Wednesday, 3 November 2010

This is a really interesting piece on the BBC website. It's about a funeral photographer.

I remember reading somewhere years ago that the Victorians took photographs of everything, including their funerals. (Apparently it wasn't just their funerals; they also used to take pictures of the dead.) I could understand the theory of why - they took photographs of everything, both happy and sad - but didn't really understand. Not really.

And I didn't understand. Until last January, D and I standing in the chapel at the crem. And the thing I wanted more than anything else was a picture of the tiny white coffin that contained the remains of the babies being cremated that day.

I knew I should have gone outside and got a picture of it before it came into the chapel. But I was somehow scared. I didn't. And then as it got to the end of the ceremony and I realised that I only had a short time left, I picked up my camera as quietly as I could and snatched a shot of the tiny white coffin.

I was really scared that the other parents there would freak. Would ask me what the hell I was doing. Noone did. I don't know if that's because they didn't realise what I'd done, or because they were too upset to care. D was pretty weirded out by it, but he didn't say anything after a whispered 'are you serious?'

So. I guess all I'm trying to say is that I'm glad someone is breaking this taboo. Even though it's a bit weird that it's a business idea.


I should probably say while I'm here that I'm OK. Struggling with nausea. I threw up last Friday but other than that I've just been queasy. More so than last time, which is kind of reassuring, but not constantly (and interestingly not first thing in the morning) which isn't.

I'm 7 weeks on Friday. I was supposed to get a scan around that time but... I guess I'm scared. Even if I do and all's well, it doesn't mean all will stay well. And I guess... if the news is bad it'll come soon enough. I guess I don't want to hurry it along.


Illanare said...


therootofallevel said...

my gut wants to say "won't you just enjoy yourself, woman?"

my heart says "i know the anxiety, worries and pains in your heart (womb)."

just try to find the median. let us all be happy for you!!!!!

brianna said...

When we found out that George was most likely going to die L and I talked about photographing him. He really did not want to and I really wanted to bring a camera and take lots of pictures. We compromised and let the nurse take some photos. I am glad we have them although I really wish I had not compromised and insisted on more.

I think you were wise to take that photograph. I am glad that you listened to your gut and took it despite feel awkward about it.

I hope you are able to find some peace about your current pregnancy as it progresses. I don't know if that is even possible for any of us who have suffered losses but I like to hope that it is.

K said...

After I had delivered Isla, the nurse asked if we wanted pictures. I (a Canadian) immediately said yes and my hubby (a Scot) looked absolutely disgusted. It was so important to me to have pictures of our little girl even though she would be dead in those pictures. I'm so glad I have them. At the funeral, I asked my SIL to take some photos of the coffin and the snowdrop garden, not giving a shit what the family might think. It might be weird to some people, but to me, it was weird not to have those photos.

In America, there is a volunteer group that photographs recently deceased babies. It's called Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep: It is a powerful thing to do something like this, but so comforting for many people. If I knew such a thing existed, I would have immediately gone for it.

Frustrated Fairy said...

I think that a funeral photographer is a wonderful concept. I've always felt that it was an omission to not take any photographs. I've been to amazing funerals that really were a celebration of the persons life and I think it would have been nice for the family to have pictures of just how many people had been affected by this.
Isabella's coffin was beautiful, we didn't get to choose it so I only saw it for a minute. My husband carried her coffin to the grave and he was so incredibly strong at that moment, I do wish I had a photo.
Pregnancy sickness sucks and no doubt it will will get to the pretty much constant stage soon enough. If you feel sick it is miserable and if you don't feel sick you are miserable and paranoid, great! Wishing you luck for the scan xxx

Jenn said...

I totally regret not having pictures from Micah's service. I wish I had taken some, but for some reason I didn't. I'm glad you did what was right for you and got that picture.