As I mentioned on the old blog a while back, I am a member of a group of photographers called Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep (NILMDTS). This is a non-profit organization that provides photography to families across the country dealing with the loss of a child. These photographers document the brief lives of infants that are terminally ill or still-born. I found out about this organization when a friend of mine lost a child last year. I had offered to photograph her and her family and her son when the hard decision was made to take him off life support when he was only about 9 months old. When I was not able to make the trip to Denver to photograph the family as planned, I was so relieved to hear that the family had been referred to Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. I had never heard of them before and when I learned what they were doing, I knew immediately that I had to join in their efforts.
While I have not been called to go to a hospital and photograph a family yet, I know it is just as important to spread the word about Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. Many familes have never heard of the organization and bury their babies without ever having portraits of them. The pictures serve as a living memory and tangible evidence of a short but meaningful life on earth. NBC’s Today Show is helping to get the word out to families, friends, doctors and nurses that this is a FREE service, available to ALL families that find themselves in need of this service.
Here is a link to the video on the Today Show. It moved me to tears. Ann Curry put it beautifully: Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep is “documenting the value of every life.” I hope that no one reading this blog ever has to refer the services of an organization like Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep, but if you do, know that myself and 3,200 other photographers across the country are here to help in the one way we can.