Losing a child is an unimaginable pain but unfortunately a reality for so many couples. The very idea that your child could die before you is certainly not something you think about when you welcome your newborn into the world.
For Gloria and Steven Kimmel the pain was all too real. They lost their son Isaac when he was just 14 months old. Never forgetting their precious boy, the couple went on to have a rainbow baby after Isaac’s death. They had a picture taken of the three of them and not wanting to leave out their boy who would never get to meet his sister, they represented him in a unique and beautiful way.
Looking at the image you can see why it went viral, such a moving tribute to the baby that is gone but forever in their hearts.
Indiana couple Gloria and Steven Kimmel welcomed their first baby in 2014: a boy they named Isaac.
Just six months after his birth he was diagnosed with type 1 spinal muscular atrophy (also called SMA or Werdnig-Hoffmann disease).
“We were told to take him home and love him as much as we could, as the disease, at that time, was terminal,” Gloria told Yahoo Beauty.
Gloria and Steven were able to get their son into a clinical trial for a new SMA drug, which seemed to help him for a while. But sadly Isaac died in July 2015 at just 14 months old.
To remember their precious boy the couple got matching tattoos of one angel wing across each of their backs.
“We wanted to have a beautiful physical reminder of his life and the promise of being with him in the afterlife,” Gloria explained. “The tattoo was meant to be his angel wings. He was half of each of us, so we each had one of his wings to hold us. He was the angel that was holding us together when we were so lost without him. The tattoos are a reminder that he is always with us in spirit.”
Then, two years later, the couple had another child, a girl called Claire.
Gloria and Steven did something so special for baby Claire’s first photo shoot. They swaddled her and placed in between their two wings, to remember their first born and the brother that Claire will never meet.
In the picture, Isaac’s angel wings appear to belong to baby Claire.
“I just thought it would be so wonderful to have our memorial for our son be part of her photo shoot welcoming her into the world, since Isaac couldn’t physically be there with us,” Gloria explained to Scary Mommy.
The photo was shared by Gloria’s sister Grace Arend who said the image moved her to tears. She tweeted the photo, and it moved so many other people it immediately went viral. It has been retweeted almost 20,000 times.
“When I look at it,” Gloria said of the picture, “I see our entire family, with Isaac there with us — the product of all the love, hope, and prayers over two years.”
What a wonderful tribute to their cherished firstborn baby Isaac. We wish them all the happiness with their second bundle of joy.
Please share this family’s beautiful story as a tribute to all the grieving parents out there, who never forget the babies they have lost.