Saturday, March 20, 2010

little ones

I am not a fan of the nights when you are physically exhausted, but your brain just keeps on going and won't shut down. I have a million things going through my head. A huge to do list and lots of heavy thinking...that is the part that is keeping me awake, I'm sure.
It's been far too long since I've talked about Olivia. She was the reason I started this blog...
A few weeks ago, I took photos of my great nephew, he is so cute and adorable and perfect. The same day, I took photos of another little baby, a boy, who was tiny and adorable and perfect, but it wasn't a happy day for these parents. He had passed away. It was an interesting day for me, to go from one extreme to the other, to see such joy in one family and sorrow in another.
I don't share my story with families at the hospital unless I am asked questions about how I am able to photograph their little ones. This particular family, that few weeks ago, was quiet and reserved, showing little emotion, like they had things under control. I quietly went about my photographing, keeping my words to a minimum so they could keep the quiet peace in their room. I always point out the sweet little features, usually finding that the baby has so and so's nose, or so and so's hair color. I think it helps them to know that I look past the imperfections and see a beautiful human being, their child. I usually end the photo shoot with the parents holding their baby so that when I leave the parents get to have a moment with their sweet little one. As I left the room, the mother started to cry. By the time I was in the hallway, I could hear her sobs. I was thanked by the hospital staff and was told that it was the first time she had cried since she had got to the hospital. I'm not sure what it was I said or did. A few days later, I got a card in the mail.
"Thank you for coming to take pictures of ____ and his family. His parents left this card of recognition for you and they and the staff were so appreciative of all you did.
I can't imagine doing this job without your services. Thanks not only for your amazing photography talent, but for your sensitivity and respect you offer. Thank you!"
Inside the card was a note from the family on a recognition postcard:
"For Arah Kunz.
Deserves recognition for: treating my son with the utmost respect while taking photos. Being respectful of family and boundaries."
This was the first note I have ever received from a family. It made me feel so good that, because of my little Olivia, I can help another family have memories and maybe give them hope that things will be okay, maybe not tomorrow, but eventually.
Earlier this week, I was at the hospital photographing another sweet little baby. This family was more talkative, asked me lots of questions about how long I had been taking photographs for Forget Me Not(I can't believe it's been two years) and how I got started. Sometimes I get a "I'm so sorry for your loss" and I feel bad, like I'm taking a moment away from their child. After I was finished, I left my information with the family, then quietly left. The next day I got an email from one of the family members.
"Hello Arah,
I want to express my thanks for your kindness and caring way that you respected ____ yesterday. Your compassion and tenderness helped to lessen the pain that we were all feeling so deeply..."
It amazes me what my daughter has done for so many families. I know her spirit is right there with me when I am with these little ones . It's my one-on-one time with Olivia that I can't really have anywhere else.

13 comments:

Nick and Meg said...

wow Arah...this post brought me to tears. I wish so much that we had someone available to take pictures of Christian when he was born. I can only imagine how wonderful it would have been to have you there... You and I both know how these families feel (unfortunately) and I know you are truly a blessing to them. Keep up the amazing work.

Lana said...

I know Olivia is proud of her mother and all the kindness the two of you together, give to others. I know I don't always say it, but I'm proud of you too. Of all my children, you're the only one I can think of that is strong enough, to be able to give Olivia what she needed in this life. She will be waiting for you and thanking you for that decision to give her the body she needed to continue on in the Eternities. I love you.

DeAnne said...

thank you for sharing your experiences. my heart aches every time I read about them. I can't imagine having to let one of my babies go so soon. you are an inspiration.

Wonderland Girl said...

You're amazing!!

Darla said...

Arah,
this is such an incredible gift that you're sharing and although you've dealt with such tragedy in your own life, look at how the Lord has placed you in the life of others to truly bless them? You ARE amazing!!

Marnie said...

Your are awesome! Now I am crying.

Marnie said...

PS. You might want to uplaid one of your songs again. The Way I am, it is someone talking and droping F bombs, and not the actual song.

Jillinebinny said...

I don't really know what i want to say other than thanks for sharing your feelings. What you do for families is such a wonderful gift. I know it can't be that easy, but because you are willing to do it, these families (and my family) have wonderful pictures of their little ones that they wouldn't have otherwise. You're an amazing person Arah. We need to visit you sometime!

janet said...

That's amazing Arah. It brought me to tears. It's amazing that some of our lowest moments, some of the hardest experiences, allow us to be in a place that we never even dreamed for ourselves. You have developed compassion, understanding and so many other Christ-like attributes because of your sweet Olivia. And the rest of us have been blessed because of her too!

janet said...

ps. I am so in love with your music... I am going to be rockin' to it all day!

Sonnet and Cameron said...

You are such a beautiful and strong person Arah! I am always touched and brought to tears whenever I read of your sweet Olivia and your amazing faith and strength. What you are doing for these families is just another one of your many gifts you share with those around you. You are amazing!

Baden Fox said...

What an incredible service you do Arah! I was with my sister at the hospital when she gave birth to her stillborn daughter and someone came and took pictures. She said it was probably the only truly appreciated gift someone could given her at that moment. Your experience has obviosly given you a special sensitivity for the situation.

Baden Fox said...

What an incredible service you do Arah! I was with my sister at the hospital when she gave birth to her stillborn daughter and someone came and took pictures. She said it was probably the only truly appreciated gift someone could given her at that moment. Your experience has obviosly given you a special sensitivity for the situation.
Mary