I recently read a article in Newsweek called ‘A Vast and Sudden Sadness‘. It made me cry, but as sad as it was it was also beautiful.
It was about babies who are stillborn or that die shortly after being born. I had no idea there were still so many stillbirths. According to the article there are 26,000 a year (they didn’t say if this was just in the U.S. or not) and apparently in most cases doctors don’t understand why.
Way back when the babies were just immediately taken away, women were given lots of valium and everyone pretended as if nothing had happened. Obviously not a very psychologically healthy way of dealing with it.
Thankfully things have gotten better. Now the parents are allowed to hold the baby, take pictures, etc. All to help them better cope with the loss – and research has shown that it does help.
The article focused on a group of volunteers – who are professional photographers – and an organization called ‘Now I lay me down to sleep’. They go to hospitals and take sensitive, beautiful pictures of the babies and their families.
No, the photographs don’t take away the pain – but they do help with the grieving process and leave parents with some tangible memory of their son or daughter to share and hold on to forever.
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