At our January 31st, 2017, board meeting, the board approved a $20,000 grant in support of volunteer services at Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep (NILMDTS). NILMDTS provides what they call “remembrance photography” to parents who suffer the loss of an infant. Photographs are taken by volunteer photographers who receive training in how to take remembrance photographs in caring and sensitive ways. To say that there is a connection between attachment and grief would be an understatement. In many ways, as John Bowlby pointed out in his trilogy on attachment, our ability to grieve reveals our ability to attach. To attach or bond to another is to risk the inevitable grief that loss will bring. Remembrance photography is designed to help parents both attach and grieve, sadly, coming so close together. Although we have moved away from using Bowlby’s theory to inform our grantmaking efforts, this grant (and our previous grants) to NILMDTS shows that we still have a soft spot for those programs or projects that have a focus on attachment. For more on NILMDTS, click the link you just passed.
FYI – One of the first BLT blog posts I wrote was on the above topic. It featured Jillian Michaels of Biggest Loser fame. It was a heart-wrenching story. Here’s the link to part one.