Photos help grieving families after losing babies

HUNTSVILLE, Ala — A group of local photographers is part of nationwide initiative to help families through the difficult loss of a baby. Their work gives parents memories that will last a lifetime.

Deana Sanders went through a parent’s worst nightmare when her second son Braden passed.

“At about 34 weeks he was stillborn,” said Sanders, who has two other children. She and her husband, like many north Alabama families, turned to Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, a national organization of photographers for families suffering the loss of a baby.

“During those times that it’s dark, they can look at those pictures and remember how beautiful their child was and how much they loved them because that never changes,” said Mary Ellen Pollard. She took the pictures of baby Braden. Pollard is one of many who provide the photography and editing where needed.

“They don’t want to remember the medical aspect, they want to remember that sweet face,” said Pollard.

“It’s something we look at everyday,” says Sanders of the pictures of her son, “he’s still part of our family, our children know that they had a brother, they can see him.” There are five photographers in the Huntsville area, and they’re in need of more… because they’ve received as many as four calls a week, and they strive to comfort the families with tangible memories.

“Out of that tragedy, that very tragic day, we were left with something very beautiful,” said Sanders, who believes there is not greater gift she could have been given.

And the best part of the service is…it’s free. The professional photographers donate their time and talent…and their reasoning is simple, as explained by Pollard.

“We know that we’re a part of the healing.”

The local photographers work closely with the NICU at Huntsville Hospital to provide services to the families who need it.


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