What We Could Not Give Ourselves


It’s been a full day since we said goodbye to Olive, and we’re all just trying to keep busy so that we don’t have to feel too much. Her passing is still too raw to deal with; we all need time.

Last night when Oscar arrived back home, he ran in, sniffed around a bit and then clearly became fully aware that Olive was missing. It was as if literally I could see him realize that Olive truly is gone, and my heart crumbled into even tinier bits than it was already in. Oscar then jumped up into our master bed and just laid there for a few hours, letting her absence mull around in his tiny puppy mind. He eventually drifted off, and we decided to have one more family slumber party in our bed. In the morning I awoke to Cricket spooning Oscar, which she always liked to do with Olive. Can the pieces of my heart be crushed any smaller? Oscar only got up when I forced him, and when I let him outside to go potty, he didn’t make a sound. Not a single bark. Tears. He just quietly did his business and then moped back inside. I don’t even know how to help him…or myself.

The girls are in denial. We had a family meeting last night, but upon sharing the news, Emma Vance jumped up and ran off to go play, not wanting to hear anything. This morning she told me that Olive slept at the foot of her bed all night, and I just smiled and listened. We’re not going to force the issue. When she’s ready to talk, we’ll talk. Truthfully I haven’t even fully accepted our loss, so I can’t blame her.

I mentioned yesterday that our sweet friend and amazing photographer, Carrie Tabb, generously agreed to take some family pictures of the six of us on Olive’s Best Day Ever. We’ve never taken a picture of everyone together, and I didn’t want to regret not getting one. I had just planned on setting up the camera and using the self-timer, but honestly self-timer pictures tend to be awful. My hopes were to get at least one decent, usable shot, but I knew that the chances of getting one on our own were slim. Enter Carrie. Our little session was a totally last minute, an intrusion on Carrie’s regular schedule, and definitely a big ask for us since we really try to ask as little of our friends as possible. But gracious and generous, Carrie came to our rescue with a kind heart and gave us what we could not give ourselves — the most beautiful photos of our complete family that I could’ve asked for. And I will never be able to thank her enough for that.

Carrie took more pictures of our family than I could’ve hoped for, and they are more beautiful than I could’ve imagined. Not wanting to be a total burden on her, I edited them, and I am no professional. Anything you find lovely and wonderful in these photos is from her talent and skill; anything you think to be in need of revision is mine. ;) Thank you, Carrie. We will think of Olive every time we look at these photos — and of your generosity and talent, too.

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