Amanda Snyder was pregnant when a tragic accident killed her husband, Jesse, just two months after they were married. With a baby on the way, Amanda didn’t want to let the memory of her husband die just because his physical body was gone.
As a way of dealing with her grief, Amanda scheduled a maternity photo shoot where Jesse would be photoshopped into the images.
“She talked about him the entire time we shot. How she felt he was still there with her. How she is so happy for this gift, baby Jameson and that she was going to be the best mom she could. Tell him stories of his dad and carry him on. Let him know how loved he is and dad will always be there in spirit,” wrote photographer Shanna Logan.
Jesse, who was killed while cutting down trees on the family property (a limb struck him), had thankfully already spoken with Amanda about their new baby’s name. They chose the name Jameson William Snyder, bearing the same initials as Jesse, before he passed away.
After her husband’s death, Amanda received a blanket from an anonymous person with the words, “God knew my heart needed you” on it. She chose to use the gift in her photo shoot, recognizing the strength she could draw from even that small gesture of kindness.
Since Jameson’s birth, Amanda says that he has the same smile as Jesse and that she can see her husband in him in that way.
One of the most amazing things about this story, shared over 14,000 times on Facebook so far, are the thousands of heartfelt comments below it. Those who have never lost someone at such a vulnerable time may not realize what a comfort it is to take photos like these in memory of their loved ones. Comment after comment showed that photoshopping in a deceased loved one is actually common practice and gives great comfort.
One photographer shared the story of a high school student who took senior photos with his parents, who had died three months earlier.
Another showed a deceased father and his 9-year-old son together.
One woman had maternity photos taken with her recently deceased mother added into the images.
Others documented their own stories of grief, remembering sisters, aunts, parents from as recently as this year or as far back as 20 years ago. It’s clear the pain never goes away.
The thread of comments from those who lost spouses or parents was heartbreaking but representative of our shared humanity. Readers of this thread may have found a bit of healing in their own grief.