Taking Pictures of the Dead

Jackie - posted on 10/11/2010 ( 57 moms have responded )

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This is stemming from the "should children go to funerals" thread.
When I was pregnant with Allison, I had an acquaintance on Facebook, we'll call her Michelle... Well, I knew Michelle had been pregnant but I didn't know her very well at all. My brother knew her better. Well, I was browsing around one day and she had posted pictures of her baby in a casket with her older son standing next to him with the quotations "Brotherly Love". Apparently the baby passed away a few days after birth.

I was completely floored that she posted pictures, up close, of her dead baby at his funeral. Come to find out, the baby passed because she was hooked on serious drugs while pregnant which, in my mind, made the circumstances WAY worse!

After speaking to a few people about this because I was very disturbed by the images that I had just seen (pregnant and hormonal) I was told that people do this all the time and it's comforting. I found it very disturbing.

So, what do you think? Would you take pictures of your dead loved ones or would you rather remember them as they were? And if yes, do you find it acceptable to post those pictures ona public site? Or do you find it very troublesome and macabre, like I do?

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Merry - posted on 09/08/2011

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I see this is old but my opinion is that if I ever had a baby die I'd be taking as many pictures as I could. Or, more likely, asking others to do it because i wouldn't want to put my baby down.
If my baby lived long enough to have pictures alive I would probably not photograph them after death.
Older people, no I probably wouldn't want pictures of them dead, would want to Rene Bert em alive. My mom died and I have no dead pictures of her, but unfortunately the images of her dying days are forever burned into my memory, and whenever I see skeletons or people with severe anorexia I think of my mom because of how wasted away she was at the end.
I hate open caskets. I have only been to a few funerals but if the casket is open I do not look. I think it's awful. But obviously some prole like it so I wouldn't argue, but if it was up to methere would be no open caskets. And I wouldn't want someone working on my body, make up, hair done, etc after I was dead. So no open casket for me thanks.
As for Facebook, idk, I think I might post pics of a still born baby. If that's all I had of him or her I'd want to share, not hide it in a closet like he or she never existed. I would name the baby and want others to remember he or she existed. So yeah I don't see anything wrong with posting pictures of your kids online and if the only pictures you have of them is after they died then so be it.
Buy IMO, not in a casket. That's too disturbing for me. But i wouldn't argue a person who wanted it, just not my idea of a beautiful remembrance photo.

Jocelyn - posted on 10/11/2010

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I think taking pictures of a still born baby (or a very young infant) is beautiful and healing. But in the right setting. I would NOT take a picture of ANYONE in a casket. That IMO is rude and frankly, morbid.
But pictures like this.... http://www.nowilaymedowntosleep.org/
I totally love. They are heartbreaking and beautiful, and full of love. I also don't think I would put a ton up on facebook...for personal reasons.
*Warning...the site I posted WILL make you cry*

Charlie - posted on 10/11/2010

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I had a miscarriage at 15 weeks , i held my baby , said goodbye and the hospital made me a beautiful keepsake box with his hospital tags , foot prints and hand prints and photos in his birth book .

I dont pull them out often but occasionally i pull it out and have a little cry over Jackson , my perfect little boy , im glad i have the photos of him , i would never have thought of it myself but im glad the gave them to me in such a beautufil way .
It really helped morn him to be able to see he was a real boy .
I would never post them on facebook or anywhere elses , its a private thing for me and my fiance .

Kate CP - posted on 10/11/2010

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History lesson time! :)

The Victorians were big on pictures of the dead. They are called memento mori and you can find thousands of them online. People would pose with their loved ones or take pictures of them shortly after death but usually before being placed in a coffin. Victorians were also very fond of using hair for things. A lock of hair was often cut off after death for preservation in a locket or, if long enough, to be knitted or woven into an article of clothing. In present day customs photos of the dead are usually seen as taboo or macabre.

Personally, I don't know if I would take a photo of a dead loved one. For those who HAVE passed I've never been tempted but that's not to say something could change.

