A rejected obituary photo: offensive or tasteful? (take the straw poll)

Owen and Cooper Feldman Jon and Ali Feldman’s twin boys, Owen and Cooper, died shortly after they were born last week. When they submitted the obituary with this photo to the Northfield News, the newspaper declined to run the photo because, according to Jon who I spoke to by phone yesterday, they felt it might offend their readers.  The Parker Kohl Funeral Home has a page that includes the photo.  Jon and Ali asked us to blog it and invite LG readers for their reaction. 11:20 am update: I’ve added a straw poll. (continued)

Take this straw poll:

[poll id=”34″]

People can still leave condolences for the Feldman’s via the funeral home’s guest book form. You can also view the tributes posted thus far.


Owen & Cooper Feldman

Our two beautiful twin boys, Owen Timothy & Cooper James, were born on February 8, 2009.  Owen was born at 5:40 a.m. and went to Heaven at 5:59 a.m.  Cooper was then born at 6:01 a.m. and joined his brother at 6:20 a.m.  They unfortunately came into this world too early, being only 21 weeks and therefore they could not survive.  Owen weighed in at 15 oz and Cooper was 14 oz.  They both were 10 ¾ inches long.  These two miracles lived for 19 beautiful minutes here on Earth with us and we enjoyed every minute of it!  We were able to hold them, feel the weight of them in our arms and kiss their little heads.  For that we will forever be grateful to God for giving us these sweet moments.  From their little squeaks to the beating of their hearts in their little chests, these two made us fall so far in love with them and we will miss them so much.  We may not understand why they had to come so early and even more why they had to leave us so soon but the comfort that we find in knowing that they are in Heaven, being rocked in the arms of Jesus and playing with their sister Emmalee is what will bring us through until we are reunited with them some day.    

Owen and Cooper are survived by their daddy and mommy, Jon and Ali Feldman; maternal grandparents, Tim and Annie Watts of Burnsville; paternal grandparents, Jim and Maralee Feldman of Northfield; maternal great-grandparents, Willie and Mavis Watts of University Park, Iowa; aunts and uncles, Sam & Brittney Watts of Prior Lake, Dave & Gretchen Gilmore of Nerstrand, Todd & Annette Evavold of Nerstrand, & Matt & Chris Feldman of Dennison; and cousins Lily, Luke, Levi, Logan Greta, Julia, Ella, and Jack.

Owen and Cooper are preceded in death by their beautiful sister, Emmalee Ann Pearl, who could only stay with us for 13 days last April and their great-grandparents, Allen & Mary June Stritesky, Alouis & Helen Feldman, and Alvin & Ella Anderson. 

There will be a small graveside ceremony at Valley Grove for Owen and Cooper on Thursday, February 12, 2009 at 4:30.  There they will be laid to rest by Emmalee.


  1. Felicia Crosby Peters said:

    first of all, my condolences to the Feldman family on the loss of their children; I cannot imagine the heartbreak. Secondly, I thank them for sharing a photograph of these beautiful babies, and express my dissapointment with the Northfield News’ decision to treat the end of life as something crude and unviewable; surely one can only see the love this photo was taken with, and the peace of its little subjects?

    February 13, 2009
  2. Anthony Pierre said:

    how is it offensive?

    February 13, 2009
  3. Paula Harer said:

    This photo is absolutely beautiful. Two precious little baby boys. It is the beauty of life.

    February 13, 2009
  4. Griff Wigley said:

    I’ve added a straw poll to the blog post.

    February 13, 2009
  5. What is wrong with the Northfield News? Death is a part of life. They post pictures of others who have died. My sincere condolences to the Feldman family on their loss; and hopefully they do not add insult to injury in their grief because of the insensitive newspaper.

    February 13, 2009
  6. Tracy Davis said:

    Our culture is really weird about death. We’ve been acculturated to recoil from it, which is both unnatural and unfortunate.

    My heart goes out to these parents. I don’t see anything wrong with publishing this very poignant photo, but I also understand why the News might be uncomfortable doing so.

