Yesterday, this family said a final goodbye to the baby that God gave them but for a brief time. As part of their celebration of life, they shared some very precious and tasteful pictures of a precious life. Now...they are being ridiculed and criticized for even having these pictures taken. As I read these mean and hurtful comments, I wondered who said the same about the pictures we hold near and dear of Eli. Even if those thoughts were not shared with us, how many thought them? Honestly, I couldn't imagine not having those pictures today.
It is so hard to understand just how much those pictures mean to a bereaved parent unless you have firsthand experience. For Jay, Cooper, Lucie Rose and even Amelia, I have boxes and files upon files of pictures of them. I have memories of daily occurrences. For Eli, I have one shelf of things in my closet and one file of pictures. I have so little to remember of him and Michelle Duggar has even less of Jubilee.
I think back to the day Eli was born and the little bit of time we shared with him. I can sum my memories up in so few words. Some of the most vivid memories are the most devastating. I remember when Dr. K told me he had to put me to sleep for an emergency c-section. My first response was a very emphatic NO! I was digging my heals in and very much prepared to refuse to sign any paperwork for that. I knew I would miss his arrival and would be groggy due to anesthesia and that just was not an option for me. Really, the only way I even relented and agreed to this is because I was promised that pictures would be taken so I could somehow still be a part of his arrival. Those pictures never got taken and to this day that is one huge regret I have. I have one picture of my son alive. One...and all that you can see in that one picture are his legs and arms from a pretty far distance. It was taken through the nursery window and a crack in the blinds that some special, wonderful nurse so thoughtfully "forgot" to fix. He is surrounded by doctors and nurses. That is it. Just that one picture. No lifetime of photographs. Not a day, week, month, year or 10 years of pictures. Just this one.
I am so glad for the Duggars that they have those pictures of sweet baby Jubilee to help remember her by. This is such a tragic and heartbreaking...gut wrenching time for this family. Thank God there was someone to give them the gift of beautiful pictures. I can not say enough good things about all of the photographers who volunteer their time to Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. These are some wonderfully, special people.
I am so heartbroken for this family that they are walking this very difficult and lonely path. I am doubly heartbroken that hurtfulness, mean spiritedness, and ignorance will undoubtedly cause more pain to a family that needs peace and love to help them navigate through the valley of death.
Sending peace, love, and many prayers to this family in their time of grief.