Childrearing

Your Discomfort With The Image Of A Dead Child Doesn’t Trump A Mother’s Right To Share It

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Your Discomfort With The Image Of A Dead Child Doesn t Trump A Mother s Right To Share It 87982234 252x200 jpgWhen Sandra Homer’s son Jayce died in 2007, she was at a loss for ways to share her son with the world. Jayce was full-term and born still. She decided to take to Facebook to share her son with friends and family, like every other new mom on the site.

Homer was not fully supported in her decision to share the pictures of her stillborn son on the social media outlet. She received messages like, “I really don’t feel like seeing your dead baby every day,” from people who thought it was inappropriate. She didn’t let that stop her from showing pictures of her son though, “For me, it was the only way to share my son with the world.”

Her experience led her to create Heavensbook, “a Facebook group and website that catalogs a loved one who has passed and recognizes each “angel” on the day they passed as well as their birthday.” She clearly wants to give other grieving parents the space on social media she felt was lacking after the birth of her son. Homer hopes her effort with the site will ensure that “not one angel will be forgotten for years to come”.

I can’t believe someone would say something so insensitive to a grieving mother. I think some things are just so horrible, we’d rather pretend they didn’t happen. If we acknowledge they are happening to other people, maybe there is a little part of us that acknowledges it could happen to us, too. That’s the only explanation I have for someone being so terrible to a mother who just wants to share images of a child she will never be able to chronicle in any other way.

I understand why people would be uncomfortable with the image of a child that was born still; it’s overwhelmingly sad. But to anyone who would attest that it is inappropriate to share an image like that – I would say, you’re wrong. Sandra is a mother. She carried her son Homer to full term and will never have the opportunity that those of us with living children have to say, “this is my child.” It’s amazing that she’s created both a safe space for grieving parents, and a yearly message that says, “I know today is your child’s birthday and I am celebrating with you.”

That is beautiful.

(photo: Getty Images)

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