In the past, here and on the forums, I have discussed the merits of putting one's relatives on videotape. I can think of no greater use for video than in documenting those you wish never to forget.
This past week we buried my last grandparent, my dear Izzy.
While sometimes an annoyance, the video camera surgically attached to my hand at every family gathering, no matter how insignificant, has been my own conduit to the storehouse of precious memories. If I close my eyes, I can certainly envision favorite memories, places, fragments of conversations with people I have loved. But with my eyes open, I have a treasure trove of visions of the past which I shall cherish forever. And when my relatives are prepared, past the point of immediate mourning and sadness, they too can share the magic of visting their best friends who speak no more.
Today I viewed a few minutes of video, shot around the dinner table at Grandma's house 6 years ago, before any of us could have imagined the start of a gradual decline in health we would helplessly witness less than 12 months later. I know not what was going through my mind as I shot this, but rather than the typical wide shots and zooms of family videos, I captured seemingly meaningless images - pouring soda into a glass, Grandpa eating a spoonful of noodle soup, Grandma shaking salt over her matzoh ball soup then asking if the soup needed salt, a closeup of the oil painting on the wall depicting a wise old rabbi who watched over all of us while we grew up. Now the wise rabbi is all that remains of that scene, helping us mourn our losses.
Indeed, the random images are in fact the most poignant of all. I encourage you the reader to do the same every chance you get. For life is fleeting, and any help you can give yourself in capturing meaningful imagery will pay dividends in the future.
Thanks for reading.
Posted by: Mike Cohen on Jun 10, 2008 at 1:49:57 pm
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