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Posts Tagged ‘Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep’

Memory Lane Portraits by Rhonda Lester is partnering with Just a Cloud Away, Inc.™ Journal, 50% of pet portrait session fees will be donated to the publication. The journal provides our community a platform to share stories of hope, healing, loss and memorials of a loved one, pregnancy or pet.

Memory Lane Portraits by Rhonda Lester creates beautiful artistic portraits of pets and their families. They welcome well-loved animals of all types and ages and love capturing the unique personality of each.

Rhonda is partnering with Just a Cloud Away, Inc. ™ Journal by donating 50% of all pet session fees booked through mentioning this ad. Rhonda has over 25 years experience in photography, and compassion for capturing the love between owner and companion.

Rhonda’s first pet session was for a dog with terminal cancer, named Chester. His owner, Sheila, wanted something special to remember her beautiful and beloved Chester, as he had been part of the family for so many years. When they arrived at the studio, Sheila wasn’t sure Chester would cooperate, as he usually disliked being photographed. Knowing this, and how important the portraits were, Rhonda was a little nervous about how the session was going to progress. She was used to being patient and playful with reluctant children to capture the best pictures, and decided to apply those same skills. Staying calm, Rhonda not only got Chester’s cooperation, but a variety of heart warming images­. The result was a priceless portrait of a very much-loved companion, Chester……

“End of Life Photography” was provided for the pet owners of Monty, adopted 15 years ago from a shelter. He is a very special part of the family, being the first of 7 dogs to enter the household.

It is said, 78% of owners consider pets a full-fledged part of the family and rightly so.

 View additional pictures

Consider having a professional portrait of your loyal 4-legged friends with Rhonda Lester (336.474.6867), she has a heart of gold and also a volunteer photographer for a national non-profit,  Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, photographing deceased babies for bereaved parents. These photographs provide families with keepsakes to begin their healing journey.

Thank you for partnering with Just a Cloud Away, Inc. ™Journal and we appreciate all you do Rhonda.

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I had the pleasure of meeting Anna and William Heroy of Old Photo Specialists while delivering Just a Cloud Away, Inc.™ Journals in Downtown Greensboro, North Carolina. The shop is absolutely beautiful and nostalgic with photos, each with a story gracing their walls.

 As a surprise, William offered to create a forever photograph of our stillborn son. My husband and I often replace Tanner’s photograph in his memory garden due to fading from the sun.

Many people are unaware of the product William offers in his studio. The photographs are reproduced on archival material resistant to fading and water. The photos can even be displayed without inserting into a glass frame. They would make a wonderful sympathy gift.

One of the 12 photographs we have of our little angel is so precious, I choose this one for William to work with. He did not re-touch Tanner’s picture, but now we will always have this picture and never have to reproduce it again.

William also printed a short poem found in Tanner’s scrapbook pages.

Pictures like this are priceless, thank you William.

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If this subject doesn’t affect you, you are blessed. If a friend or family member looses a baby and you are aware of supportive resources, you may be their angel when most needed. No one ever dreams of loosing a baby, however, 1 out of 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage and 26,000 stillbirths occur in the USA every year.

If the parents have not named the baby, you may want to suggest thinking about this. Even if the loss was an early miscarriage, naming the baby will give them an identity and validation.

What do I do to help a friend who has lost a baby regarding the funeral or memorial service?

If you have not lost a child yourself, it may be very difficult to find the words to comfort them. There is a list found here to help  support your friend. Another list is available regarding, what not to say to bereaved parents.

Some funeral homes offer free memorial service for stillborn babies and give discounts for a funeral. Help them by making these necessary phones calls.

When the parents of the deceased baby have decided to have a funeral or memorial service, they may need additional help from you with the logistics. It is important to involve both parents as much as possible in the decision making. Even though this is a very sad time, this event will be remembered for a lifetime.

