Reid’s Story

About a year ago, a photographer friend reached out to me about a bereavement session. She knew that I volunteered for Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep and donated a few bereavement sessions on my own. Without having done a session before for a family facing loss, she wasn’t sure that she could handle it. Honestly, I wasn’t sure if I could either but I got in my car and headed to Boston Children’s Hospital as quickly as I could. A mother wanted pictures done of her two year old son before his life support was removed. None of the sessions in my past could have prepared me for the intensity of emotion that day.

The hardest session I’ve ever experienced

When I got to the cardiac ICU, I met with the mother. A week before her child was vibrant and smiling. Very suddenly his donated heart was being rejected. She asked that I take pictures of the entire experience. From the goodbyes of every family member, to the removal of his tubes, I never left their sides. Even after his parents gave him one last kiss, I was the last one in the room besides the nurses. As tears streamed down my face, the only way to hold my composure was through the lens of my camera. Through my photography I had purpose. In the moment I felt all of their pain.

The gift of an angel

This beautiful boy gave me one of the greatest gifts I ever could have imagined. He gave me a purpose. I knew I loved photography but until meeting this family I had no idea how I could use it in a way that could speak to the soul. The only way I could process the experience I witnessed that day was through the story created through pictures – one of love, support, beauty and of course immeasurable heartache. I learned that hands and touch are just as important to capture as smiles. I’ve come to realize that I was meant to tell families’ stories in both the beauty and the pain. THIS was the beginning of Imperfect Joy. So I want to say thank you to this angel and to his supportive family for inviting me in to share that sacred space.

Take a glimpse into their story…
Be advised that the content of this gallery is very emotional and shows this family’s story of loss and love.