Ever since I was a teen I’ve loved taking pictures, I was always hiding in my bedroom trying to find new ways to take “the best selfie” or posing in some way. Yet actually, I hate having my picture taken, I get awkward and self-conscious and always feel like a whale. I remember when Luke and I would go on holidays (always a coach trip abroad and they were AMAZING!) I would take roughly 2000 pictures to remember every single detail of that trip. Of cause, I don’t even look at them and the thousands of scenic pictures mean nothing to me as I don’t remember half the places we visited. Yet, I still take them.
I remember not wanting to take any photos of Jason the day he was born. It felt wrong and insensitive somehow. He was dead. I didn’t hold him alive and I didn’t want to fake how I was feeling for a picture either. I was told that the midwives would take some photo’s of him so there would be some if we ever wanted them. I didn’t want anyone to meet him but allowed close family in to say hello and goodbye; I denied those who would have loved him so much that chance but I knew I’d have put on a brave face and pretended this was exactly what we were expecting if they had come. I wanted to be true to myself, I wanted to cry and grieve for the little boy in my arms who didn’t even get to meet his Mum.
Right before we said our final goodbyes to Jason I took one photograph on my phone. I placed him in the incubator/cot, wrapped his blue blanket around him (a hospital one as I couldn’t bear to see him with anything we had in our hospital bag…nothing would have fit any way) and took the only photograph I have in colour of my beautiful little boy. A decision I regret every day of my life. I wanted more. I need more and I can’t go back to take them. I’d give anything for one picture of the three of us. One moment where we could pretend our family was complete, regardless of whether we were happy or sad, just one photograph showing for a brief moment we were complete.
Since Ellie’s birth I have taken
far too many lots of photos. I want as many pictures of her as I can possibly get because if ANYTHING was to happen to her at least I would have them to look back and remember that she is here. I know that sounds morbid but when you have lost a child you never fully believe any other children are here to stay either. I try to take as many family pictures as I can and i’m always asking Luke to take pictures of me and Ellie together. He doesn’t. He forgets. He’s not very good with photographs and the ones he does take seem forced because i’ve asked for them. I want those pictures where we are just being us, the pictures where we are playing…like I take of him and Ellie all the time.
What saddens me the most is that our family is complete. Not physically of course but complete all the same and I will never be able to have that family photo of the four of us together. However, I do have something pretty close and it means the world to me.
I have been Instagram friends with Nin for a while, our mutual loss of our children bringing two random strangers together and building a friendship. She has started her own small business creating beautiful family portraits so I messaged her to see if she could create something for me. We talked about what I wanted, we discussed whether I wanted Jason to be as he was born or as he should be now. I sent Nin pictures and she used what she knew about me and my little family to create something that is perfect. Every little detail was done with so much thought and care. Nin’s illustrations are stunning and she managed to get this drawn, coloured and sent all within the space of a few days! I was totally surprised when it arrived just 4 days after first talking through what I wanted.
If you are looking for something a little different, a bit more personal or even a way to make your family complete then please get in touch with her. These illustrations would make the PERFECT gift for any occasion and she isn’t afraid of a challenge either!
To see more of her work please head on over to her instagram page
Disclosure: this is NOT an ad, I paid for this illustration and just wanted to share how amazing it is!! All views and opinions are my own.