Monday, March 16, 2015

For Zachary

Photo from
A friend of mine once showed me a Book of the Dead. And, well it might not be what you're thinking.

Years ago, photographs were not an easy thing to come by. Sometimes, the only picture a family might have of a loved one, would be taken after death. Some of these pictures ended up in collections. Books of the Dead.

Her book was almost exclusively children. Loved children. And these photos were cherished by their families, as one of the few things they had to remember them by.

These pictures were an echo in time, a shadow of a life shortly lived. I took the time to look at each photograph and think of that life. It seemed precious, and like something that should be acknowledged.

I watch a lot about True Crime, specifically murders. Not because I'm fascinated by crime. I'm really more bewildered by it. Life is a precious thing, and I have no comprehension as to how anyone thinks they have to right to take someone else's, just because they can.

But I watch, nonetheless. I think for the same reason that I looked at each of those photos when they were shared with me.

These were people, whose lives were ended prematurely. I can't give them justice. I can't give them peace. But I can hear their story.

And so, today, I found myself watching the documentary For Zachary, on Netflix. It's a film made by a man whose best friend was murdered. He wanted to document all the people who loved and knew Andrew Bagby, for Andrew's son, Zachary.

I won't give away too much, as I think it's a valuable story to see without knowing what can't be unknown. But I will say that it's a powerful thing to see how a life lived, however long or short it may be, can change people. And Andrew Bagby, it seems, was an incredible man, raised by two amazing people.

I will likely never meet Mr. & Mrs. Bagby, but I wish I could tell them that, now that I know their story, I will carry it with me. That their loss will not be forgotten. That I'm so grateful that they shared their family with me.

I hope they know that sometimes, the light of kindness and love is bright enough that even strangers can carry it forward. I hope I do. For Andrew. For Zachary. And for the many whose names I don't know. I can, at the very least, remember.

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