March 29, 2009

Trapped in Time

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:55 pm by jlp412

Photographs are funny.


In this digital age of instant-capture, we chronicle every candid moment as each one occurs: we post and comment and edit and share almost before they have ended. My iPhoto library is filled with such snapshots – off-center, unfocused, its subjects laughing at each other rather than posing for the camera. Moments frozen forever on film. I don’t think I missed chronicling a single millisecond of college on my camera, and I am so glad now that I did.

I’ve been pouring over pictures the last couple of days, seeping them in as if Trisha’s bright eyes and goofy grin beaming back at me, so very much alive, will somehow catapult her out of the film and back into the world again: Trisha laughing over my shoulder at our favorite Thai restaurant in Evanston; Trisha decked out in purple and black at an NU football game; Trisha on the dancefloor and Trisha standing with me in front of the Capitol; Trisha’s cheek pressed up against mine as we grip each other’s shoulders and smile at the flash of light that keeps us there, alive, content, together, in that moment of time.

Photographs are funny.


My heart burns as I view them now. While Trisha is trapped in time, never again to appear in another photo with me or with anyone else, cameras will still flash in the future to capture all of us together, in each other’s weddings, on our reunion trips to hopefully exotic locations, visiting each other in our respective cities. And Trisha won’t be in any of them.

In this digital age of instant viewing, we are tempted to crop, enhance, edit and delete so that the moments we see are more polished, more flattering, more pleasant images of how we’d like to see ourselves.

But then they wouldn’t be true photographs, freeze-framed portraits of us just the way we were, imperfect and all.

I want to jump back into these moments in film and laugh harder, dance longer, hug her closer. I want to relive the times we spent with her when we had her as ours. I want to smile and laugh as I remember and not be panged with the pain of her loss, haunted with the knowledge that as I flip to the last photo of us together, there won’t ever be any more pictures of the one I kissed sloppily on the cheek, sang Journey with on the dance floor, stormed the football field with after a rare NU victory.

I want to pour stories about her out of my mouth and into the ears of strangers, I want everyone I see and know to understand who she was and why she matters.


I am not content to look only at photos of her and marvel at the reach of her impact.

It’s not enough.

I want her back. I want to freeze more moments. I want to take more pictures, tell more stories, build more memories.

Trisha is trapped in time as we move on without her.

I suppose I am grateful that she can be trapped there, forever in photos and emails and in stories we tell and retell to each other and to strangers. I just wish I could be trapped there with her, her head on my shoulder, our arms locked tightly together, her voice and her laugh forcing me into the calm she always helped me find, with nowhere to be but with each other.

Trisha is trapped in time as we move on without her.

We’ll keep her tucked tightly in our hearts and we’ll keep her name flowing from our lips. We’ll smile because of what she gave us and we’ll cry because of what was taken from us.

Trisha is trapped in time and we’ll move on without her. We will move on without her. She would want us to. And so we will. Slowly. We will.




  1. Amika said,


    Thank you for writing this blog. I found out about Trisha a few days ago and can’t adequately describe how awful it is that someone so able to make a positive change in the world was taken too soon – you’ve described my thoughts exactly.

    Please let me know if there is a way for me to send condolences to her family.


  2. […] Even though the rest of us, for no other reason than happenstance good fortune, are not. Trisha is trapped in time and we move through it. So we send more letters to our friends, perhaps, or save the […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: