In Victorian times, mourning family members often staged photographic portraits of dead children and other loved ones prior to burial. In later generations, this practice came to be viewed as morbid — which led to the destruction of thousands of these so-called “bereavement portraits.” Examples of 19th-century bereavement photographs can be found here and here.
Thanks to services such as Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, Touching Souls and others, bereavement portraits are shaking their stigma to provide comfort to the parents of childen who are stillborn or die in infancy. Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep was started by Cheryl and Michael Haggard in 2005 after they lost their son Maddux six days after he was born. They tell the story of creating the non-profit organization here, in a letter to their son.
[tags]photography, photo blog, bereavement, scott baradell[/tags]