• Children during the Holocaust

The day after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, I met a photographer at a party who told me that he specialized in bereavement photography, specifically photographs of stillborn babies and babies that have died shortly after birth. I reacted with the emotional response typical to the mention of dead children: I closed my eyes and wrapped my arms around myself, reflexively protecting against the very thought. I asked how he could withstand that kind of pain and wondered, to myself, why anyone would want a photograph of their dead child. I went home and looked at the work on his website, which was sad and beautiful and almost too much to bear. Then I read testimonials from parents who relayed how grateful they were to have those images, no matter how heartbreaking. Because the pictures remind them that, for a few seconds, their child’s hand curled around her mother’s finger; that their son had a tiny upturned nose and his sister’s heart-shaped lips. The images are a reminder that their child existed, if only for a moment, and is more than a name etched into stone.