Tragic Photo is Touching Families Everywhere

Losing a child might just be the most devastating thing that a parent has to go through, which means that documenting the loss can be too overwhelming to even consider. But Cherie Ayrton, a mother from New Zealand, decided to do just that.

Sadly, Cherie lost one of her twin boys when she was just five months pregnant. However, to keep her remaining son alive, she had to carry both boys to full term. She had scheduled a newborn photo shoot before she found out that she had lost her son Johnny, but decided to keep that appointment to document her son Tiger’s birth.

That’s when photographer Sarah Simmons came up with an amazing idea to honor both boys during the photo shoot. The photo that she took is now an acclaimed photo that is helping other families heal.

Cherie says she found out at her five month appointment that Johnny didn’t have a heartbeat. Her world came crashing down. They still don’t know why his heart quit beating. She already has two daughters, Charlie Rose who is 5, and Frankie Jane who is 2. When the boys were born, the girls were devastated at the loss of the brother they had planned to welcome into the family.

It was a family photo that showed Charlie Rose going to pieces while holding her brother’s ashes that inspired Sarah to take the photo that she did. Sarah says she was initially going to do a regular newborn photo shoot, but when she saw the family photo she decided to take the shoot in a different direction.

She contacted Cherie and asked if she would like to include Johnny somehow into the photo shoot and Cherie agreed. That’s when she came up with the idea that has now won her an award. She placed the brothers in the same bowl to represent that they shared the same womb, and then twisted fabric around them both like an umbilical cord to show that they will always be connected.

Sarah says the photo shoot was very emotional, but she knew the photos would be important for the family and other people who have suffered similar situations.

Cherie says the photo was very healing for her and her family. She is happy that they have a photo of the boys together. So when Sarah asked if she could submit the photo for the 2018 Portrait Masters Awards, Cherie immediately agreed.

“I knew it would touch others hearts just like it touched mine,” she said. Last week, Sarah’s photo won silver in the prestigious award ceremony, an accomplishment that Sarah says she is glad to know that her photo is resonating with so many people.

Cherie says if she can help people know that they aren’t alone and that it’s okay to honor their children after death, she’ll be a happy lady. What an amazing woman.

Be sure to share this amazing story with your family and friends. You never know who can use help healing.


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