The smiling bear and his nine-year-old friend :: Symbol of love at an infant grave
This week I launch an online auction as a lead to my first gallery show, TOO SOON. TOO SOON is a collection of images, all of which are up for auction, of the markings of love at the graves of children.
I found it difficult to choose the images for the collection. If the collection were just for display and not for auction, I would have chosen differently. Some of the pictures I want to share are heartbreaking and aren't the kinds of pictures that a family would want hanging in the hallway. They still need to be seen.
This bear (yes, there are lots of bears) is smiling. He smiles through rough weather. He smiles because he is a companion to a little girl who is deeply loved by her family. Jordyn rests in the New Tacoma Cemetery in University Place, Washington.
Jordyn's place is unmistakable, and not just because it is marked with her name. it is so unmistakable that she has a place in the TOO SOON gallery in addition to this picture - it is beautiful and I am eager to meet the person who takes her home. This picture, however, is the tearjerker. I have shared a few images from the collection with select people and every person has found this one exceptionally difficult. Hauntingly beautiful and tragic. So small, so sweet, so soon.
This year marks Jordyn's ninth birthday. I have not had the honor of meeting her family; I expect they will have a heartfelt celebration in her memory. Jordyn would enter her tween years in July; she'd begin a period of testing her independence, solving bigger problems, and planning social activities with her friends.
Fifty days. That's one month and 19 days. That's TOO SOON.
We often do not talk about topics that are uncomfortable or frightening. Unfortunately, one in four women experiences the loss of a pregnancy or infant in her lifetime. If that woman isn't you or your partner, you know someone who is that woman, her partner, her parent. This is far too common for us to pretend it doesn't happen.
Keywords: New Tacoma Cemetery, TOO SOON, University Place, WA, Washington, bear, death, grave, grief, infant loss, love, parents, photographer, photography, pregnancy and infant loss, rain, teddy
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