I was laying on my bed browsing my newsfeed earlier, when I came across this status update.
My first reaction was shock and disbelief! I clicked on Dennis’ profile, and sure enough, RIP messages were constantly flooding in. Mutual friends also confirmed to me the sad news, much to my complete and utter grief. I began looking back at our friendship.
I became friends with Dennis on Facebook in August 2010, after being introduced to him, and a number of other Ghanaian creative people, by a former penpal from the country. Dennis’ photography work was simply breathtaking! But I had the privilege of also getting to know Dennis himself. Although it was not in person, but from a distance, he was still someone I considered a friend and held in high esteem. One time when I was struggling Dennis wrote:
Been following your sequential status messages here on FB and could tell you are in a turmoil of some sort concerning your job. To begin with, I don’t know how the system is like over there in Australia, but I share a different view all together.
First of all I believe you are not of this world (you became a stranger to this world when you gave your life to Christ). As a result, the systems of this world will frustrate you when you depend on them. Always know this ‘you operate by a different set of rules – Bible-related rules’.
Secondly, by your profile description you went like “my faith is important to me”. I must say I really liked that so go out there and act your faith. We are called to be talkers, and when we talk positively, positive feedback will be our portion.
Thirdly, know that people are not employing you because they haven’t met or experienced the specialised set of talents you may be possessing – you are peculiar (God says so).
Finally, miss I encourage you to go out there and take the risk of doing your own. The world is waiting to receive of your services that will meet the demands of people in a special way which only you can provide.
My heart was burdened to tell you this, take care and make something happen yh!
This message gives you a glimpse of the kind of person Dennis was! In addition to being super creative, he was also supportive, encouraging and caring. I believe he wouldn’t mind me sharing this because it was not too personal, but an encouragement for me. It shows his heart.
On Dennis’ birthday last year I posted the following on his Facebook wall. I believed that if you appreciated someone you should tell them while they were still alive. I am glad I got the chance to tell him this! I couldn’t have known his life would be so short. What I wrote was almost like something said in a eulogy, without me knowing what was going to happen.
Happy birthday Dennis. On a birthday – that’s when you let someone know the impact they have had on your life – as you take time to celebrate that person & another year in their life. I will always remember you as my first Ghanaian photography friend. I’ve now been introduced to so many amazing people in Ghana… I definitely plan on visiting your beautiful country one of these days. I’ve now been a Facebook friend for over 1 year and I’m a big lover of your photography style and I will continue keeping up with what you are doing. Hope you’re having a fantastic day.
Dennis had a very strong faith, and I know he is in Heaven! The eerie thing is there is so many signs I am seeing.
One of the last photos Dennis posted on his photography page is shown below. Comments were made that it looked “heavenly” and like it “was shot in heaven”. Today, after hearing the news, I commented:
Your last picture depicts a woman that looks like an angel of Heaven and that’s where you are now. We will miss you!
Dennis’ profile info on Facebook also reads:
I know I can stop and change things but there is one thing I can’t touch… that is the days from passing, your time is passing.
Wow! Dennis was right! We can’t control that our time is passing! Dennis couldn’t change his days passing either! The time we have on Earth is limited and completely up to our Creator. This is a great message for us to take from Dennis. Dennis couldn’t have known how long he had, but he lived in such a way that he made use of all the time he had. He was ready to meet His Creator whenever his time came.
Surprisingly, I was also browsing some of Dennis’ work earlier today before the news of his passing! I had pinned some of his photography a long time ago on my Pinterest. Below is one I looked at today. The words read:
We trust God. We owe all creative tendencies to the maker. In the likeness of His image and by virtue of His gift of creation, our works exalt the greatest artist.
From this we can see that Dennis acknowledged God as the ultimate Creator. Dennis himself was creative but He looked to God who created Him! I believe God was so in love with Dennis He called him home to be with Him early in Heaven.
Dennis also designed an advertising campaign on peace. And now we know Dennis is in complete peace, free of any pain or sickness!
To conclude, I would like to add my heartfelt sympathies and condolences to Dennis’ family and friends. He was a man greatly loved and will be greatly missed.
Find out more about Dennis: