October 15 is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day. This is a cause that is near and dear to my heart. I’ve walked through grief with friends whose children have been born still, who have suffered loss during pregnancy or shortly there after. So often friends and family don’t know what to say and so say nothing at all. For a family who has bonded with their sweet family member, they are changed forever. The experience of losing a child is felt on such a deep level and a family’s love for that child will always be strong. While it can be hard to know best how to navigate the emotional waters when a friend or family member loses a child, I believe every parent wants their child to be remembered in love. I think the worst thing we can do for those who have lost is to forget the life that was lost! On this day, we remember those precious souls no longer among us here on Earth.
For my fellow photographers, I want to use this as an opportunity to encourage you to consider volunteering your time with the amazing non-profit organization Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. If you have never heard of this organization, please click through on the link and read more about them. In short, it’s an organization that provides remembrance photography free of charge to families who are losing or who have lost infants during pregnancy, birth or shortly thereafter. While it may seem so painfully difficult to witness loss and grief as a photographer, imagine how impossibly painful it must be to be the family experiencing such a profound loss. While I’ve known people over the years who have regretted not having lovely or professional photos of their angel, I’ve never met a family who chose to arrange for photos and later regretted it! But during the loss, a family may be experiencing any or all of the stages of grief – they are in the LEAST appropriate emotional spot to be thinking ahead to what they may want or need down the line. Often a hospital nurse or staff member suggests the idea of NILMDTS services to a family who would have never considered the long term benefits of professional heirloom photos of their sweet child. This small act of compassion can change the way a family grieves and heals and can help friends and acquaintances to remember this precious lost life.
NILMDTS offers several ways for people to volunteer their time:
1) For Photographers who have the skill and lighting equipment, please consider volunteering your time as an Affiliated Photographer.
2) For Photographers who may not yet have the skill or don’t currently own or have experience with artificial lighting, NILMDTS is in need of Assistant Photographer.
3) For those who possess qualified post-processing skills, consider volunteering to be a Digital Retouch Artist (DRA). This special volunteer position relieves the work of Affiliated Photographers so they can keep attending sessions without worrying about the time-consuming nature of retouching more visually challenging images.
4) For those who are not photographers but feel called to join in this amazing cause, consider becoming a Parent Coordinator.
To learn more about volunteering, click here.