[deleted account]

I wouldn't personally do this and would find it weird and morbid for other people to do it, however, everyone grieves differently and maybe that is helping her to get over the loss of the baby

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Emma - posted on 01/23/2014

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This has been going on since Victorian times, it's nothing new. I am a Photographer, and two of my assistants were volunteers for a charity called NILMDTS ( now i lay me down to sleep) , this charity deals soley in the photographing of babies who are born still, or who die shortly after birth,. Many of the mothers know that they are going to have a child who will only live for a few hours, so they meet with the volunteer pro Photographers whilst pregnant to plan the Photography for when the time comes and baby is born. The results of these images are profoundly beautiful , there is nothing macabre or even morbid, these babies were alive, they Lived!!!!! They were in their mothers womb tucked up safe and warm and full of life, and it surely is only natural to want to get some images of your baby, even when the life has gone. The Photographs of mothers and baby together help enormously with the griveing process, to have professional images of your child around the house, to watch as others acknowledge your babies existence and also acknowlede that you are still a mother even though baby has gone is important to these Mums and Dads and siblings and for preserving and documenting a life that did exist even if only for a short time.

Roxanne Yvette - posted on 12/05/2013

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I have never thought before to take a picture of a loved one who has passed away,but I guess it's different when it is your own child. My husband and I suffered the loss of our stillborn daughter,Layla on November 22 at 32 weeks. Just a couple of weeks ago. When we got the confirmation from the ultrasound that there was no heartbeat and were told I would be having a repeat C-section we broke down. It was comforting in that moment wlhen we were told about nowilaymedowntosleep photography. We were asked if it was something we'd be interested in,and we said of course!! Beautiful pictures were taken the next morning of our daughter and then of her and me together,which was a surprise to me. After holding her in my arms I took pictures of her with no hesitation at all. Even though I knew my daughter's soul was in Heaven and that was just her body,she was still my daughter. It felt so natural to hold her and take pictures of her just as I did with her big brother. The day I was released I took more pictures,and she looked even better than the day before. The hospital did such a great job preserving her precious body. She was beautiful and perfect in every way. A few days after her funeral I decided to post one of the last pictures I took of her in the hospital,cause she just looked like a sleeping baby in her pretty white dress and bonnet. We got tons of positive feedback. Everyone loved seeing our little angel,and we got lots of great comments and words of encouragement. It's up to the parents what they want to post of their children,alive or angels,and it's up to the people what they want to see. If they don't want to read or see anything they should just keep scrolling. These babies we've lost are a very important part of our families,and we decide how we carry on their memories with those we love. The professional photos we got are displayed on our living room wall,beautifully framed with crosses all around,for our family and friends to see. I only chose to share that one picture of her on Facebook and belly pics,not to mention my daily posts to carry on her memory. It's nice knowing that our friends and family have a beautiful image to look at to go along with the beautiful words I use when I speak of her. We love you,Layla! Come to us in our dreams.

Another - posted on 11/13/2013

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I do not see anything wrong with taking pictures of the dead (still born babies or ones who have died). However I do have a problem with them being posted on facebook. I feel that is a personal matter to be shared between family members and close friends, not for the public. There are children on facebook, mothers who are pregnant, and perhaps someone that the same thing has happened to, those situations are very sensitive! I understand it helps to talk about it but there is a time and place to talk about it and share those pictures that way there is a warning that they may be disturbing before anyone is shown so that they have the option to say I would not wish to see to see those pictures. That is just my opinion.

Another - posted on 11/13/2013

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I do not see anything wrong with taking pictures of the dead (still born babies or ones who have died). However I do have a problem with them being posted on facebook. I feel that is a personal matter to be shared between family members and close friends, not for the public. There are children on facebook, mothers who are pregnant, and perhaps someone that the same thing has happened to, those situations are very sensitive! I understand it helps to talk about it but there is a time and place to talk about it and share those pictures that way there is a warning that they may be disturbing before anyone is shown so that they have the option to say I would not wish to see to see those pictures. That is just my opinion.

