Everlasting love of Liam.
January 30th, 2013 | SarahLove
The first time that I met Cristal and Marcus they were about to deliver their son. Baby Liam was full term and ready to show up at anytime. They went in for a routine check up on a Friday and everything checked out as normal. By Monday, movements of baby Liam kicking around had ceased. They went back to the doctor’s to discover that their precious baby boy didn’t have a heartbeat anymore. A parents worst possible scenario. After genetic tests came back negative, the doctors don’t really have a solid answer for Liam’s passing. Not one single solid answer for a time when answers of ‘why’ are desperately needed.
I was contacted by my area coordinator, through the non-profit organization Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, to provide Cristal and Marcus with images of welcoming the birth of their son, Liam, into this world. To say that this was an an honor, will never do it justice. I wonder if I can even try to explain it exactly in the way I feel about this honor.
During the deepest, most intimate and personal moments of grief stricken loss and heartbreak, I had the privilege of being in a room in which I really had no business. If any ego existed in my being, it was not in that room. I watched the ticking of the clock, I heard the clicking of my camera shutter, I saw happiness and tears. Tears of having to say hello to a beautiful baby at the very same time tears of having to say goodbye. A hello and goodbye in unison. It’s not fair. As I write this, my heart aches and my eyes well up. If my heart aches, I can not even come close to imagine the heartbreak of the parents of Liam. Tears of joy when they first saw him as they tried to figure out whose shade of dark tendrils did Liam have. Were his sweet little feet like his mother’s, were his ears like his father’s? They laughed. Then cried. Kissed him, hugged him and love him. In a forever lasting love kind of way.
A year passed.
Last Wednesday I stood in the surgery room dressed from head to toe in a sterile suit, about to document the birth of their daughter, Jaylen. Moments before that the father, Marcus, brought up the pictures I provided of Liam. ‘They mean the world’, he continued, ‘Especially since our camera was stolen with all of our images of Liam on them….. the ones that you took are all we have.’ Then he gestured to his palm, where a shiny new point and shoot lay. He got it for Cristal for Christmas because she told him that photographs are the most important things to her. To her, it’s what mattered the most.
It’s what mattered the most. I keep playing those words over and over in my head.
Liam’s name was talked about all day last week. How big he was compared to new baby Jaylen! They compared footprints, hair color and talked about the cake that they just celebrated his birth with, surrounded by family. The necklace that Cristal wears in remembrance of Liam placed on the table next to her before being wheeled off to surgery. His presence was very much in that hospital room last week and that love will be carried with them forever more. Love is something that never ends.
Cristal and Marcus gave me full permission to share their very special moments with their son, Liam, with you. Sharing his images with you is a beautiful privilege and another way they want to honor his life. Thank you both for sharing with us, this very special love. In sharing, Cristal has expressed to me that she hopes their story will reach out to people to let them know that they are not alone. Which will always be hard to accept, even to this day. She graciously said, ‘Pictures are a million words to me because, it’s all we have left.’
The definitive reason of Liam’s passing is unknown but if there is one thing that is, it was the solidity of unsurpassed amount of love the day Cristal and Marcus became parents.
Liam Marcus ~ January 10th 2012
This quote is so powerful when I think of Liam and the amount of people his life has beautifully touched.
“There is no footprint
it cannot leave an imprint
on this world.”
Friends. Some of you have told me that you don’t understand how or why I provide my talent, time and images to the parents. I hope you can now see why. The ‘how’ isn’t a choice. It happens because it matters. It’s healing and it helps families remember what their babies looked like. During moments of intense heartbreak, it can be hard to recall everything or anything at all. I will say it a million times if I must, I had the honor and privilege to be in that room to document handsome baby Liam. I spent every moment I possibly could capturing the everlasting love of Liam.