Thursday, January 21

If I should die before I wake

This particular post mortem photo really gets to me. I love my sisters very much, so this picture, breaks my heart.
I knew that this was a very popular thing, post mortem photography, back in the 1900's. Most of the pictures you find when looking for these photos, are older. However, sometimes I would come across some that looked very recent. For some reason this made me ill. Essentially its the exact same thing as these old photos, but there is something less creepy to me, about the tarnished and yellowed images of the 19th century, than the crisp, clean, clear digital images of today.  It almost seems crass or disrespectful, to do it today.
Or at least I thought that, until just a few weeks ago. I heard this story on the radio(NPR, again) about a photographer who takes post mortem photos. She works for a foundation called "Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep" . She talked about how special it is to come into these peoples lives at such a heart breaking time, and give them something so special and healing.
They interviewed a women who was told her baby would be born with a brain defect, she was told that due to the severity of the defect, the baby would only live for short while after birth. After much heartache, she made the difficult decision to have the baby anyway, and enjoy the few moments of life she would ever have with her child. 
Because of the short time she would have, she wanted a tangible thing to help her remember her baby. 
And it all made sense and that icky feeling I got, was replaced by a sense of understanding. A wanting, for all those out there who have lost someone, to be able to have that final moment turned into something beautiful.

1 comment:

  1. Aw! The sisters! I wonder if Shauna wishes she had a picture of Jenny? If I remember correctly, she never even got to see her, because she was unconscious when Jenny was delivered.


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