I have some very, very sad and tragic news.
One of my favorite families, the Joyners, have experienced an unthinkable loss.
Kimberly Webb Joyner, died in her sleep on Sunday morning.
She was only 41.
She leaves behind her husband James and her two precious daughters, Katie and Ellie.
Katie is almost three, and Ellie was born in June.
I photographed their sweet family a mere ten days ago for their annual holiday session.
I was headed to the post office to mail out her images when James contacted me.
Words cannot, and never will, describe how saddened I am.
James has lost his best friend and partner.
Katie and Ellie have lost their mother, someone they most likely will never remember.
The thought that these two little girls will never know how much their mother adored and loved them is so painful for me to think about. Kim was enamored with her girls, and it breaks my heart to know that they will not be able to share in more memories of her or with her, that those tender times were stolen from them.
My only solace is that James and his girls will have the many photos from the several sessions we did. From the days when it was just Katie, to the days when Ellie was just born, to the holiday sessions and beautiful cards that became an annual tradition.
As a family photographer, I only see a tiny glimpse into the life of a family.
It’s strange in that I only spend a small amount of time with these families,
yet I connect with them so deeply and feel such a bond with them.
I hope when Katie and Ellie are older, seeking to find out more about their late mother, that they will be able to see these images and know how much they were, and continue to be, loved; that they were not only loved, but truly cherished and adored, by a mother who would do absolutely anything for them.
In times like these it is hard for me to see the “good.”
I can’t grasp why things like this happen.
All I can do is pray and hope that my images can bring comfort to a suddenly broken family.
Please join me in sending good thoughts and many prayers to the Joyner’s family and friends.
The Joyners during their most recent session, this November
The Joyners days after Ellie’s birth in June of this year
Kim and baby Ellie, June 2011