    February 13, 2009
  7. Peter Millin said:

    I don’t agree with the Northfield News decision, but they do have the right to reject the pictures.

    February 13, 2009
  8. Britt Ackerman said:

    My condolences to the family, I am so sorry for your terrible loss.

    I also understand and support the decision of the Northfield News.

    February 13, 2009
  9. kiffi summa said:

    There could be a lot of analysis here of the newspaper’s reaction to the parents’ request. I can think of one of the photographs in the heroin series last summer that I found to be incredibly insensitive.

    Who is the most important party? My sympathy lies with the bereaved.

    Read a book written in the 70’s by a Uof WI professor called “Wisconsin Death Trip”; see if it affects your thinking.

    February 13, 2009
  10. This should be a family matter not one where people take polls this is a very sad time for the family who lost the twin boys it is sad life is precious and delicate we need to remove the blog out of respect for the family and let the two angles rest in peace we can honor life and we can honor people who have passed but we do not needd to blog about it we need to show respect for the family and their wishes. I am very sorry for the family’s loss i would not know what to say but just love and support

    February 14, 2009
  11. John S. Thomas said:

    I have to agree with David.

    Pull the blog and the poll.

    February 14, 2009
  12. Robbie Wigley said:

    David and John, I had the same initial reaction, but if you read the post, Jon and Ali requested the photo be blogged and that the community respond.

    People process grief in different ways, they were hurt that the photo of their children was rejected. Support comes in just as many ways. Who can possibly know the sadness that this brings but we can, with in reason, do as they ask.

    February 14, 2009
  13. Peter Millin said:

    In my opinion posting the pictures here is a very good idea.
    Unlike other cultures we Americans have an almost sanitized approach to death and dying. We conveniently hide it out of sight as not be confronted by it.

    February 15, 2009
  14. Julie Bixby said:

    The issue being discussed is that the photo of those beautiful baby boys was rejected. How sad.
    I am so sorry for this family’s loss. I am from a family that has lost a child and there is no way to convey the deep anguish.

    February 15, 2009
  15. Holly Cairns said:

    Okay, this is horrible. Horrible to poll, horrible to lose the children, and horrible to post.

    February 15, 2009
  16. Jane Moline said:

    Ditto Holly.

    The Northfield News for once got it right. Do we all think we are on reality TV and have to publicly flog EVERY thing that happens to everybody? (Yes, I said flog.) People, get a grip.

    February 16, 2009
  17. Anne Bretts said:

    Ok, so where is the horror? Obituaries routinely include photos of the deceased, even children. These are two children, and the photo was taken while they were alive and was in good taste. It is terribly sad that the children died, but no more disturbing than a three-month old who died of SIDS.

    February 16, 2009
  18. Bruce Wiskus said:

    I don’t know if the Northfield News got it right or if they got it wrong. I do know one thing however; Griff got it right, in this case. The parents wanted to share the photo of their boys with others in the community and the paper made the decision not run it, they are privately owned and have the editorial right to make that decision. According to the article by Griff they asked him to add it to his blog.

    I do not know what motivated the parents to make this decision but I can make an assumption. In the Northfield News the obituaries are accompanied by a photo. Since the boys never had the chance to have a photo taken of them before they died this was the only the option the parents had. They want to “share” their boys with the rest of us.

    I would say to those of you who disagree with Griff’s blog or the parents wish to have the photo published, that until you have walked a mile in their shoes give them the benefit of the doubt and your sympathy.

    February 16, 2009
  19. Pamela Withage said:

    I am the aunt of these tiny twins beautiful mommy. I can tell you that she and her husband are a sweet couple and are very proud parents of one little girl (who died last April) and two little tiny twin boys, to small to live and died last week. I stood on a hill, on a cold windy day…once again saying goodbye to their children they want to hold in their arms and see them grow up. The pictures they took, and wanted to share with the world were only taken to remember and to show all of you how tiny and purely precious they were when they held their children for 19 short minutes. I think that for the paper to decide who is pictured with their obituary and who is not should not be the choice of the paper…it should be the choice of the family when they send the picture in to the paper.

