Tonight, after photographing a senior boy with his entire life ahead of him, I switched gears and headed in to Carle Hospital for a bereavement session, as a volunteer photographer with Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep (NILMDTS). You see, a baby boy was born today. He lived and passed, all within a few hours. His grieving mother requested photos be taken of him, and I was called to photograph his sweet little face, his full head of hair, his 10 tiny fingers and toes – and his mama holding her baby close.
The mission of NILMDTS is, “To introduce remembrance photography to parents suffering the loss of a baby with a free gift of professional portraiture.”
From the NILMDTS website:
NILMDTS offers the gift of healing, hope and honor to parents experiencing the death of a baby through the overwhelming power of remembrance portraits. Professional-level photographers volunteer their time to conduct an intimate portrait session, capturing the only moments parents spend with their babies. Parents are gifted with delicately retouched heirloom black and white portraits free of charge.
These priceless images serve as an important step in the healing recovery for bereaved families. NILMDTS remembrance photography validates the existence and presence of these precious babies by honoring their legacy.
NILMDTS recruits, trains, and mobilizes professional quality photographers around the world. Through NILMDTS, medical personnel are given a meaningful option to offer bereaved parents by creating remembrance portraiture for their babies.
NILMDTS offers many resources for parents who have suffered the immeasurable loss of a child. In addition to photographs, there are connections to bereavement support organizations, books, help with funeral expenses, their annual Remembrance Walk, and much more. There are others ways to donate to this incredible organization, besides the gift of photography. If you are a photographer, and interested in learning about becoming a volunteer photographer, please click here, or contact me. Unfortunately, we are in need of additional photographers, currently there are only 2 of us serving Champaign County hospitals as well as Gibson Area Hospital, and the demand for our services is greater than we can keep up with.
Being a volunteer photographer for Now I Lay Me Down To sleep has opened my eyes in so many ways to how one simple act can make a difference. I pray that the images of these precious babies taken by myself, Holly and other volunteers like us aid in the healing process for the families that receive our services.
October 16, 2018