There’s a home for those heartbreaking photos you can’t bear to keep around

Maybe you have a stash of photographs piled under your bed, photographs that captured the very best, brightest moments of your first relationship, or a friendship, or a deep bond you used to have with a family member. Maybe they depict the last few hours you spent with your grandma, or your cat. Whatever they hold on to, they’re probably collecting brown-gray dust from the carpet. Or maybe they’re protected by an old Converse shoebox you converted into a memory vault. You don’t want to toss them, because that seems so sad and wrong and callous. But looking at them fills your chest cavity with heaviness.

This is where Jason Lazarus comes in. The photographer started a blog in 2010 called Too Hard to Keep, and it serves as a photo-mausoleum for the photographs people can’t bear to keep, but can’t handle throwing away. So, it’s similar to Post Secret, but unlike Post Secret, THTK often times comes with no explanations, no confessions, no secrets.

Lazarus says his blog, “is a place for photographs, photo-objects, and digital files to exist without being destroyed.” People who submit the photos sometimes don’t even want Lazarus to display them —so they’re posted face down. When he receives digital submissions, Lazarus asks the contributors to delete the copies from their hard drives so that they’re actually parting with the photos.

The collection is beautiful, and tender, and it gives me serious chills. By browsing through it you’re able to experience, in a way, someone else’s unabridged memories. You’re able to part of a cathartic project, and that’s amazing. Check some of them out below:

All images via Jason Lazarus