    February 16, 2009
  20. Griff Wigley said:

    Jane, I know you as a sensitive person but your “People, get a grip.” comment could be taken as a harsh put-down of the parents of the twins.

    I’m fine with strong disagreements here but I’m asking everyone to be extra careful with your words/tone since we’re dealing with the deaths of two children.

    February 16, 2009
  21. kiffi summa said:

    If you read the parents account of this sad event, one of the babies died two minutes before the second one was born……so the photo is either of one expired and one live baby, or two babies who have left our world. This may account for some of the decision making on the News’s part.
    I must admit, I have not seen obituaries accompanied by a photo of the deceased, and do feel that it is highly unusual today , if ever done. That is why I suggested the book: “Wisconsin Death Trip”, which explores a highly specific cultural phenomenon.
    This is a subject in which each person, the parents, the Newspaper, the ‘viewers’, should all have their very personal views respected, as being just that, very personal.
    A civil society must hold, with respect, each sincerely presented, personally held perspective.

    February 17, 2009
  22. Brian Stevens said:

    First, my condolences to the family. To lose three children in the period of two years must be a pain unlike any we will ever feel.

    Having said that, the blogging culture has taken us into a world in which many of us fail to consider the consequences of our actions. The reality of this situation is that picture, deplorably, is going to end up on numerous websites throughout the world and the lives of the two precious babies is going to be twisted into something sick a demented. I won’t post the links here but look around – use google. You’ll find sites that would love to get their hands on that photo and will. The world is not quite as Rockwellian as we choose to view it here in Nfld. and unfortunately these parents may not understand what a dangerous thing they have done by requesting the post.

    Take it down. Spare this couple any more pain and let them remember their children as they were not what some sick human being wants to make of this horrible tragedy.

    February 17, 2009
  23. Anne Bretts said:

    Good catch, Kiffi. I was rushed and didn’t notice that detail in timing. That would explain the concern of the newspaper. Unlike some other cultures, in the U.S. papers don’t print obituary photos taken after death. I’m sure the photo submitted was taken to minimize that reality.
    It is very, very sad, but I can see where the paper thought this was a precedent it didn’t want to set.
    A century ago, people paid significant money to have photos taken of their loved ones in their caskets (warning: this site is grim for some) link text
    Newsweek just did a big story on a project where professional photographers donate their time to doing family photos when babies are stillborn. The project is “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep.” The story is quite moving: link text

    February 17, 2009
  24. Griff Wigley said:

    Here’s the “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep” organization’s YouTube video.

    February 17, 2009
  25. Jane Moline said:

    My comment regarding “get a grip people” was a harsh reminder to the blogging community that it is not our job to analyze every thing that is in the public realm–that at some point we must use our own judgement to help and support a family in our community who are grieving a loss. That also means protecting them from their own overwhelming grief when we can.

    I do not need pictures or videos to remind me what dead babies look like or what their loss represents to a family or a mother or their aunts or uncles. There are some really hardworking support groups out there who can better assist a family on their premature loss of a baby-and we are smarter to send the family to those groups than to try to solve this here.

    This blog is inappropriate. Not everything that happens must be blogged, discussed, analyzed, straw-polled, or videoed.

    February 18, 2009
  26. Griff Wigley said:

    Jane, we don’t know what else the Feldman’s are doing to deal with their loss, as they’ve not publicly talked about it. I don’t think you can assume that this is all that they’re doing.

    I agree, not everything should be blogged, and there’s plenty that comes our way here at LG that we opt to not blog.

    Publishing the photo was a judgment call on my part, in the same way that it was a judgment call on the part of the paper to not publish it. Both decisions are subject to criticism.

    February 18, 2009
  27. Sharon Fox said:

    To the family of the babies, my heartfelt sympathy.

    I believe the photo should have been published. I’m sure the parents wish that they could have many many more photos of them but unfortunately they had only a select number to choose from. The photo is beautiful, by the way, and not gory, graphic, nor distasteful. If they publish a photo of someone’s Grandma, why not these precious babies?

