The unexpected tragedy of a stillbirth is a devastating loss many families experience. When your dreams are shattered for the new life you have come to love and anticipate welcoming into the world, there is little comfort that can be given in such a horrific circumstance.
Yet Heartfelt know they can give parents a source of comfort by providing professional photographers to offer a photoshoot capturing memories of their little one.
The volunteer organization has a list of professional photographers from all over Australia who have come together to form an organisation dedicated to giving the gift of photographic memories to families that have experienced stillbirths, premature and ill infants and children in the Neonatal Intensive Care Units of their local hospitals and terminally ill children. The photoshoot is undertaken with compassion, and in a heartfelt manner, hence the name of the organization.
The organisation could not offer their services for a fee of $65 without the support of donations from the community who understand the value of this service to grieving families.
One mum shares her experience with Heartfelt after the silent birth of her daughter Paisley 4 years ago.
Her gratitude for the organisation has prompted her to open a mycause account to raise money so that other grieving parents can receive the same memories she has of her precious Paisley.
This year is my daughter Paisley’s 4th birthday. Which means it’s 4 years ago that she silently entered the world. 4 years ago that I gave birth, and then left the hospital without my baby. Moments like that become life defining. That’s where life becomes divided into “before” and “after”.
65. I have 65 photographs of my daughter. Which almost sounds like a lot, except that those 65 are all I will ever have. EVER. No first smile, no first foods, no first day of school, no first date. That’s it. Just 65 pictures for a lifetime of love, loss and heartache. I got to spend time with my daughter only after she passed.
Losing a baby is not only soul shattering, but expensive. But through the service offered by Heartfelt, a charity comprised of professional photographers, I have 65 beautiful, irreplaceable photographs that were taken with the utmost of love, care and respect, by someone who stepped aside from their own family, to volunteer their time so those photos could be gifted to me, without charge. It is the greatest gift I will ever be given.
Sadly, those 65 photos are an awful lot more than what some people have. Some families that face this devastating loss are left with nothing. They go home with empty arms, broken hearts and no recorded memories. It might be because they didn’t know about the service, or because it doesn’t exist where they are. Both need to change.
Which is why, I am asking you to take a moment to look up Heartfelt. This is an Australian charity set up by a man with a huge heart, who in my darkest time showed me personal kindness. I didn’t know they existed until I had to. Know about these people, because there could be a time where someone close to you needs them. Support them if you can, by way of donation to this appeal so that more families who need this service can be assisted. Because even a small amount will help. And what this charity does is priceless.
To donate to Heartfelt, you may choose do so here and here. Let’s help this organization offer this incredible service for all parents who find themselves unexpectedly saying goodbye to a much loved member of their family.