Joe Glickman, the Best Man at my wedding and a freelance writer who’s contributed to The New York Times, said that a human being’s life can typically be defined by six photographs: as a toddler, your High School graduation, your wedding, the birth of your kids, a major anniversary, and the photo that accompanies your obituary. As photographers we never imagine that the images we create at someone’s wedding would, less than two months later, serve as their obituary photo…
Spend a day photographing someone’s wedding and you become friends…spend a week photographing a couple’s destination wedding and you become even more. Last November we traveled to Mexico to photograph the destination wedding of Danny & Deb from New Jersey. We hadn’t met them, and our first face-to-face meeting was over drinks at the resort bar. They were obviously deeply in love and had a great energy between them. This kind of chemistry always makes our job a pleasure, and we looked forward to photographing their celebration.
Ninety of Danny & Deb’s closest friends and family flew down to Mexico to celebrate their wedding. I apologize for being cliché, but it was truly a storybook wedding: it was a meaningful ceremony overlooking the ocean followed by a wild night of dancing, celebrating the newlywed’s future together. Speeches were made and glasses were raised, including the Best Man (hilariously) detailing Danny’s three-year quest to get Deb to go out with him. Everyone had a great time, and danced well into the night…and eventually ended up in the pool.
59 days after the wedding Deb died suddenly of a brain aneurysm – she was 29. Cerebral aneurysms occur more commonly in women than in men, by a ratio of 3:2. Roughly 1/3 of people with ruptured aneurysms die before they get to the hospital, 1/3 die after they get to the hospital, and 1/3 survive. Of those who survive, about half suffer some permanent neurological deficit. We encourage you to click here to view the risk factors for brain aneurysm.
In closing, I wanted to pass along this note from Danny:
“Deb was in great health, so my biggest fear was something happening to her on her drive to work. I would tell her every morning to drive safe, and, of course, that I loved her.
I was at work on Monday, January 11, 2010, when I got a call from Deb while she out running errands after work. It was around 4:30pm. She said: “Babe, I don’t want you to worry, but I just threw up and my head kills. I just called [a friend from work] to pick me up. I don’t feel like talking because of my head. I love you.” Shortly thereafter I received a call from Debbie’s friend that Debbie was unconscious and being transported to the hospital. I arrived from NYC one hour later to learn that she had suffered a devastating brain aneurysm that led to massive intracranial hemorrhaging. Debbie was in the deepest of comas, and died around 11:30pm with roughly 30 family and friends by her side.
I will miss her so much. I will never get to share a new moment with her, I won’t get to see her as the amazing mom that she would have been, and I won’t get to grow old with the woman I loved with all my heart; and the sadness I feel because of this is immeasurable. But, I know that Debbie will forever be with me. She will be with me in my heart and in the way I live my life. Debbie was the most loving, caring and selfless person that I have ever known and, because of her, I will be a better person.”
This blog post was written with encouragement from Danny Salinas…you are in our thoughts…