    February 18, 2009
  28. Bright Spencer said:

    First, let me express my family’s sincere thoughts of love and sympathy for Jon and Ali Feldman and their loss of three beautiful and pure children. Please accept our prayers and honor.

    Coming up in a world where all my relatives conspired to protect me from funerals and wakes and death, and all my classroom catechism teachings talk about death as a glorious and desirable state, I have a somewhat skewed perspective and feel most assuredly that death, loss, grief and all the accompanying emotions and all the love and honor that an event like this brings forth. There are many like me who don’t know how to grieve, who cannot feel the appropriate emotions and who have a really hard time dealing with all that we see around us. So many deaths are constantly being set before us and go without consideration. Although it may not be a perfect time or a perfect place, go ahead, speak your heart to your friend and neighbor. This is what keeps a community strong.

    February 18, 2009
  29. Griff Wigley said:

    Sam Gett, publisher of the Northfield New, has a column in today’s paper titled Clarification on obituary policy.

    … the Northfield blog site Locally
    Grown posted an entry about our
    decision, as well as the photo and a
    straw poll on whether people agreed
    with our decision. Most of those who
    responded didn’t agree. However, it’s
    not clear in the blog post that the
    photos were taken after the babies
    died. Maybe that doesn’t matter to
    respondents, but it was the basis for
    our decision.

    I’m glad Sam addressed the issue and I appreciate his reference to this blog post.

    I made the assumption that both boys were dead when the photo was taken, that that was why the Northfield News refused to run it since there was otherwise nothing offensive about the photo.

    In retrospect, it might have been better if I’d asked the Feldman’s if I could make that more explicit in my blog post.

    February 18, 2009
  30. Griff Wigley said:

    I poked around the web last night but couldn’t find any references to newspapers that had changed their obit policies to allow photos of stillborn/deceased babies. Anyone else able to find something?

    It would seem that the worldwide growth of the Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep organization is reflecting a change in our culture about this, so why not change the policy to allow it?

    February 19, 2009
  31. Mary Griffis said:

    I do not know what to say. I believe there are things that people do that hurt us more than the circumstances in the first place. I think this to be one of those unfortunate decisions by someone who just does not understand the extreme grief of this family. There is nothing in the photograph that is offensive! Nothing! The photo would be so small that nothing would have been recognized but the four tiny feet – send the family your sincere apologies!

    February 19, 2009
  32. Bruce W. Morlan said:

    The paper got it right, Jane got it right and Kiffi got it right.

    February 20, 2009
  33. April Ripka said:

    perhaps that is all they had for a photo of the babies. if that’s the case (and i don’t know if it is), what’s so wrong to want to share that with the rest of us? a picture can hold more meaning than words can. this picture speaks to me of great love, sadness, and utter beauty.
    i believe human life, in all its aspects, is made to be shared. how we deal with it and our choices in doing so should be respected, not criticized or picked apart just because someone doesn’t agree with it. and c’mon! if you’re going to do so, make sure it’s appropriate.

    oh, and reality tv is not really reality. most of it is scripted and edited. this, unfortunately, is not. i think it unfair to compare this blog to reality tv. my heart and love goes out to the family – especially if they are reading some of these posts. the blog was meant to be about the northfield news’ choice, not the parents.’

    Griff – i found this forum discussion of mothers who had stillborn babies i think it’s a good way to see things from another perspective:
    i also found many sites that are tributes of a sort that mothers have set up to share their love and loss. they are quite touching and, again, bring another perspective to things. i read through a few of them and some of them mention how they never even got a picture of their little one. looking back, they wish they did. for some, a picture is all that they have.

    sure, some people look at this picture and all they see is a dead baby.

    for the parents, it is simply a picture of their child.

    February 20, 2009
  34. A.E. Ness said:

    I can in no way begin to comprehend the grief of Cooper and Owen’s family.

