Heartfelt – Precious Memories for Families

Heartfelt – Precious Memories for Families Supplied image: Willow James Ruddy

Heartfelt – Precious Memories For Families

When couples hear the unbearable news that they will lose their child they are faced with a series of decisions which can seem impossible. Thankfully, the volunteer photographers from Heartfelt are dedicated to creating lasting memories at this difficult time.

Grief brings its own heavy fog and can leave partners, friends and family wanting for the right words. This emotional roller coaster can sometimes last a lifetime, leaving the couple feeling isolated and alone with their memories.

If there was any silver lining to such a tragedy, it is that there are dedicated and caring photographers in Australia and NZ from Heartfelt who come to you, the hospital or funeral home to compassionately capture you and your partner’s love with your sick, deceased or stillborn child. Images and ink-free hand or foot prints are available on request which are described as gifts to families for they become an anchor to their unimaginable sadness.

When CWM’s mother Marea recently learnt she would lose her child at 21 weeks gestation, she reached out to a friend who found local Heartfelt volunteer Penny Rohleder who came to the ICU to photograph their daughter.

“She was professional and compassionate with us,” Marea recalled. “Willow was wrapped in a beautiful baby blanket. Penny was sensitive to our grief and took a lovely series of photos we’ll keep forever. We’ll show her big brother when he’s older and talk about her story with ours. The images somehow validate the depths of our loss and the love we will always feel for her.”

Marea says this is helping her move through her grief and now wants to pay forward the benefits of the service by raising $1500 to help 20 families also have access to a trained photographer at short notice. To support her fundraiser go to #mycause to make a tax deductible donation.

Heartfelt compassion

If you know someone who is facing a precious time with their child, or are a facility looking for related resources, please share this as it could bring a family so much peace and happiness. Also, by supporting Marea’s cause you will help ensure that more families like hers will be left holding more than distant memories.

Request a session: Click here


Diana Smith

I'm an Orange-based photographer, writer, face painter and book designer. I enjoy meeting the lovely folk of our community and have been involved in publishing/media/comms for about 15 years. I have done several exhibitions and in 2022 published my own childrens story, 'The Mouses Houses.'

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