Nothing compared to the sadness of losing a child. It is a pain that is often too great to bear. People do anything and everything they can to make life possible. For Cherie Ayrton, a mom from New Zealand, the way of coping was to immortalize her baby via an award-winning photography. Initially, Cherie was expecting twins. But it was in her second trimester, respectively in her 5th month of pregnancy, that she learned that one of her babies didn’t have a heartbeat.
Mama Cherie had to carry both baby boys just so that her remaining son would live. See, the thing is that Cherie had planned a baby photo shoot for her newborns, and even after receiving the earthshattering news, she decided to go for it. Her creative photographer, Sarah Simmons, came up with a brilliant idea on how to honor both boys. The photo Simmons took has won a critical acclaim.
Source: Facebook/Cherie Ayrton
Cherie already had two daughters, Charlie Rose, 5, and Frankie Jane, 2. Cherie tells CafeMom that she is still not sure as to why her son Johnny didn’t have a heartbeat, explaining herself:
If he was a single birth we could have had testing. Because it was twins, I would have risked losing Tiger as well if testing was done.
To save Tiger’s life, Cherie had to carry both babies until her due date when she gave birth on May 2nd.
The death of Johny was a huge hit on the family, wrecking every single one of them. And the picture above says it all. Little Frankie Jane is gawking lovingly at her brother Tiger, while little Charlie Rose is wrecked holding her brother’s ashes. Cherie says:
My little one’s heart broke. She was so excited for twin brothers.
Source: Charlie Horse Photography
Sarah Simmons is the owner of Charlie Horse Photography. Her initial plan was to go ahead and do a typical newborn baby session with Tiger, but she was struck by a new, brilliant idea. She explained:
I realized then that even though Johnny never got to take a breath he was just as much a member of that family as Tiger was. So, I messaged Cherie and asked her if she wanted to include Johnny in the session somehow and she said yes they would love to.
While trying her hardest to come up with an idea to somehow include both babies, she came to realize that what she wanted to do was “to represent that they both shared the same womb and [I] twisted the fabric around them both like an umbilical cord to show they will always be connected together.”
Understanding the seriousness of the situation and the family’s grief, the photographer said:
It was pretty emotional at the time but I was really determined to get the image for Cherie and her family. I knew it would be one of the most important images I would take. I just thought how much I would want that if I was in that position.
But, all in all, the family loved the idea and absolutely adored the results. Cherie said:
When I saw what she had created I burst into tears. It truly is the best thing we could have done.
Source: Charlie Horse Photography
Sarah’s photograph touched Cherie:
The photo is extremely healing for me and I’m so happy we have one picture of our boys together.
Then, Sarah asked Cherie whether she could make use of the photo and submit it for the 2018 Portrait Masters Awards. Of course, knowing what the picture represents, Cherie also knew “the power in the photo, and I knew that it would touch others hearts just like it touched mine.”
Just last week, Sarah’s work won silver in the prestigious award ceremony. And Sarah says:
It means so much to me that Cherie is able to share her story with so many. I know it is resonating with so many [people] and I know Cherie wants other people going through a similar grief to know they are not alone.
Cherie says she’s “very proud” of Sarah and she hopes that others will see the photo and “take some form of relief. I think as mothers (and fathers) we all do a lot have a lot of self-guilt when losing a child. We are the sole protector for our kids. If something was to happened to them we will first blame ourselves.”
Bad and unfortunate things are bound to happen, however, it is of high importance to find something to cling onto. As per the photography, I think it carries so many emotions and does it in the best way possible.
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