An Open Letter to Baby Lena

Updated: Feb 25, 2019

Dear Lena,

You have heard my voice. I touched your momma’s belly and gushed to her over your presence. You’ve heard me laugh while I asked your dad to kiss you while he tried to find a place comfortable spot to rest his knee on the rocks while he posed in front of my camera. In case you weren’t aware, your mom and dad love you so very much. They loved you from the start. I can confirm these feelings just by the sole emotions I felt the day I shot those maternity photos. The glow in your mother’s eyes when she talked about you, and the way she described her pure excitement to raise you and bring you up into this world. You were weeks away from feeling your mother’s touch. I was already planning to take photos of you as the beautiful mermaid that you are, on the beach, crocheted tail and all. You gained your wings due to an awful vehicle accident, leaving your mom shattered emotionally and physically. You were not a miscarriage or chosen to be taken. There was no way of predicting these drastic turn of events. You were so healthy and ready for your life to begin. Your mother was so ready for this next step in her life. My eyes fill with tears when I try to make sense of such a sudden tragedy.

What you have left with me, your parents, your family is something remarkable. Your existence has affected so many of us and unconditional love for you is unbreakable. Your story has impacted me as not only a photographer but as a person. I remember the day I heard the news and I began to cry. Do I take down the photos? Will it make the healing worse for your mother and father? Friends and family call me “disgusting” for leaving the photos up of the celebration of your arrival. But these are not just photos. They are the moment of pure bliss, frozen in time and put on display. Sheer joy, love, and excitement. A time in your mother’s life that she would never want to forget. These photos touch each person’s heart who knows what your mother has been through and how sweet and pure your soul is. How can so many people love someone so much without actually ever having a conversation with them? Through photos, through stories and through the sheer impact of your existence. Thank you, Lena, for reminding me why photos are so important to our lives. We never know what tomorrow brings, so we can only capture the happy moments as they come and reminisce on the good times. Before I end this letter, I want to ask you a favor.

I want you to bottle up the feeling that your mother had the day of our photoshoot and that time of her life. I want you to project that back on her and remind her of that happiness. I want you to kiss your mother and father goodnight and touch their souls. Help your mother heal and visit her dreams often, sprinkling bouts of reassurance and love.

You are a beautiful soul and if you get anything from this letter, it’s that you are so loved by so many. It’s not the time you’ve spent on this earth it’s how much of an impact you’ve made and you, my dear, have done just that for so many.

May you rest in peace,


Autumn Murray,

Your Photographer

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