A friend died… what does this have to do with photography?

Earlier this morning I attended a memorial service for a friend, a neighbour that died far too young.

We had talked off an on over the years when we would pass each other on the cul de sac. When my brother was dying of cancer Eugene always had a kind word for me and would lend me his ear as I worked through Dave’s downward spiral.

My neighbour had a blood disease and took early retirement a while ago. His treatments eventually stopped working and I saw less of him as I passed his house. I had a feeling that things weren’t going well for Eugene and last weekend he passed.

It’s always sad to see someone pass. Maybe because my father died when I was a young boy death has been a very real thing. It wasn’t just an abstract idea. We are here and then we are gone.

As I sat at the memorial this morning and heard stories of Eugenes life the same thoughts that I have had since my dad passed raced through my mind. What is this all for? Where are we going? Does it matter that we are here?

I don’t know. I don’t have the answers to those questions. I have my ideas but like I have told my girls as they were growing up I cannot say for certain what happens to us when we pass, I can tell you what I think and that is all that it is.

As I get older and passing becomes more real by the day my time has become more valuable. We seem to only cherish something when it is gone. I cherish my time here while I am still here.

Do what you love. Be with those that you love.

Photography for me has always had a connection to a deeper part of me. Creativity comes from somewhere deep inside of us. It like family is a gift to cherish and to share.

Like the fleeting morning light that is here and then gone, so are we one day.

I’m gonna miss seeing you as I pass your place Eugene. Something inside me says this isn’t goodbye just see you later.

Happy shooting,



~ by Dan Jurak on October 6, 2018.

9 Responses to “A friend died… what does this have to do with photography?”

  1. Great photo and prospective on life.

  2. Beautiful photograph and words, Dan. I always enjoy your posts.

  3. Thank you Karen. I promise one day that I will write more about photography. 🙂

  4. This photo is so descriptive of the passage of time and the contrasts in warmth, colour and life.I am sorry for your loss, Dan. It does get us thinking , doesn’t it, that our own time is limited. It is humbling. You said “We only cherish something when it is gone.” The worst fear I have had is of going blind because I have liked, no loved, photography and painting. Dropped the painting as it is too much strain and enjoy photography less as my cataracts are getting worse and I can’t always spot that bird on the reflective water but the good news is I now qualify for surgery and am waiting to hear from the Doctor’s office, then it will be another wait, but I will be delighted to see clearly again. Not too often we get a second chance. Death and other losses really bring home to me how important it is we enjoy and make the most of the time we have.

  5. Thank you for your well thought comment. It is appreciated.

    For as long as I can remember, probably before my father passed I have been almost obsessed with what happens to us after we pass. I accept it and expect it but when someone close passes it always touches me. The emotional part of me is pained and the intellectual part reasons that there is a larger plan for us than we know.

    Perhaps I am one of the lucky ones that can consider himself blessed. I have never been the richest, never the most successful, never the best looking but still there is a happiness and joy that I carry with me. It cannot be explained but it is there. Daily I give thanks for the good that has come my way.

    About the cataracts, I have great news for you. A few years I had cataract surgery in my mid fifties. I went in for laser surgery hoping to get rid of glasses for my near sightedness and the doctor said that my cataracts had started and that I would eventually need the surgery. He proposed getting cataract surgery that would ALSO correct my near sightedness. To make a long story short, they do one eye at a time in case there are problems. When one eye is semi healed they do the second eye. It was painless. I have had more discomfort getting a cleaning from my dental hygienist. Within three hours of my first surgery I could see CRYSTAL clear without needing a corrective lens for that eye for the first time in my life. The second eye was done a couple of weeks later and the result was the same.

    As an added bonus for the first time in years I could drive at night on the highway and it was like almost having night vision. The countryside was so bright. The only slight drawback is that I see star points from headlights from oncoming traffic but that is a minor inconvenience.

    Happy thanksgiving and now that I think of it, how appropriate that term is today,


  6. Beautiful photo. I’m sorry about your friend 😦

  7. Thank you M.B.


  8. Thanks for your feedback about the afterlife. I believe and question constantly, especially after someone close to me passes on. I appreciate your feedback regarding the cataract surgery, too. It IS something to look forward to. At night, I get long lines of light emanating from headlights or streetlights while all the surrounding details are lost in blackness. I was looking at a streetlight the other night while walking, observing its effects and almost walked right into a fellow coming from the other direction. I did not see him at all until he was right in front of me. I get the same effect from reflections off of chrome on cars in the daytime.Everything else, especially on a grey day appears foggy, when bikes and vehicles appear out of nowhere in certain light conditions. I am now working on a little project trying to take photos that describe how I presently see things..

  9. Wow, it sounds like your cataracts are really advanced. My eyesight was never as bad as yours. I know that you will be pleasantly surprised by how much difference it makes and how easy it was to have done.

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