“Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever. It remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.” — Aaron Siskind
Memories and all the emotions they bring are deeply personal and endlessly valuable portals. Around the holidays, memories seem to be at their most vivid. Take advantage of this, as they can bridge meaningful connections between you and your family. Photographs are a particularly wonderful instrument to evoke peace, comfort and happiness.
Reviewing photos can help you gain insight into your loved one’s life, as they recall experiences that are evoked by these special visual reminders. Even if your loved one can’t participate verbally, they can still enjoy being involved in reflecting on images from the past through smiles or gestures. Additionally, photos inspire interaction and are perfect for those seeking ways to make a genuine connection, like grandchildren.
Consider crafting a lovely homemade photo album or preserving photos in a nicely decorated memory box, allowing them to be passed around and easily changed. Other options include digitized books and albums, which can become a future treasure for family members.
A few helpful pointers: Label each large photo with names, date and event, so that details can be easily referenced. Include photos from childhood to present day. Photos should be presented chronologically to support comprehension. Even if your loved one can’t quite recall all the specifics, photos still create peace and happiness.
I would be happy to provide recommendations if you are interested in creating a photo-themed holiday gift: firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-946-7700. Don’t forget to take pictures!
Marilyn Rippetoe, LCSW
Director of Family Services