Tara - posted on 09/08/2011

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Interesting as I just had this discussion with a friend. Her baby was born still on July 19th this year. He died in utero the day before his birth. She had him with her every day for a little while for 5 days before she left the hospital, they took lots of pictures. They did his hand and foot prints, they kept a lock of his hair. And she held him against her naked body. Their youngest child is 6, she wanted pictures of her holding her little brother, she wanted so badly to be a big sister and really wanted to have that memory. It's a great picture, she is so happy and he looks like he is sleeping, wrapped in her baby blanket from when she was a newborn, cuddled in her arms.
They have a friend who is taking one of the still shots and is going to do a professional sketch of him for them to hang in the house with the other sketches she did for her other kids.
I see nothing wrong with taking pictures of our loved ones who pass on, especially of babies, new ones... I think the reason people do take pics of new babies or stillborn babies is because unlike older kids or adults, we rarely have a lot of pictures of them.. and none if they are born still or born and die shortly afterwards.
This isn't macabre in my opinion but a way to have a memory, a mental connection to their face. A way not to ever forget how beautiful your baby was...
I have seen some of her pics and they are loving shots, not posed in a casket etc. but held by mom and dad, sisters and brothers and love... lots and lots of love.

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Have just read all the posts and agree with Loureen, for those who have lost a baby or who have suffered a stillbirth I can COMPLETELY understand wanting pictures of your little Angel that didnt have long on this earth.

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I say each to their own, whatever helps you get through it and survive it; but for me? No I couldnt do it and wouldnt want to. As an ex-nurse then an ex-cop I have seen alot of deceased people unfortunately and have also seen people I know who have passed away and I personally cant 'see' any of the living person in a corpse. So I'd prefer to look at pictures of them when they were alive and 'themselves'- hope that makes sense??

Stifler's - posted on 05/25/2011

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That's so sad. I wouldn't post pics of my dead baby on FB, I might take some of me holding them though to look through later in life. A friend recently lost her 4 year old and they did casts of her hands. I don't find it appropriate or tasteful to post them on Facebook at all.

Mrs. - posted on 05/25/2011

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If my baby died and only lived for a short period...not long enough to get pictures, I would take them. I think it is personal.
If that's what that person had to do to grieve - that's what they have to do. I'd try not to be too creeped out as I've never had the experience of losing a child.

Elizabeth - posted on 05/25/2011

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i dont find it trouble some i have pics of my father n law n my friend in the coffin on my facebook

Danielle - posted on 03/13/2011

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I think people get way too personal on facebook! I went to a funeral for a friend of family who had battled muscular dystophy for most of his 21 years of life and a few days later the mother had posted a few pictures of the funeral and her child in the casket. I was just appalled!!!! (sp?) I wasnt bothered by pics of being in the hospital just days before he passed.

If people wanted to share certain pictures with people, do it in person or sending in a personal email. Don't put them out there for everyone to see!

Becky - posted on 10/18/2010

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This is such a controversial things to take pictures of dead loved ones. I saw a picture of my greatgrandma from my dad's side in her coffin when I was a kid and wasn't sure if that was quite right. But there are lots of pictures out there of deceased loved ones in caskets.



I was at a funeral last month. A great aunt of mine passed away and before the funeral, family and relatives visited the funeral parlor for viewing. Open casket. I did have a thought to bring out the camera but I opted out of that. I didn't think it would be proper and wouldn't want a picture of my aunt hanging around. The last thing I needed was my family ripping me a new one because of the pic.



Picture taking of a deceased relative I don't think is good. It is best to remember the person back when he or she was alive than to have a portrait of the dead and in a coffin.



This would be a general consensus, however there may be specifics that may lead to doing what one needs to do despite controversy.



If things are HIGHLY controversial it is best to leave it alone and move on.......but again it just depends on the topic.

Kate CP - posted on 10/14/2010

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Christina: That is also true. During the Victorian era the photograph was no longer as rare as it once was and the popular "tin type" had been abandoned for the cheaper and more portable film camera first marketed by Kodak. Although tintypes were still commonly seen until the 1950s (often as souvenirs at sideshows) the film photograph became more predominantly used during the early 20th century. This was also when the newest craze was just coming out: the movie.

