one of the most beautiful women in my life lost her husband last year to mental illness. my friend and colleague melanie, who has been shooting weddings with me for the past 6 years has lost the love of her life. melanie's beautiful glenn died last year and we grieve his absence everyday. he left behind his gorgeous, tender, loving, thoughtful amazing wife and his beautiful son, Colton... he never met.
glenn was a quiet, warm, kind, and loving person. when i learned of his death, all i saw was his beautiful smiling face... he made an impression on you. his radiant yet soft smile was the kind you carried around.
glenn suffered from depression. he experienced two episodes of psychosis (the second episode is when he took his life). during his psychotic episodes he experienced persecutory delusions (in short he was convinced that everyone thought he was a terrible person). in his state of psychosis he believed melanie would be better off withought him... and this, of course, couldn't be farther from the truth. glenn was treated with counselling and medication after his first episode of psychosis. he was, melanie told me, 99% the glenn she had always known. we don't know what happened on the night he took his life. had the medication stopped working? mental illness is a great mystery. and the treatment for it more an art than a science, i am told. each person is treated individually.
melanie & glenn were the kind of couple who spent all of their time together. best friends for over 12 years. they loved each other more than most of us are capable of loving another.
i am angry and upset and frustrated by glenn's death. i miss him for melanie and for his son who will never know his own father. i want to know more, to understand what i and we can do to help those who suffer from mental illness. let us speak openly without shame. let us find a way to help each other.
as wedding photographers we often talk about how fortunate we are to capture life's most beautiful moments. what is truly an honour for me is to witness intimately the love you feel for each other, the love your families have for you and you for them. to capture it for you, so that you can see and feel it, even when it's gone. i cry everytime i look at these photographs from melanie & glenn's wedding... because i can feel in the deepest part of me glenn's love for melanie, and the incredible peace she feels in his arms. and knowing that she will never feel his arms wrapped around her again... is unbearable.
but his spirit is alive, in his son. his perfect beautiful baby boy.
today my heart is fully open. love unabashadely. today is the only promise.
Colton Glenn Michael Curley. Born December 23rd 2011.