Channing Johnson Photography » A Photographer's Journal

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Orcas Island

Travis died in June. My brother-in-law was diagnosed with cancer in April, and things moved impossibly fast. His last days were so purposeful, and we mourned his immediate absence, but the idea that he was gone felt so abstract. We planned an east coast memorial, and everyone gathered and shared stories. We planned a west coast memorial, and it seemed like he was everywhere. But a sense of real loss came over us as the ferry pulled away from Orcas Island a couple of weeks ago. We had just spread his ashes from the Folger’s coffee can he asked to be kept in, and we yelled his name at the top of our lungs on one of the most beautiful patches of earth I have ever seen. At his request we all dressed in 80’s clothes or ridiculous hats. He planned out his entire memorial service. He was our host.

The grief right after he died was profound. Now our daily lives have returned to their familiar routines and although not nearly as acute, the grief that simmers steadily under the surface has its own unreachable itch.


Orcas Island » Channing Johnson Photography - […] were lucky to make it out to the Pacific Northwest again this year to spend time with our west coast family. Orcas Island will never get old. Seeing Ellis […]October 5, 2017 – 2:09 pm

Laurie Marino - Hearing again about Travis, seeing those pictures, has me in tears. He is, was, irreplaceable…and you were so blessed, as were we all, to have known him. God bless us all, God bless Travis….let him never disappear from our hearts.October 13, 2016 – 9:16 pm

KLC - Viewing these made me cry, and I haven’t even met you, let alone Travis. Art, and your art, is a powerful thing. Sending you and your family love.October 13, 2016 – 3:23 pm

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