During the Victorian era (also known as the Industrial Revolution) people often splurged on things that were cutting edge: telephones, radios, electricity, indoor plumbing, ice cream cones (first introduced at the St. Louis world's fair in 1904), and the photograph family portrait which was much cheaper than a hiring a painter.

Another fun factoid: you can thank the world's fair of 1904 for termites. Up until that time, termites had no been introduced to the US. However, the hemp fibers they used to build the temporary structures at the fair were infested with termites from another country (I believe it was the Philippines). The bugs got out and to this day we all get to deal with those pesky critters.

I was a docent at a Victorian era museum for a while. This stuff still fascinates me to this day. :)

Charlie - posted on 10/14/2010

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Because for those that lost their children before they had a life to live and photograph those photos are ALL they have left of their little angels .

Bonnie - posted on 10/14/2010

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I don't understand why people would want to take pictures of the dead. I would much rather have sacred memories of the person when everything was right, not at this point when they are lying there helpless with no emotion. Like someone else said, at that point it is just their shell left behind.

[deleted account]

For myself I personally couldn't take photos of a dead loved one and I think what's worse is that she posted them on Facebook. She obviously had issues to begin with but is she really doing herself any favours by doing that....



I can understand that if a baby is stillborn the parents may want a photo as that would be the only photo they would have but this baby wasn't stillborn.

Lyndsay - posted on 10/14/2010

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Hmm, I've never really thought about this before. I think it's a bit creepy. I would much prefer to look at pictures I have of my loved ones while they were alive.

Sharon - posted on 10/14/2010

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and cultures diverge again.

You're perfectly entitled to your opinion, but you shouldn't judge others by it.

With all three of my kids well grown and I have plenty of other photographic memories - I probably wouldn't display casket pictures. But how many parents DON'T have those? Their only comfort is in the peaceful ceremony that sent the body of their child away? For some - it shows a child in their only moment of peace, free from pain. If every memory you have of your child of it attached to machines wouldn't cherish the picture that shows your child free at last?

[deleted account]

Yeah, that sounds kind of messed up :\ I wouldn't find that comforting at all. Who in the world would want to keep a memory of their child in a casket? That's not right to me. People can have their opinions, and mine is that's entirely messed up.

Sherri - posted on 10/13/2010

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Leslie see I disagree no one should be shielded from death even children. Death is a part of life I took my 2 & 3yr old to there grandmothers wake and funeral and told them they needed to say good bye. They have also been to to 3 or 4 others since then as well it isn't a big deal to them they understand death is a part of life.

I also don't think if someone wishes to post photos of there dead ones on the internet it is in bad taste. I actually have to say I would most likely be one of those people that would do a Utube memorial and I would also post photos on my FB. I will not be quilted because someone else may be uncomfortable. If my child past away especially at birth or as a newborn I would want them around me at all times. They are my child too and I should be able to post there picture because I am proud they are my child not something that should be shameful, private and hidden.

[deleted account]

....I'm not a superstitious (?) person...but I would not feel comfortable taking pictures 'of' the dead. I mean funeral ones, yes. Of the actual dead person, no. Even if it was my child I would not feel comfortable. I think the memories would be much better to recall....

Sharon - posted on 10/13/2010

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ALOT of parents of dead kids have pictures taken. Especially of deceased newborns. Its the ONLY photographic remembrance they'll ever have.

Why isn't the 'friend' in jail for killing her baby?

I have pictures of my grandfather in his casket. My husband asked me to take pictures of his brother in law in his casket.

A long time ago, pictures were only taken for special events, birth, wedding & death. If your child died at birth - pictures were taken for photographic memory/record.

I read part of this...
http://yaycowsyay.blogspot.com/2009/11/d...

I'm not into this enough to register but for those of you curious.... I found a book a long time ago about historical dead people pictures, not famous, just the art of the photography.

http://www.missingangel.org/main-angel.h...

