It’s never easy when we lose a loved one. However, when we find clever ways to keep their memory alive, we’ll use the best of our creativity and make something extra special that will honor the ones we’ve lost. A beautiful image that will last forever is always a great idea, but not just any image. For Nicole Bennett, doing a maternity photoshoot with her son and her late husband, is one of the best ideas I’ve read about when it comes to honoring the ones we’ve loved and lost. The Mississippi native lost her husband, Deonata, just two months before her due date. Nicole came up with such a unique way to celebrate Deonta’s life through her maternity shoot with Landon, their four-year-old son.

The images were captured by photographer, Sidney Conley. Conley brilliantly added images of Deonata digitally into the touching and beautiful portraits.






Nicole tells ABC News, “I wanted to do something special because he’s been there for our son since day one. “It’s memories for my son of his father and for my daughter who will never meet her father. It’s memories for her as well.” 

Check out Sydney Conley’s Instagram here


I wanted to make sure I had something to honor my son’s memory. Of course, I started a journal. However, the grief support/counseling sessions I attended gave me the bright idea to not only write in my journal, but decorate it.

The pic you see above is that of my journal with all decked out in all  things Robert. I used a composition notebook, construction paper, glue, a few pics and other lil nick-nacks that you can get from any arts & craft store. I also covered it with plastic so it could stay clean and intact.

In the midst of grieving, this crafty project helped keep the tears away. I was able to create something about him that would last a lifetime; Something I will forever cherish. All of my thoughts about him would be poured into this book made with love.

 20150822_102410 robert

This box was given to me by the funeral home. Its contents were Thank You Cards, envelopes, and visitor sign-in book. I took the contents out and decided it would be a great storage box to put Robert’s thing in. I call it a “memory box”. I put his favorite hoodie in it, a few of his favorite toys, documents, and a few other miscellaneous items. You could also use a show box and decorate it, using the material aforementioned. Every now and then, I look through the box and reminisce. It also reminds me that Robert was indeed here. He wasn’t a dream…a thought…a memory. H was here in human form and now…he’s my own very angel.

Teresa Rutton, a Native from The UK, began creating dolls after she lost her son. The mother-of-three says that creating “reborn dolls” helped her deal with her own grief. Her son was 21 when he committed suicide. Now, Russon makes babies for couples who have lost children.

Teresa’s dolls are made of a silicon and vinyl blend. They are painted and cooked in an oven for several eight-minute intervals and then assembled for their owners. Certain dolls can take up to six months to make because the silicone is very expensive. She charges more for them which could cost up to $550.


doll 2

It worth every penny for a lot of parents who misses their children and want them to be there…physically….in some way.

For me my most challenging baby to create was one from America, where the lady sent me pictures of her child in a coffin to make sure every detail was precise. I worked with her for around six months trying to get everything from the skin tone to her child’s small birth marks correct. She wanted me to recreate her child who tragically had died, it may seem unusual but it really helped her to move on with her life. Even now, years on she sends me pictures of herself and the reborn doll wherever she goes, even on the beach. Knowing that I’ve helped her and nearly 300 people makes all the long hours painting day and night worth it.

doll 1

If you’d like to know more about Russon’s work, click here.

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