Areas of the funeral:

  • Notifying people of the service
  • Location
  • Music
  • Readings, Poems or Stories
  • If a priest or pastor will be present
  • Does the baby need to be baptised
  • Cremation or Burial (small caskets for later miscarried babies are available at Heaven’s Gain)
  • Burial Clothes
  • Container or urn for ashes
  • Headstone or marker
  • Obituary in paper
  • Would the family like flowers or encourage donations
  • Helping to assemble the altar with keepsakes and other memorabilia
  • Contacting Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep if  parents want professional pictures of the funeral and baby after declining at the hospital
  • Choosing an outfit for the baby
  • Donating organs

Remember that the scents of the season, colors, music on the radio, the landscape, the ambiance of the month will all attribute to the memories etched into the minds of the  parents, later triggering thoughts of  their baby.

Usually about the time of the service or funeral (2-5 days after the baby’s death) the mother’s milk will come in if she was further along in the pregnancy. The milk can be donated to save another child’s life. The program is The Breast Milk Project.

Wedding gowns can be donated to the Mary Madeline Project or Heavenly Angels in Need  to make burial gowns for babies that have died. Sewers are also in great need.

Some of the smallest burial gowns were made for 18-22 week old babies.

Here is the Triad, Busy Bee Crafters, a non-profit, volunteer their time sewing, knitting and crocheting. This group, led by Sandra Vernon and has been in place for over 20 years. Some of the garments created are: bereavement pocket or bereavement dress and blanket, and prayer shawls in pastel colors. 

These are some of the logistics family and friends can help organize for the bereaved parents of pregnancy loss or infant death. Having this knowledge could someday be the gift providing a grieving family direction and assistance in a time of devastating grief.

Please feel free to leave additional suggestions and comments.

Peace Love and Hugs

Diana

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No child will say they want to take pictures of deceased babies when they grow up. Tammy Councilman, a native of Greensboro, NC is providing this service. She decided to do so after a simultaneous pregnancy with a friend whose baby did not live.

Because Tammy had not suffered an infant death herself, she searched the internet looking for baby loss support and found Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. The non-profit offers professional portraiture for bereaved parents of babies born at 25 weeks gestation and greater, stillbirths, terminally ill babies on life support, Sudden Infant Death and can also be prearranged for Tammy or another volunteer to be present in the operating room if the baby’s diagnosis is not positive. Volunteers can come and take pictures during the first 24 hours or later, if the baby is preserved and conditions permit. This service is available even if the parents change their mind about having photographs taken. If this is the case and the funeral home allows, volunteers may photograph the memorial or funeral service at the parents request.

Tammy Councilman has been practicing professional photography for 14 years and volunteering for Now I Lay M Down to Sleep  fulfills a community need while honoring a friend’s deceased baby. Tammy was approved by the organization in September 2006 and had her first call from the hospital June 2007, with assistance. In this case, a baby was going to be taken off life support in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

“These are the only images you will have of your child and they will provide comfort by having something tangible. We say very little in the room and strive to take the best pictures of your babies in a sensitive manner,” comments Tammy.

A brochure is presented by the hospital to the parents regarding services from Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep. A signed consent form is needed for the photographer and they will be happy to read for you. A special outfit may be suggested, each family member may have photographs taken, you may change your baby, give them a bath, or just kiss them. If you have out-of-town family, you can ask the hospital to keep your baby until they arrive.  It may take up to 4 weeks to receive a CD of high resolution images and musical DVD slideshow from the session. 2-8×10 portraits will be provided immediately for the baby’s memorial service or funeral.

It is not uncommon for family and friends to make donations to Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep in the baby’s memory.

Tammy Councilman has 3 children ranging from 17 months to 13 years old, a supportive husband and 2 animals, one from an animal rescue. Her hobbies are photography, modern ballet and she is active with the Guilford Interfaith Hospitality Network at, St Paul The Apostle Catholic Church.

This national organization was co-founded by the mother of Maddux, Cheryl Haggard, who lost her son in February 2005. They are always looking for new volunteers for photography, assistance and retouching. Please visit their site for additional information.

Thank you for helping the bereaved parents of our community.

Peace Love and Hugs

Diana

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