    I do have a small idea of what a picture means, however, and I think that the Feldmans had a right to include a photograph of their babies with the obituary. I understand the issues that the paper faced in handling a photo of that delicate nature, and I suppose I can see why they thought it might be “inappropriate” for their audience, but I also feel that obituaries are made more real (tangible?) by the inclusion of a photograph of the deceased, and I think that Owen and Cooper’s photo was very beautifully done. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a person wanting to further express their loss by making it more personal with a photograph–sometimes, I think some of us (myself included) wish that others could more fully know our pain, could have some kind of understanding of what we endure in our lives, even though that idea might sound strange or somehow selfish to others (ie. interpreting that as wanting others to experience our pain). But to read the obituary and have the image of the reality of these two sweet boys’ deaths simultaneously seems little to ask, and I’m glad that the Feldmans were able to find a source that could do that for them.

    Peace, warmth, and condolences to the Feldmans and their extended families. I’m glad you were able to get this small reminder of your boys’ presence in this world–a graceful, tasteful photograph of two little ones who you will undoubtedly miss. I’m so sorry for your loss.

    February 20, 2009
  35. Julie Bixby said:

    Would the pic have been any different if it had been taken when they were alive? I don’t think so. I think an exception to the New’s policy (comment #30) should have been considered.

    February 20, 2009
  36. Julie Bixby said:

    The NILMDTS you tube video is very moving. What a wonderful thing for those parents.

    February 20, 2009
  37. Griff Wigley said:

    Julie, I think you’re onto something. There’d be really no difference if the photo had been taken while each baby was still alive. Or if the submitted photo had been of the parents holding the babies.

    Here’s a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story titled Portraits of love: Bereaved parents of infants find comfort in memories captured by photographers.

    There’s a photo on the lower right portion of that page with the caption:

    Sara Chapman photographs Matt Buck
    holding his stillborn son, Landen
    Elliott Buck, while mother Ashley Koch
    watches them at Appleton Medical
    Center in Appleton.

    Of course, this is a story, not an obit, and the paper has chosen to not make a larger version of that story available.

    But it really seems like there should be an exception for obits in situations like this.

    February 22, 2009
  38. Griff Wigley said:

    What is it about the photo of the bullet-riddled body of Clel Miller (James Gang member killed by Northfield citizens) that makes it acceptable for a newspaper to continue to print? I’m not arguing for or against it, I’m just trying to understand the rationale for making exceptions to the ‘no photos of deceased bodies’ rule.


    February 25, 2009
  39. Well, Griff, I doubt this picture was used for his obituary.
    By the way, Northfield photographer Ira Sumner photographed both deceased outlaws, Clell Miller and William Stiles. Though Sumner was not adverse to making a buck out of it, photographing the bodies was necessary because no one knew who these guys were (no “aha!” moment, “we killed James-Younger gang members!”)and bodies deteriorated quickly in those days.

    February 25, 2009
  40. Lindzy Foster said:

    First I am so very sorry for the families loss of their 3 children, my 4th child, a daughter Kaydence, passed away at 9 days old in 2007 and the pain 2 years later is still unbearable.

