Sunday, February 15, 2009

Memories of a life lost

A Vast and Sudden Sadness

--This article appears in this week's Newsweek. It is about stillbirth and the use of photography to remember our lost babies. Shannon was technically a week and a few days short of being a stillbirth, but it is all the same, regardless of the name you use. The photographs and memories which we made of her help to sustain me through some of the harder days. I am glad, despite the enormous sadness depicted in those photos, that we have them. I will treasure them forever as the visual record of her.

When mom's first find out that their babies died, and that they'll actually have to go to the hospital and go through labor and delivery, they often ask what they should do. I am forever grateful that there were moms out there who told me to bring a camera. Some hospitals actually have a "care package" of sorts for parents like us, which contains a disposable camera. Mine didn't. Some hospitals will take photos for you. Mine did, but lost them and found them months later. But we had our camera, and we have photos of our little girl. They aren't always easy to look at, because the day was so overwhelmingly sad, but they are part of our life, her life, and our memories and short time with our little girl. And they helped.

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