8.23.08: a day of reverence.

I hold it true, whate’er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
‘Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.

– alfred lord tennyson

today marks the start of my fall wedding season. over the next four months i will be documenting the love + lives of 16 amazing couples who have chosen me as their photographer, and i am so excited for each of them. having just returned from europe i am anxious to embark on this second half of a very busy year, continually honored and overwhelmed by all my incredible clients. 

however, i write this post filled instead with sadness, confusion, and despair. my heart is heavy, my thoughts disjointed, and i fear that words cannot express the magnitude of the tragedy i am about to share.

today, august 23, 2008, was the date of eric + laura’s wedding day. eric + laura were planning an intimate late summer wedding when i met them earlier this year and i was thrilled when they chose me (eric being very passionate and knowledgeable about photography). just last month we had a fantastic engagement session at great falls. last friday eric and i corresponded about the big day, finalizing times and locations via email from spain. he was so excited and i couldn’t wait to return to the states and capture their wedding.

arriving home wednesday night, i received the most devastating news: eric had died suddenly of a brain aneurysm. laura’s mother had called and emailed me, informing me of the tragedy. i was in complete shock. i stood staring at my phone, unable to comprehend the news. days later, i am still in shock. death is never easy to accept, but far more confounding when it happens so suddenly, to a young, healthy, vibrant person…and at such a tragic time in his life. i mourn for this loss every day, and my heart pours grief for laura, who lost her beloved fiancé, just days before her wedding.

i’m having a very difficult time resolving my emotions, or focusing on anything, but i know my sadness is nothing compared to that of eric’s family and friends, and everyone who knew and loved him. 

i write to honor eric’s memory, and to share again some of the images from eric + laura’s engagement session – which will forever be among the most beautiful and important photos i have ever taken.

 

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13 Comments

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13 responses to “8.23.08: a day of reverence.

  1. MK

    This is such a sad post to read, and I am very saddened by Eric’s death.

  2. k.a.s.

    it’s been a rough week all around for you… thinking about you himay. hugsandlove.

  3. Kat

    Jaime, your passion is capturing people at some of the happiest times in their lives. I hope you are able to realize that while pictures are very important to people, these pictures will be priceless to those who loved Eric as you were able to capture him in love and life. You have provided such a beautiful gift of documenting these memories and his joy.

    I obviously didn’t know Eric, but I am very sorry for all that his family and fiance are going through during this unimaginably difficult time.

  4. What an unimaginable tragedy. My heart goes out to the families and to you in this difficult time. The engagement photos will be treasured forever.

  5. This just breaks my heart. It’s amazing that you were able to come into their lives briefly and provide them with beautiful images that Laura and Eric’s family will no doubt treasure forever.

  6. 5rings

    I have never even met them and I found myself thinking about them all day today, knowing that today should have been a day of celebration rather than mourning. My thoughts are with both familes.

  7. Julia

    I am speechless. What a blessing you were able to capture such amazing photos of them at GF for Laura to treasure. I am utterly shaken by reading this and i didn’t even know them.

  8. Kim

    jaime. it’s one of the saddest things i’ve heard in so long and i haven’t stopped thinking about them since you told me. i don’t know what to say other than my heart goes out to them and that you created a wonderful and moving tribute.

  9. Jillian

    It has taken me a few days to try to figure out what to write and I still don’t quite know. This is a heartbreaking situation and my thoughts are with the family and friends of this couple, but especially with Laura. The photos and your descriptions are a wonderful tribute to them and to Eric.

  10. Rick, Eric's brother

    This past week has been the most difficult time of my life. It went from a time where family and friends were anticipating a joyous wedding for Eric and Laura to a time of deep sadness. I know that Eric and Laura’s family and friends have found some comfort viewing these engagement photos. They have captured Eric’s love of Laura, life, and nature in a way I thought wasn’t possible with a photograph. We will truly treasure these photos forever. Thank you.
    Rick S. , Eric’s brother

    Rest in Peace, Eric
    10/21/73 – 8/20/08

  11. Jamie,

    My heavy heart absolutely goes out to Eric’s family and Laura. It’s so difficult to wrap one’s head around tragedy like this. On some level, you should feel good in knowing that your photographs will remain a permanent record of Eric and Laura’s love.

    All the best,
    Joey

  12. Kristina, friend of Laura

    In all of the pictures I have seen of Laura and Eric, they both have the biggest smiles. They were happiest when the other was happy. These photographs are amazing and are an absolute testament to the love for one another that is possible. It does give me strength to know that Laura will have all of these beautiful, honest, and sincere images forever.

    Thank you for capturing Laura and Eric at their finest.

  13. Suzie Peters

    Great Falls is a place that I frequented to mourn a loss in my life or just to meditate, as a highschool student, when I knew Eric. It was a spiritual place for me. These photos show such genuine happiness. I have to say that to me Laura and Eric had already made a life commitment to one another and a wedding is a time for a couple to show that commitment to their family and friends. Well, Laura and Eric, we know that you were already there, and these photos show us that. Thank you Jaime for sharing. Laura, I think of you often and am so saddened by your loss and to you and Eric’s parents and siblings, I simply can’t imagine the pain and I hope that the growth is not far off.

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