IMG_6226

For_Carrie_web

Friday was winding down in our Richmond office when Carrie asked me to take her photo before we headed out for the Labor Day Weekend. She thought to catch me while I was in town since she missed the session last week. I said “Of course!” It was about 4:45pm, I was slowly wrapping up, but I didn’t hesitate. So I grabbed my cam and set up lighting as she went to prep herself. We shot for a few minutes, reviewing as we went. She said “I wish I woulda straightened my hair!” I told her to take her time and I’d stay as long as she wanted until she’s happy. She said it was ok, so we proceeded and took a few more shots “for the road”.  As we scrolled through the pics, she said “Aww, I like that one!” I said “Yea? Ok, IMG_6226” and wrote it in my moleskine. I told her I’d send her the best 2 with her fave 6226 for her to choose from on Tuesday. She jokingly requested that I photoshop her face so it doesn’t look too shiny. I said that she looked great and said “Don’t worry, I got you!” She said she couldn’t wait to see them, then thanked me, smiled, and went on her way as we both bid adieu for the 3-day wknd.

Those were the last moments I’d spend with Carrie.

That very next morning she was fatally struck by a car while cycling in Hanover. I received the tragic news the next day from my close friend Chun, and I could not believe it. I felt sick to my stomach. Her photos were the last recorded photos on my camera that week.

This is IMG_6226. Carrie’s fave. What was meant to be just an updated headshot has become her most recent and final photo ever captured, for us to memorialize her, as an Impact Maker, as a daughter, a sister, a colleague, as my friend, as an overall amazing and inspiring person. I felt terrible the rest of the weekend. But then felt that it was only right that I shared it with her family and colleagues during a remembrance circle Tuesday morning. It was accepted with much gratitude and love despite the tragic turn of its intended use. Although it’s extremely difficult, with much support, I’ve been encouraged to take these moments as a privilege to honor Carrie Wortham’s legacy.

She will be missed.

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