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Sydney
Australia

LIFE:CAPTURED began in August 2013 when we held our first full-day workshop at RAW Space in Sydney, Australia. Our mission is to help people document their stories and create tangible keepsakes to be treasured for generations to come. We offer intensive design, photography, and memory keeping workshops, as well as interactive online classes. We are advocates of honest photography, minimalist design, and memory keeping that's simple, beautiful, and tangible. We are the pioneers of the story book, and we offer flexible templates that enable everybody to tell their story. We believe that life is worth remembering and that it is never too early or too late to start documenting yours. LIFE:CAPTURED was founded by Rhonda Mason (of the Pink Ronnie blog) and Trish Chong (of Tealily Photography).

The blog

The official blog of LIFE:CAPTURED Inc, the modern school of memory keeping. We believe that life is worth remembering and that it is never too early or too late to start documenting yours. We blog about design, photography, and how you can preserve your story with timeless, tangible keepsakes.

Write your heart out: How I got started with journaling (Part two)

Ronnie

Write your heart out - A blog series by Rhonda Mason for LIFE:CAPTURED Inc (The modern school of memory keeping)

| Written by Ronnie |

You might recall from part one that I kept a diary when I was little and that in high school my best friend and I wrote and shared several exchange dairies. At university, I started an online journal which eventually evolved into my old blog, Pink Ronnie. Around the same time, I developed a habit of documenting my conversations with friends and acquaintances, prompted by my desire to remember the things people said in order to get to know them better. 

For a year or so, I actually formatted these conversations using Word and printed them out so that I could actually read a hard copy version. All this was before my penchance for clean, classic fonts, and I can still vividly recall the cursive, script font that I chose to typeset my text with. I can't help but grimace just thinking about it.

When I met Rick and started to develop a crush on the guy, I journaled big time. Clearly, I was not shy about writing down my feelings. It felt like such a childish, high school thing to do at the time, but I'm so glad that I did. We've been married for more than ten years now, and I can't tell you how special it is to be able to go back and remember (in much detail) how it all began.   

After we got married, I stopped journaling and I wish now that I hadn't. I wish now that I'd thought to record the details of our everyday life. It all seemed so ordinary at the time, but those are the very things that I would love to recall now: what our morning routines looked like, what we ate, what we did in the evenings, how we spent our weekends, what arguments we had, how we worked things out, and how we learnt to love and forgive unconditionally. 

When we fell pregnant in 2006 and then lost Cameron at 41 weeks in September of 2007, that was when I truly learnt to write my heart out. Every day, I would sit in the armchair by the balcony and write and write as I cried and cried. I forced myself to articulate every emotion that I felt - every pang of guilt, every shred of anger, every stab of pain, every glimmer of hope. My journal became my sanctuary, and my writing became a lifeline of sorts. By writing out my grief, I found i was able to cope with the pain. By writing out my grief, I found I was able to go on, even though I didn't feel like going on.

I also chose to put my words online, as I had no intention of hiding our pain and grief. I wanted family and friends to better understand what we were going through, if they wanted to do so. In honour of Cameron, I was determined to break the silence surrounding the topic of stillbirth, and it was my belief that sharing my grief was one way to do this. 

Seven years on, I am so thankful that I wrote my heart out. As painful as it is to read back over those words, they are utterly precious to me. Those words of mine - they take me right back to those days of mourning and they are my one big link to Cameron, tangible evidence of my undying love for our firstborn son who left us too soon. Way too soon.

One day in the near future, I will turn my words about Cameron into a story book that we can keep on our shelf. As the boys grow older, it is my hope that they will read my words and come to understand just how much we love and miss their big brother.

* * *

Write your heart out is a series about the art of journaling. I plan to share tips, ideas, resources, and my own journey and experiences - all driven by my belief in the power and necessity of words in documenting our stories. Go on, write your heart out. We all have it within us. Don't think - just start.

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