Well, it is finally official. We took family pictures with out Elaine. It has been 5 years since our last professional family picture. It was a very emotional experience for me. In those 5 years we have buried a daughter and added a son and another daughter. It was necessary, but still hard to do without one. How can you take a picture of a family, knowing not all are present? That was my big struggle. Yes, we try to remember Elaine and represent her in some small way, but it just doesn't seem like a "real" family picture.
I know that many others struggle with this as well. It came down to not being fair to my other children. I don't love Elaine more than them , I just miss her more (duh!). We needed more than just the occasional snapshot. This one is for the wall.