A Mother and Daughter Butterfly Release - in Memory of Their Beloved Husband and Father
Aug 2, 2017 | By: Stefanie Cole Photography
Every photo shoot is a unique experience, but I have to say that this is one I will never forget. When Sharon booked a session to have photographs taken with her daughter, Cassidy, she mentioned that she would like to incorporate her late husband, Greg. Greg passed away a few months ago unexpectedly, and it was important to both of us that he be a part of this.
Sharon had the idea to release butterflies in Greg's memory, which I thought was a wonderful idea. Throughout the shoot, we talked to Cassidy about how the butterflies would bring kisses up to Daddy in heaven. We unwrapped the box, and Cassidy was completely in awe. Some flew away, some lingered in the rose garden, and a few even landed on our fingers and hands. Sharon and Cassidy snuggled in the grass, talking about how happy Daddy must be to be receiving this gift from his girls.
What these pictures don't show is that Sharon had brought Greg's wedding ring with her so he'd be even more a part of the shoot, and halfway through the session realized it was gone. We looked and looked, but had no luck. As the sky grew darker and raindrops seemed like they might be approaching, we agreed to move ahead with the pictures. My heart was broken for her, because what should have been a wonderful and healing experience had taken a terrible turn.
After the session, we both went home and turned to the powers of social media. Our posts were shared in several local moms groups and with friends and family. The following day, Sharon returned on her lunch break to find that several dozen complete strangers had gone to the park to help look throughout the morning. While retracing her steps with a gentleman who had brought his metal detector, a little girl (again, a complete stranger to Sharon and I) approached her and said "is this the ring?". Amazingly, the ring was found in a huge open field, under the most beautiful weeping willow tree. Sharon and her late husband's wedding ring had been united.
That day, I hope, showed Sharon that although it may often feel that way, she is never alone. There are always people all around you who care, who love you, and who want to help...even if you don't know them. I always knew this to be true, but I feel it even more after this session...pictures are so much more than pictures. They are an experience, they can be healing, and they can be a catalyst for moving forward. Maybe this experience, albeit a stressful one, was just what Sharon needed. And my hope is that whenever she and Cassidy look at these pictures, they will be reminded of the day that they were surrounded by love, empathy and compassion. We might not always be looking for your ring in the rose garden, but the love is always there.