I always forget that there are a lot of photos still on Matt’s iPhone because he didn’t take them off. I’ve looked at them before, but just a few at a time. Yesterday, I was looking for a particular photo when I saw this one, one of the last iPhone photos that Matt took. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then adding a little context balloons the story to a short novel.
I don’t know how consciously or unconsciously he did it, but Matt was able to capture that natural lighting haze that photographers love so much. And it is shining on me. It makes me think of one evening not long before Matt died. He had come home from work and was standing in the kitchen next to the stove talking to me while I cooked as he always did. It was winter so it was dark outside already and all of the light was yellow from the kitchen lights. He was still wearing his coat and he was talking to me about work and Live Mosaic and not being able to get traction to move forward. He was so discouraged and at some point he said, “I think I’m ready to try someone else’s idea.” In retrospect, I’m sure that his health was largely what was wearing him down, but at the time, these words and his dejection as he said them struck my heart very deeply.
Since Matt died I have remembered this evening often. I know that Matt didn’t mean to try someone else’s idea by dying or the die for someone else’s idea. Still, I can’t help feeling a strong connection between his words and his death. Part of it is my own feelings of discouragement and part of it is that new found sense of treasuring life that people who have lost a loved one often gain. I wonder what idea Matt saw in me.
This photo is of the kids of course, but it also strikes me how completely my face is turned from the camera.
In writing this post, I have discovered how I can create the experience of Matt speaking to me from the beyond. I emailed these photos to myself from his phone using his email address. Then I can open up an email from him and see photos that he took. It turns out that the internet and technology in general allow us to receive messages from our loved ones, even from beyond this time.