Creating Lasting Memories
The Kumar family had 120 minutes to photo-document the life of their baby girl Kavya. The Zisler family spent 27 days with their daughter Lily. Despite the short time each family had with their daughter, they say it was some of the best moments of their life. Since the families were able to document the life of their child with the help of a professional photographer, they will always have the pictures to keep the memories alive.
Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep is a national organization made up of over 3,200 professional photographers who take pictures of infants with a terminal prognosis. They recognize the importance of capturing history with the photos. For the families welcoming their child into the world it doesn’t matter if the baby is still born, or lives for a few minutes, the life is remembered through pictures.
Jolene Kroeger is a professional photographer from Cincinnati, OH and is a volunteer with Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. Jolene has photographed over a dozen terminally ill infants, and their families, over the past year. She says there is something beautiful about being a part of giving the gift of photography for a grieving family. The Kumar family says Jolene provided them with the most beautiful pictures of their baby girl, Kavya, and the photos have helped to bring their family closer together. Karen Zisler’s baby girl, Lily, will always be cherished through the photos Jolene captured in the 27 days Lily was on earth. Karen says there will always be a picture of Lily next to the pictures of her sons. She is a part of the family just as much as her boys are.
The idea of bereavement photography is something that many parents should consider if they are carrying a child with a terminal illness, says MaryBeth Cooper, a perinatal grief counselor. She emphasizes the fact that we [adults] have their entire life to build a history of life through photos. These newborns only have hours or days to document their life. MaryBeth says it is a beautiful way to share the life of their baby with friends and family for years to come.