A moment now cherished even more

It has been a most somber day and even the nature seems to grieve, as the sky remains overcast with only a few sporadic openings allowing for a little dab of manganese blue sky to show briefly before disappearing. Last night I learned from my son that a friend from his days in high school had committed suicide by hanging.

Though I had not seen Anthony in the last three years, he was a frequent visitor to our home for a number of years, as he and my son Armont played guitar together for hours on hours, filling the house with a lively spirit, which was to the delight of my wife and me.

Why the two never continued their friendship after graduation is not clear, but for me there is a memory I wish to share.

One day in February 2005 at Pinole Valley High School I walked around the campus waiting for our daughter Ariana, since Armont had finished his classes that I met up with Anthony and his girlfriend Sammy. She was leaning into Anthony for comfort and security and he stood tall, secure, with his arm around her. Neither spoke much. I said ‘Hi Anthony’ and he responded likewise, then Sammy in her soft voice, barely audible, also said ‘Hi’.

Sammy and Anthony Warriner

Original title: My Love – Sammy & Anthony, February 17, 2005, image #03091
Digital Duo-tone photograph

The next five seconds now appear more like a very long silence in which everything came to a standstill while the universe all around us all kept moving on. I remember taking one step back, raised my little digital camera to take this photograph of the two.

Even after taking the photograph and having lowered my camera, the silence continued a little longer before we entered into conversation and that Armont would join us. It was only then that our space once again entered into the reality that was happening all around us.

Looking back as I had a few times over the years whenever I came across this photograph, I felt Anthony and Sammy allowed me into a very private tender moment between the two of them. His trust permitted me to capture not only that moment, but also their vulnerability.

Anthony leaves behind a wife and a one and a half year old boy named Odin.

May your soul find rest and the 
peaceful solitude it is seeking.


jeannette stgermain said...

wish you peace and acceptance - your son even more -a suicide is always horrific when it touches people we have known so closely.

iNdi@ said...

that's so sad...i just hope there really is a 'next big adventure' at the end

La Dolce Vita said...

my heart goes out to you...

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

What terribly sad news along with a beautiful description of an intimate do we all find the courage to journey on?

John M. Mora said...

My sincere condolences, there is nothing I can say but pray for him and his family. A beautiful photograph.


ArtPropelled said...

Suicide is always such a shock and it prays on the mind long after. One just hopes that those who are most effected will find peace of mind and comfort.

Lawendula said...

Thank you for sharing this very intimate and sad moment of your life.
Dein Foto ist wundervoll, es dr├╝ckt so viel aus!

Laura Haviland said...

Thank you for sharing this story, I wish there was a different ending.I know they are in pain but they leave their pain behind.I will never forget Anthony's face, he will be missed.
You have such a way with words,marvelous.
My heart goes out to your family and Anthony's Family.
Reminds us to never take any day for granted. Give our kids an extra "big" hug.
Thank you,Hugs Laura.


what an incredibly poignantly beautiful story and image that captures the hearts of us all - very very moving! it is so generous of you to share this with all of us - we are honored - jenean

Honest Blog of a Late Blooming Bohemian said...

It's very sad when people feel so alone and reach a point where they feel they cannot go on in this life, that there is no better option than to find relief in ending it. The people left behind feel so useless and sometimes angry. I am sure you are a lovely father...this teaches us to treasure our children and to always be accepting and open with people so they always have someone they can come to when life or their mind becomes too difficult. Thankyou for posting this heartfelt post.

Debrina said...

Well Egmont, as you know, I've been busy catching up with your postings, as I am only a recent explorer. This is a remarkable post and really demonstrates the power and the beauty of the moment and it's friend, the camera.
I have danced the sometimes relentless and tiring dance of depression and anxiety and it always saddens me when I hear this dark suitor has won. My heart goes out to you and your family and to this young man's friends and family too.