When I heard Geraldine Mullan's words last week telling people to hug their loved ones while they still can, I burst into tears. Having spent 25 years as a photographer and photo editor, the simplicity of what she had to say broke something in me.
I take pictures for a living and thousands of them cross my desk every day. They say a picture tells a thousand words, but for the first time I'm discovering more about their importance.
I couldn't have known when I heard that brave wife and mother speak at the funeral of her husband John and children Tomás and Amelia that I'd be sitting at her kitchen table going through her cherished family albums.
Recently, Geraldine undertook the massive task of printing all her digital family pictures. This was before she lost the people she loved most in the world.
It was a labour of love. She did not know how much they would come to mean.
As we sat and went through these photos and Geraldine picked her most loved ones to share with the Sunday Independent, the value of photography - and how it brings back all the love we feel - became more obvious to me.
Photographs capture a moment in time. They catch us in our happiest moments. They take us unawares sometimes. They are a permanent mirror to our love.
Never has this been more in evidence as I sat with Geraldine Mullan and looked at her beautiful family. A younger Geraldine and John gazed out at the camera on their wedding day, so full of hope and expectation for their future.
In others, Tomás and Amelia hold one another and look straight down the lens of the camera. The trust and love they have in their eyes as their mother captures a proud big brother holding on to his precious little sister.
I've never seen photographs like the ones Geraldine took of her family; the simple, candid moments that express their love for each other. I came away with a sense of the overwhelming love at the heart of this family, a love that has been sundered by tragedy.
Her fridge acts as a memory wall, documenting their lives. On it, class pictures of her children sit next to wedding day shots of herself and John. There's Amelia as a baby, all swaddled in pink wool. There's Tomás climbing over a gate and another of him proudly holding the Sam Maguire cup. A fridge magnet in the middle of all this reads: "Grow old with me, the best is yet to come."
Looking at these photos, the tears came. I cried with Geraldine as she shared the love. These beautiful images are all she has left of these most precious people.
Geraldine wants to remind people today to take photographs of the ones you love - and take plenty of them.