There is nothing as joyous for parents and families as celebrating a new birth and watching a child grow to maturity. But sometimes tragedy interrupts through premature birth, stillbirth, ill infants and terminal illness. In these difficult and sad times, parents often don’t consider the importance of documenting the moments of the closeness of family, or capturing the details of a child until it is too late.
That is where the Australian Charity of Child Photographers (ACOCP) can give the gift of photographic memories.
Tomorrow, the 15th of October, is International Baby Loss Day. The Australian Community of Child Photographers (ACOCP) is urging people to recognise the many families that go through the tragic loss of a child, rather than risk isolating them by neglecting to acknowledge their loss. Across the world, memorial services, balloon releases and candle lighting at 7pm take place in honour and as a sign of remembrance for lost children.
Said Jessie Broome, co-founder of ACOCP, “The grief that follows the loss of a child is so engulfing but it can also be very isolating. We encourage people to take the time to honour this grief; to realise that by avoiding the subject does not make it go away and by simply acknowledging the child can help the family immensely.”
ACOCP is an entirely not-for-profit Australian organisation that gives the gift of photographic memories to families who have had a stillbirth, premature baby, infant in the NICU/ICN or child with serious or terminal illnesses. Participating photographers – some of whom have previously experienced their own loss – are on call 24/7 to go to hospitals or homes and are often present during the families’ most tragic hours.
The Role of Photography in the Grieving Process
Jessie explains the important role the ACOCP plays, “The most heartbreaking thing in the world is losing a child. As a parent, we look forward to watching our child grow, finding out who they are and watching them develop. We fill boxes with drawings and paintings and reports and photos. When you lose a baby, you also lose a lifetime of memories.
“In some situations, when facing the death of a child, parents are encouraged to take time with their little one. They are given a fleeting opportunity to try to create a lifetime of memories within a small space of time. They are encouraged to bond with their child, to hold them, to sing to them. To take their footprints, a lock of their hair and as many photos as possible. This is where the ACOCP comes in. We capture many beautiful, professional-quality, images in the most loving and sensitive way, so that parents has something that they can share with family and friends, something to treasure and remember always.”
For more Information
The Official Site of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day (USA)
Baby Loss Awareness Campaign (UK)