I was recently asked to photograph the 1st Annual Always In Our Hearts Prayer and Balloon Release. I looked at it as any other event I have been asked to photograph; a job. Little did I know this event would be exactly what I needed in my own life. 


I recently lost my father, whom I called Poppa Bear. He was my best friend and my super hero. I've consumed myself in work and tried to avoid the thought that he's actually gone, which I know isn't the best way of grieving. This event let me come to terms with this and finally release the pain and guilt. 


The pastor who spoke, my apologies I didn't get his name, said that when we lose someone we often blame God and question why that person was taken. I must admit, those were my first thoughts. Why my dad? Why now? Then I had to realize my dad was in extreme pain for the last year of his life. He always managed a smile and kind words, but the pain was written all over his face. It is selfish of me to want him to continue in his misery for my own benefit. 


This event was everything that I needed. I miss my Poppa Bear every day. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think about him and all the fun times we had. He is the greatest person I think I will ever have the pleasure of meeting.

 Poppa Bear  

Poppa Bear  


I want to thank Darlan Dickson for inviting me to photograph the event. This meant more to me than you'll ever know. I felt alone and like no one else else felt the sadness and pain that I felt. The participants really touched my heart. Losing someone you love is the hardest thing imaginable. I'm so glad everyone who participated had the opportunity to reflect on the lives of those they have lost with lots of love and support. 


 Life is for Living, 

Michael B.