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Mommy Jenna

Making Light in Honor of Baby Grant

I have been quiet a lot since last week as so many things have been going on. In March, an old friend lost her baby boy Grant to SIDS.

To put it lightly, I had no idea what to say, what to do. I knew no words would help make sense of something no family should ever have to experience.

Those that know me know, I am a protector. It probably explains why I wanted to be a police officer. I’d do anything for my friends and family to make things easier for them and protect.

As I sat processing everything going on, something fell heavy on my heart. I want to get better at my photography skills and become a volunteer for Now I Lay Me Down to SleepI want to get better at what I do and do this in honor of Mary Beth and Baby Grant. I’ve talked with Mary Beth about this and I’m also trying to help her brainstorm ideas of how she feels she can help others in this situation.

From Her Facebook:

I want to start something that allows me to help more parents and families through this… it just seems that there isn’t enough out there… or maybe what’s out there isn’t well-known enough for people to be able to find it. As a new parent, all kinds of companies and charities reach out to you, but then, this happens… shouldn’t there be someone or ? To reach out at a time like this?


While I have a point and shoot Nikon camera and I’ve been asked by people to take pictures for them several times, it’s not to the point a family grieving deserves. They deserve the best. I want to be able to give back and help during their time of need. I want to help “find the light” during a time of need.

Today, I started a project/crowd-funding campaign with GoFundMe to start this project. Any money that exceeds what is necessary to purchase a DSLR camera and possibly take an additional class will be used to help Mary Beth with any group/project  she chooses to start for helping other parents dealing with the grief of losing an infant.

On March 21st, 2013, my friend Mary Beth and her family were forced to face a huge tragedy as she lost her 4 month old son Grant to SIDS.
As a freelance writer/blogger, even I could not find the words to make sense of this tragedy. No words I could ever write or say could make the pain fade.
As I prepared for Baby Grant’s funeral, I argued with myself bringing my point and shoot camera but the idea was shot down by my husband. Sure enough, pictures were taken for Mary Beth and her surviving son and daughter to remember Grant and have their “final family picture”. Unfortunately, the only available “camera” was on a cell phone. I kicked myself knowing I should have followed my gut and brought my camera with.
I found myself thinking of ways I could help and continue to spread the light for Mary Beth in honor of Baby Grant. Suddenly, it fell heavy on my heart of what my calling to help was. I needed to fine tune my photography skills to help family’s like Grant’s during this tragic time.
I have experience in taking photos from my blogging but I am not at the skill that I feel families deserve. My GoFundMe project is to help in purchasing a DSLR professional camera and follow several of my photography mentors to fine tune those skills and seek necessary education to take my photography skills to a professional level and ultimately, become a volunteer for a National Organization (Unsure if I can say name of org. on GoFundMe) that helps families during the loss of a child with volunteer services to take pictures to remember their Angel.
Any additional funds I will use to help Grant’s mother with a possible start-up she would like to start to help parents grieving and experiencing the loss she is facing.

If you can help make this project possible, please visit Making Light in Honor of Baby Grant

9 comments

  1. Thank you, Jenna! Great song choice too! Grant really loved that song! I cried too watching it. Grant really was special… even in his death he touched so many that he had never even met. More than ever I must find a way to honor my little Angel and the new purpose he gave to my life in the midst of so much chaos and brought us all peace and happiness when we needed it most.

  2. I’m so sorry for your friend’s loss. I can’t even imagine! 🙁 I think this project sounds like an awesome idea!

  3. Jenna, It’s so hard to believe that 5 years have passed since you put this online candlelight vigil together for my little boy! I still cry every time I watch it and read all the messages in the pictures that people shared with you to make it. I am starting to recover from the PTSD I have from this traumatic experience in my life, finally. I will never forget the strength you gave me through such a difficult time in my life. I am truly grateful! You really are a blessing in the life’s of many others; of that I’m certain! I have not been able to accomplish as much as I had hoped or wanted to back when you added this excerpt from an email I sent you back then, but the need to fulfill such a purpose to assist others through this life changing experience is still something I intend to pursue until I feel I have accomplished it. Any assistance or advice you could offer would be appreciated and accepted. Thank you for being a great friend after all these years! Keep on blogging and sharing your knowledge and experience with others mom’s. You are truly an inspiration and a great teacher! Love and miss you dearly!
    Sincerely, Mary Beth Palan

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