Hi, I’m Brianna Doby and welcome to my blog. Please take a spin around the blog to find samples of my work, tips on how to make your photography session a success, and some general musings about my craft.

Entries in personal (1)


a letter to someone I love

Dear Mama S,

I’m listening to this song as I write you.
 Click that link and listen while you read down?  It would be nice to hear the same melody together.  I play this little sweet song all the time on my guitar.

Do you see that S sketch?  I’m making a quilt of knitted hexagons, and that is your hexagon.  I will see that embroidered S and it will bring my thoughts to you.  I love to think of you and your smiling face.

But this letter isn’t about me.  It’s about you.  A woman who suffers a grave loss and then sends a text to the birthday girl a thousand miles away.

I’m so sorry he’s gone.  And, maybe more so, I’m so sorry that the loss was one so complicated in feeling, so complex in meaning.

I know a bit about suffering loss as a caregiver.  For me, it was an abyss.  It was too much.  It was too much for a single person to comprehend the raving madness of grief coupled with the bizarre moments of relief: I don’t have to give her the medicine she hated tonight.  I don’t have to wait for the horrible phone call.  I just got the worst one, it’s all over.  Then--oh god, please no, don’t let it be over.

I don’t know what you feel right now, it’s presumptuous to say such things.  But I have a feeling that your grief comes, like mine did, with asterisks and afterthoughts and such painful and solid waves it is a wonder you can still stand.  And I am so sorry.   So, so sorry.  I wish I could stand in the waves with you.

But this is the other thing: I want you to know something as you stand in those wretched waves.  

Your hands have held mine.  Your hands, like mine, that make things.  You have listened to me while I laughed, but maybe even more while I cried.  And you said wise things that made me see things I hadn’t seen before.  Things I never noticed at all.

Have you ever made something and it turned out horribly and you had to rip it to bits and do it again?  Of course you have.  Every one who makes things also has to take them apart sometimes.  I think of your wisdom like that.

I made a sweater, it was dreadful, it never fit, I had to rip stitches and try again.  But I was glad for the sweater, both before and after I fixed it.  I had tried, I had made something, and it wasn’t perfect, even though I did my best.  The most important part was I made something.

The things that you have told me about your life had something similar.  You made things, decisions that changed your life and those of others, and you tried so hard and you gave such your best, and you tried and tried more, but the damn things needed more, and you had to rip some things and mend others.  Even though you gave it your all, even though you wanted only the best, even though, even though, even though...

But sometimes things have to be torn to be mended.  And you explained to me how that was okay.  And when I cried, and told you how badly it hurt, and even though, even though, even though?  You said such things, gentle and compassionate and true, and you told me that things had to be torn sometimes to be mended.

I think of you, and I think this is a huge tear in your heart and in the hearts of everyone in the family.  But I know you, and your wisdom and your hands that make things.  And you will mend.

Even though it hurts, even though you tried your best, even though it’s not just or right or fair, even though, even though, even though.  

I live in the aftermath of a great rending of my life.  And I mend.

Who you are, and who you raised your children to be, you are bright and shining and with your hands you make things.  You mend things.  And these awful waves of grief that overcome right now will pass (and you have told me how they pass, and they do).  You will make things and mend things again.  

I will turn my face to the sun today, look to the west, and gaze at your example.  I think about you.  I always will.  Thank you for teaching me about how to make and rip and mend.  I can’t wait to see what you make in your future, can’t wait to see your family makes and mends.  I love you.