Leslie - posted on 10/13/2010

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If My baby was still born I would want photos, maybe a family photo even. They were my baby no matter what, I would always want to rememeber them, even if we never got to meet face to face. If my baby died a few days later, I don't know if I would want photos of them dead. I know I would already have tons of photos of their first few days on earth. However if my baby was hooked up to tons of wires and tubes, and there was never one of us together without them being hooked up, I may want one to rememeber them by without tubes. (Oh my I'm crying just thinking about this)I don't think that I would want my older children to see their baby brother/ sister dead. At least not the age they are now. They would not understand. Some things kids should be protected from, and I think death should be one until they are old enough to have it explained and understood.

That mother may feel horrible for what she did. Maybe she was trying to feel better by having the photos. Myself I wouldn't want photos of my baby in a caskat. That would be the LAST photo I would want to rememeber them by. Being held in your arms is different. It's a family moment even if they never took a breath. To post on facebook... hmmm, don't know if I would be doing that. Maybe if it were a cuddle photo just to show my family and close friends (the only people on my FB) my beautiful angle, God I pary I never have to have a photo like that, and I pray the rest of you never have to either. What a horrible thing to have happen.

Jodi - posted on 10/13/2010

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We took pictures of my grandfather and my grandmother after they passed to send to family who could not attend the funerals at their request. Interestingly enough we kept them and added them the scrapbook. I don't think that taking pictures of the dead is any more macabre than looking upon them at a funeral, or in other cultures, burning the bodies, or in times past, keeping the body in the house for a short time. Death is a part of life and one person's choice to take pictures is just another tradition that is par for the course.
On the other hand, I do think it was in poor taste to post it on facebook, a family website would be okay (we have one, although no pics of the deceased on it) but facebook, my space, a blog, that's just in poor taste personally, but to each their own. It's very easy to be upset by something we're not familiar with.

C. - posted on 10/13/2010

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@Kate.. Isn't it also true that Victorians used to take pictures of their dead loved ones b/c that was the only time some of them had the money for a photographer? (B/c people would give the family money if a loved one passed..) I had heard that somewhere, too.

C. - posted on 10/13/2010

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I can see why someone would take pictures of their dead newborn.. But that is personal and should never be posted on the internet. I think that was in bad taste.

Stifler's - posted on 10/12/2010

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I don't think my family has anything like that but it'd be interesting.

Becky - posted on 10/12/2010

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My mom has pictures of both my paternal grandparents after they died. Although she wasn't at my grandpa's funeral because we were in Africa, so someone else obviously took it. She took the pics of my grandma. For a while she had them in her photo album, but I think some of my dad's siblings were bothered by that, so she took them out.
I am sure that if I ever lost a child, especially had one stillborn, I would want pictures of that child. And probably of the child's funeral as well. But I'm pretty sure I wouldn't post them on facebook, or any other public place. Maybe funeral or memorial pictures, but not pictures of the baby him/herself.

Morgan - posted on 10/12/2010

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My grandmother has a photo album of dead people.......no joke.
It scares me just knowing its sitting there on the shelf when I go over there.

Kimberly - posted on 10/12/2010

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I also had a friend that posted pictures on Facebook of the son (a twin) that she lost. It may not have been my place but I sort of let her know in a tactful and loving way that I wasn't expected to see them and how it tore at my heart. I just suggested that some people may not be strong enough to look at them. She took them down. I think it is nice to have them and to look at them privately but I just couldn't post them on the internet. It's too personal. If any one asked to see them, I would share but not force anyone to have that image in their head if they weren't ready for it.

Sal - posted on 10/12/2010

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as someone mentioned it was common in victorian times, esp of children, as this was often the only photo the family would have, i saw a collection of them on an antiques show, they were facinating, although morbid.I also listened to an interview of a women who had a still born daughter, she told of how she took photos and how it helped to have them, and inderstand it, and may do a similar thing if god forbid i was in that situation, how ever i would not put them on face book, not ever!! and when at my husbands grandfathers funeral his sister whipped out a camera and took a shot of pop in the coffin i was flabbergasted and a little bit horrified, that i didn't understand at all, (my family don;t even really do the open casket) there should be enough memories of him alive to not need a photo in death. thats why i always try and cherish each moment with my loved ones....

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I would never question a parents reason or any body's reason for taking pictures of there loved one who passed.I could never understand why the do it , i have never been in that mind set thankfully i have never lost a child or close family member.I just have to respect there feelings and there action meant something to them, if the want to share with people there child who passed or whom ever, then its there buisness.Its a personal decision that we just have to respect.



I have seen pictures..some look like just perfect sleeping babys..some are extremely hard to see..its something only close family who wanted to see should see in that case.I know a mother will never feel what we feel looking at them(the see there a perfect beautiful baby) as rightly so....but some are so heartbreaking that i personally wouldnt want another person to see and feel that overwhelming pain in your heart looking at it.

Desiree - posted on 10/12/2010

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Personally i wouldn't but here is an interesting piece of general knowledge in Victorian time it was common practice to take photos of the dead. Usually they were taken as though they were sleeping, but you get some that are possed. But personally its just to creepy, Ghosts (tongue in cheek) are enough to deal with.

Rebecca - posted on 10/12/2010

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When I was 15, my best friend over-dosed on codeine syrup. At his open-casket, what disturbed me most was that he wasn't the same person i had befriended so many years ago. I was upset, and crying, and all he did was lay there, motionless and cold; not hug me and tell me everything would be okay like he normally would do in this situation. I guess what i'm trying to say is that once the soul is gone, they're not your loved one anymore. Just the vessel their soul was using that was left behind after moving on. I can't see why people would want to have pictures of their loved ones' shell.

Stifler's - posted on 10/11/2010

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Lots of people do it or have pics of themselves holding their stillborn baby. one of my friend's mums had one and she had 4 other kids and the one that died was older than all of them so they had a pic of him on their mantel or whatever it's called to remember him by.

Jess - posted on 10/11/2010

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Like Loureen, I followed that link and now I'm balling my eyes out. Some of those babies just look so perfect and could easily believe they were just sleeping.

The pictures are beautiful and if your newborn die's you have no memories to keep of them. I wouldn't photograph my grandmother after death, but my newborn is completely different.

I think if done tastefully and respectfully than why not?

Joanna - posted on 10/11/2010

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I don't think it's really something you post around online, but I see no problem with having pictures of deceased loved ones. I would probably take the pictures and just keep them in a special spot just to have and keep in case I ever needed to see them for emotional/closure reasons. But I wouldn't go posting them online.

And I saw that NILMDTS site awhile ago and I think it's just amazing, I love the pictures! My friend had a stillbirth when she was 32 weeks, and had pictures done through them... she hasn't looked at them, she just tucked them away to keep for the future, but I can really see how they can help, even just knowing you have those memories saved.

Charlie - posted on 10/11/2010

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I opened the link and now im crying , the photos are so beautiful :(

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I have a friend that works for NILMDTS (from the link above) and I think that is a wonderful and beautiful thing to do. As far as older people, funeral pics, or posting them online? Not for me... I think.

Sherri - posted on 10/11/2010

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If I lost a baby I would take as many pictures as possible of that baby in the casket at the wake at the funeral you bet. I would probably break the camera as these would be the only photos I would ever have of my beloved child. I would cherish any part I could possibly could and most likely that would be from photos. I would post them, I would want to announce to the world how important this child was to me and if they were deceased then those would be the photos I would post.

Yes it is very common practice for this to be done. Google search it and you will find 1,000's of photos just on the internet alone. Especially of deceased children. Tons of parents, siblings, family with the deceased child.

I have no problems with it what so ever, everyone grieves differently and to a lot of people this is very important for them to have. I know my friend takes photos at her familys wakes all the time. It is something her family does.

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It's just a way of preserving the memory. It was common practice in victorian times and there are web sites that you can go to and see some of the pictures taken of deceased loved ones.

Amanda - posted on 10/11/2010

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I have a family friend who was pregnant with twins. She lost one at about 6 months....she then when she went into labor she delivered both babies. The girl survived for a day, but she then joined her brother up in heaven. The family has facebook, and all of them have the same picture as their "profile" pic and it's the baby girls' feet, with the dad's hands making a heart. This is a family who had many struggles getting pregnant and then did - only to lose them. I find nothing wrong with this picture and in fact I look at it everyday. I guess it reminds me how lucky I am to have my little one, but also just how loves those babies were, by a lot of people.