    I believe that the decision to not post the photo is wrong, ……Why does someone get decide how they grieve and thru what outlets they use? How do we know they haven’t found support groups, other families online, many other outlets to share their pain with? You don’t want to see the photos? Then don’t read the obits, our culture is changing and the topic of infant and child death is no longer the “elephant in the room”. This is for the better, families are learning they don’t have to hide their emotions, their pain…….we don’t have to sugar coat it for those who don’t want to live with the reality that children and babies do die….everyday. The feelings aren’t suppressed at the expense of the bereaved’s mental health. Would any of you had known that the children had passed if it wasn’t mentioned? Absolutely not! We were blessed to have a photographer from NILMDTS come to take pics of our daughter after she passed, photos we couldnt have while she was alive because you couldn’t see past the 22 wires and IV’s connected to her tiny 6lb body, couldn’t see past the chest clamped open, past the extensive swelling in her body as it retained fluid……..I have 3 photos from that time, would you rather I posted one of those just because she was still alive in them? I don’t think so, they are terrifying to look at even for me as her mother, so instead when she died we used the tasteful, beautiful photos taken for us. And you wouldnt know she was deceased, she looks like any other sleeping baby. I’ve posted our photos on several sites and had very few issues w/ responses……she’s our daughter and just like this family probably felt we wanted to validate her life, her place in our family…..and be able to show others has been a HUGE part of our healing process. We were able to post them in our area, as well as having them shown when I did an interview on the local news to raise awareness of NILMDTS. Stories and photos of NILMDTS photographed babies have been shown on the Today Show, in Newsweek, and in local newspapers and magazines around the world….yes NILMDTS is a WORLD-WIDE organization w/ over 7000+ volunteers and growing!
    Obviously I’m very passionate about this and my response may be heated so I’ll apologize in advance. But my point is that infant bereavement photography is very theraputic and healing for families, as is the practice of sharing the photos and stories, the lives, of the children we’ve lost. It’s acceptance is growing and the suggestion that it’s inappropriate and any other negative response is only hindering the grieving process for these families.

    March 5, 2009
  41. Holly Cairns said:

    I see your post, here, and feel like someone should respond, Lindzy.

    Sorry for your loss. I’m not with you on the photo idea, but I respect your opinion and feel bad about your loss.

    Dead bodies on the news bug me, too. I’m just funny like that. I was unprepared for the the picture of the dead twins and wouldn’t have looked at the blog or paper that day if I knew they were there.

    I’ve seen a little one like that myself in person, and I don’t agree that we need to post things like that. I don’t think it has much to do with culture or society or accepting death or anything like that… that’s too deep.

    March 7, 2009
  42. Lindzy Foster said:

    I’m going to walk away from this post after this response, it would def. get to heated for me……I’ll make these points and move on……people die everyday, someday each of us will die when its our time……how is that too deep? I don’t know how old you are Holly but what if god forbid your child died or a grandchild someday, you wouldn’t view the child, wouldn’t attend the funeral? Would you refuse to mention the child that was lost because its too deep? We can read and view images of war torn countries, soldiers, victims of murder and rape but we can’t take one second to respect the wishes of a family who want to post a photo in rememberance of their child? If it doesn’t have to do with culture or society what exactly does it have to do with? Do you wish to believe that death doesn’t happen to children and babies? I’ll be honest, somedays I wish I could live in that fantasy world again. If the above photo had been posted as a birth announcement you wouldnt have known any different, just as you wouldnt know any different if you viewed my daughters photos until I mentioned she was deceased when they were taken.
    This paper and the choice it made to not post them is becoming very far and few between…acceptance(and yes thats what it is) is becoming the norm. This next point is not made directly to you but to everyone who believes this is a horrendous thing to publish……If you’d like to shield yourself from the reality of child loss then you probably would be wise to stop viewing blogs, websites, pretty much stop using the internet as any photo you view could possibly be of a deceased infant/child,……you would also need to stop watching the news and picking up your favorite magazine, heck you would have to stop watching your fav. reality tv show, Extreme Home Makeover built a home for a photographer who also started her own journey to helping bereaved families and those with NICU babies, she also volunteers for NILMDTS…they showed several photos of deceased infants.
    Yes its deep, its heartwrenching, its painful, its life altering……but not too deep, its reality and something some of us will live with everyday until we die. You don’t have to like it, you don’t have to look, but realize that you may already have been looking and don’t even know it……and if you do then be respectful enough to just move on from it and respect that although it doesn’t agree with you or your taste it was the parents choice and what they wanted, NEEDED, to help them validate and heal.

    March 7, 2009
  43. kiffi summa said:

    Dear Ms. Foster…… Thank you very much for your wonderfully open comments here; it must have been very difficult for you to write but you did a really powerful thing in helping others to understand the rightness of the feelings of the bereaved.

    As I said, early on in this thread, my sympathies will always be with the bereaved. It matters not whether some feel this sort of photo is too hard to see;some will always turn their eyes away from reality they don’t want to accept. I thought it was an astoundingly beautiful photo, regardless of the situation.

