This is to the woman who wondered if a photo of a dead baby was necessary on a Facebook feed.
Yes. That photo of a dead baby was necessary because that dead baby is MY dead baby.
That dead baby–the one you “didn’t have time to look away from”–she’s my daughter. Her name is Dorothy and I wish I could see her face right now. But, I can’t because as you so helpfully pointed out–she’s dead.
I can’t see her face every day, so instead I shared my only picture of her. It felt necessary to do so because I miss her.
It was necessary to share her photo because she is one of the millions of babies who are stillborn every year.
She is the face of a silent crisis that is impacting families worldwide. Stillbirth is real and it is scary and sometimes it is necessary to talk about the real and scary things in life.
Your comment proved how necessary it is for me to continue sharing Dorothy’s photo.
I will keep sharing her photo, but not because your words hurt. I will keep sharing because I’m afraid another parent who has lost their baby will read your comment and it will scare them from sharing their photos and their memories.
I will keep sharing my dead baby so that they know solidarity if they ever choose to share theirs.
I’m nearly finished with this letter and I’m debating whether it is necessary to share this. I read comments like yours daily and it is exhausting to give time to hurtful words like yours. I should probably just delete this.
However, it feels necessary to put this out there. You will probably never read this, but maybe someone else who makes comments like yours will. Maybe they will realize that those dead babies are the sons and daughters of grieving families.
You can go ahead and turn away from our dead babies. We can not and we will not. They are the loves of our life and their death is a reality that we face every day.
So, yes. I think it’s necessary to share a photo of my daughter on social media.
The only thing that seems unnecessary is your comment.
Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash
2 thoughts on “To The Woman Who Wondered If It Was Necessary To Share A Photo Of My Dead Baby”
Thank you for writing this. We recently had a stillborn at 5 months. Due to complications after delivery, we weren’t able to get pictures of him until several hours later. As his little body sat exposed to the air, it deteriorated beyond recognition and he looks so sad in his pictures. But I want to share them. We feel like we need to hide them because the world just isn’t ready…your post has given me courage and hope, however, and soon I will be ready to share these memories that are so precious to us, regardless of what everyone else thinks 🙂
I also received an extremely similar comment about my Blake when I shared a photo of his beautiful face. Yes he was stillborn but I wholeheartedly agree that as their parents, we have a right to share our beautiful children with the world. So continue sharing your beautiful Dorothy and your helpful posts any way you feel the desire to as we all do share with respect, consideration and compassion to others. A trigger warning is enough to stop someone from looking should they decide not to look. If they look beyond that, it is my belief that curiosity got the better of them, then perhaps for whatever reason… they felt the need to try to shame you.
There is no shame in being a mother to a child who we can no longer see. This takes such strength and courage.
In my opinion if people “Nay say” us, it is so much more a window to their own insecurities.
So keep being true to yourself and Dorothy, because personally I think you do it very well.