Sidenote - I have another friend who lost a baby and she has an entire album of pictures, and they are beautiful given the circumstances.



People grieve in different ways and I think this is just a very good way for them to grieve.

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I have an aunt who takes pictures of the deceased at funerals. I don't know why she does it, but I've always thought it was creepy. I was unable to go to my grandfather's funeral years ago. Then, about 5 years after my grandfather had passed away, I was helping my aunt "flee" Miami (LOL Horrible place to live....no offense to anyone who lives there). Anyhow, she assigned me to pack her photos. She had this big book shelf and the bottom maybe 3 rows were all these little mini albums. As I was about half way through packing them, I got curious and decided to look and see what the pictures were. The very first one I looked at, I remember seeing an old man, in a casket and thought "Man, that looks like Grandaddy". Turns out it WAS my Grandaddy (who was also my aunt's father). Now, not all of the photo albums were of dead people, but as I flipped through here and there I would see a person laying in a casket. She's in her 80's now and has watched a lot of her friends and family pass on. As creepy as it is to me, I don't think any less of her for doing it. She is respectful about it. She doesn't just jump up and start snapping pictures. She clears it with the family first and then comes early or stays late to do it. I don't think anyone minds. Wierd, but to her it's something she does out of love. Now, when MY mom died in 1997, I was her closest living relative and had to go to the morgue to identify her body. My aunt went with me for support, and also because my mom was her sister. She asked me if she could take a picture and I got upset. There was no funeral for my mother and the picture she would have taken, would have been of my mother naked on a metal gurney, covered to just below her shoulders by a sheet, looking in death NOTHING like what she looked like in life. I ended up telling my aunt that I would prefer if she didn't take a picture and she said ok. To this day, it's hard enough to not see my mother as she was, because I still have that last image burned into my brain. Funnily enough, as we were standing there looking at my Mom, the flash on my aunt's camera (in her purse) went off and flashed up onto the glass divider. At first I thought she had taken a picture anyhow, but it turned out that her keys had bumped the button. Years later, I still joke with her that "When you die Aunt Dottie, I'd better not find any pictures of my mom". She and I have had several laughs about that. Morbid humor, but that's just us I guess lol

As for taking pictures of deceased babies? I don't think I would ever do it but I've never been in that position. I can't say what I would do or want to do if anything that horrible ever happened to me so I also can't judge any other woman for choosing to do it. Certainly, it is done out of love and if it helps in the grieving process then there's nothing wrong with that.

Kate, I was thinking about that before I got to your post...about how it was very common in history to take pictures of the dead. Sadly, my only "reference" to this is from the movie "The Others" lol

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Jocelyn- I looked and your right I cried. Even a picture as beautiful as those I don't think I could post. It would be for me.

September - posted on 10/11/2010

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I do not and would not take pictures of my dead loved ones. I like to hold onto those special times we shared and leave it at that. However, if it makes it easier for someone to move forward after losing a loved one, then I say take pictures and post them if that's what you need to do. I would never.

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Oh Liz, I know words don't help, but for what it's worth, I'm sorry.

I would probably flip out too if I were in your position.

Having pictures of your child taken at their funeral should be YOUR decision. I *think* I would want them up to a certain age.

Rosie - posted on 10/11/2010

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i think of babies it is a good thing. i think i would do it. i wouldn't post them on the internet, it would be something private for me and my husband, maybe have a little part of the bedroom wall or dresser for that pic.
older people it does bug me. i don't know what age is the cut off for me. i don't want an open casket. i hated seeing my grandma looking all pasty and dead. make up on dead people is atrocious. so nobody will be taking any pictures of me, thank god.

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Sara-I can see where your coming from and I would want pictures but not of a funeral. My son was 3 months old when he passed so I have pictures of what I want to remember. I do have pictures of him on face book but they are from before he passed. Most of my family never saw him alive.

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