.


© 2017 Rebecca R. Carney

All photographs are specifically taken by and owned by Rebecca R. Carney and may not be copied or saved without permission.

16 thoughts on “Beauty

  1. Beauty is certainly all around us as your photos clearly capture. I find your need for beauty interesting (I hope that doesn’t offend!) and it reminds me of the book, Year of Pleasures in which the main woman is mourning the loss of her husband. She finds comfort (as much as is possible, anyway) in life’s little pleasures. BEAUTY is absolutely one of life’s pleasures.

    • Thank you, Valerie. I am not necessarily a naturally good photographer. I have to really concentrate and focus (no pun intended) on trying to capture the beauty I see. Some people seem to have a knack to capture things with a camera; I have to work harder at it than that. But, perhaps it gives me the opportunity to train myself to notice the beauty in this world rather than the ugliness or sadness.

  2. These are beautiful pictures. I, also, have found great comfort in the beauty all around us. I always did, but I think our senses are more sensitive our surroundings. I also think it makes us feel closer to God and we know our sons are with him.

    • Thank you, Kathleen. I agree with you, too – I think our senses are more sensitive to our surroundings…and in many other ways. People talk about a deeper empathy and awareness following the death of a child, and I think that is true. I have always appreciated beauty around me, but have never craved it like I do now at times.

  3. Oh Becky, it is touching to know how beauty brings some comfort to you. One day, I am hopeful you will feel less broken. It’s such a long journey. I think beauty inspires “awe” – and our faith is shaken to the core when we lose our beloved child. Feeling awe helps me realize there must be something more out there and I feel like my son is with me at those moments.
    Thinking of you and sending a big hug.

  4. I am blessed by beauty and other times, chafe at the surface level of beauty lauded, when I regress to deep mourning, for my son. For so many years, I’ve held the mantra in my head, “sometimes, I need to escape into the beauty to deal with the loss” AND sometimes, I’m blessed by the loss, for now I recognize and treasure, so much of the beauty around me, that, in reality, I missed before, cuz I didn’t need or appreciate the escape afforded all around me” – – To me, it’s two sides of the same coin – had I not known the searing loss – I wouldn’t, I believe, so treasure the lil’ beauties that show up, so often to be treasured – – not sure if this is the “TRUE” story, but, for me, understanding both the escape AND the appreciation, bring me comfort – 🙂 But, I’m rather a long time fan of ‘whatever works’ for the days I wake up and it hits me, once again, as if it were yesterday.

    • After Jason died, I remember looking at the spring flowers that were blooming, and wondering how anything of beauty could still exist in a world that, for me, was so full of darkness, ugliness and pain. Perhaps it’s a yin/yang type of thing – the beauty and the pain fitting together and trying to find a way to balance each other out.

  5. Thank you for giving me a new perspective on my photography hobby. When Joe and I were married, my hobby went by the wayside thanks to life in general. After he passed I found my film camera and upgraded to a Digital one. I’ve taken thousands of picture the past 9 years. Now I know why, deep down I’m looking for beauty in the ashes of Joe’s passing and trying to rebuild a career that pays the bills.

  6. Thank you for sharing your heart felt emotions, I am new to blogging and reading blogs and yours is just what I needed. I am deeply sorry for your loss. I appreciate your words. I too have lost a son. It’s been 10years and the journey is long, the road winds side to side and up and down. I’m am still breathlessly coughs off guard at times and wonder how I have survived it. My difficult emotion has been pleasure and joy. I am grateful too that I will be together in heaven with him someday, but being without him now is challenging😔

  7. Pingback: Hard to say goodbye | Grief: One Woman's Perspective

  8. Pingback: Easter 2022 | Grief: One Woman's Perspective

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s