    Some people’s ideas will differ, but you have made a powerful and passionate argument for your thoughts to be the MOST valued . Never feel you must apologize for the emotional strength of your presentation of your position.

    Thank you again for sharing your wisdom, so sadly and unfortunately born of your pain, on this subject.

    March 7, 2009
  44. Jane Moline said:

    I do not like to see pictures of dead babies. I do not like to see pictures of dead any bodies, but I especially do not want to see pictures of dead babies. It is painful and too clear a reminder of what I have lost. If you want to see pictures of your dead babies, hang them in every room in the house. But please do not publish them in the newspaper I read or on the internet, and force me to look away in order to avoid them. Death may be a natural part of life, but I do not want to look at pictures of dead babies.

    The idea that someone suffering a tragic loss gets to set the rules for how society sees their expression of grief is beyond presumptous. Just because I don’t like to look at dead babies or look at dead people does not mean that I live in a fantasy world where I try to deny the realities of death. The thread seems to say that if I don’t agree with publishing dead baby pictures with obituaries I am a heartless flake unable to face the realities of the world.

    This idea that someone cannot properly grieve without a certain level of exposure for their dead baby pictures is remarkable. What have we done in our society that makes them need this kind of exposure? We cannot restore life–what need are we failing that families need to have their tragedies blogged and published and conversed over ad nauseum?

    Griff, it would be interesting to see a thread about the philosophy of death. This current blog is so personal and specific to this one family’s loss–there is a constant undercurrent of sadness and sympathy that limits our ability to discuss what is really going on in a society that embalms and “beautifies” its dead for a funeral. (I have seen extensive discussions of whether an obituary picture should be with the deceased looking their age or if it is appropriate to have a picture of them in their younger, more attractive days. Why does anybody ourside the family care?) I would participate in such a blog. I would love to discuss Clel Miller’s dead postcard. I just don’t want to be equating/differentiating it from this families tragic situation.

    I think it is inappropriate to continue to blog about these dead babies. Can we be done with this now?

    March 7, 2009
  45. Holly Cairns said:

    Lindzy asked:

    I don’t know how old you are Holly but what if god forbid your child died or a grandchild someday, you wouldn’t view the child, wouldn’t attend the funeral?

    I have held the child, viewed the child, picked out a tiny box, looked at pictures, weeped, and attended the funeral. I’m very sorry for your loss, too, but we’re not on the same page regarding privacy and grief.

    I’m 41 as of December.

    March 8, 2009
  46. David Henson said:

    I am more persuaded by Lindzy’s reasoning but both sides make good points. However, I would think the particular media outlet would be free to estimate their readers sensibilities and choose whether to publish these types of pictures. Meaning – I don’t know that society has to make a decision.

    March 8, 2009
  47. Griff Wigley said:

    I just had someone approach my table here at the GBM who recommended this organization in Faribault:

    Infants Remembered In Silence (IRIS).

    IRIS is a 501(c) 3 non-profit
    organization that is dedicated to
    offering support, education and
    resources to parents, families,
    friends and professionals on the death
    of a child in early pregnancy
    (miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, molar
    pregnancy, etc) or from stillbirth,
    premature birth, neo-natal death,
    birth defects, sudden infant death
    syndrome (SIDS), illness, accidents,
    and all other types of infant & early
    childhood death.

    March 11, 2009
  48. Deborah Martin said:

    The NILMDTS photos are beautiful. Thank You for making me aware of this. Yes, the photo should have been allowed.

    March 11, 2009
  49. Julie Bixby said:

    NILMDTS is conducting a National Charity Model Search. I entered my grandson Gavin. Debbie Vosejpka of Cherished Moments Photography in Lonsdale took his pictures. She is outstanding. She has other children she entered also. The winners are determined by votes. Anyone can vote and it costs $1. All the proceeds go to NILMDT.
    This is a cool thing no matter who wins! (Of course, as one of Gavin’s grandmas I would vote for him!)

    March 18, 2009

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