For the last installment of the Memento Mori series, we're featuring some of the most poignant post-mortem photographs of children and infants. The selection, containing twice as much as those of men and women, is dedicated to the observance of Day of the Dead and Day of the Innocents.
We’ve featured some Memento Mori portraits of men and women, taken shortly after their passing. Now, in time for the observance of the Day of the Dead and Day of the Innocents, we now present post-mortem portraits of infants and children to remember the little angels that passed away.
Post-mortem photography, a practice that began during the Victorian Era, allowed people to remember and immortalize their dearly departed through a keepsake snapshot. For some families, a post-mortem photo was the first and only photograph they have of or with a deceased family member. The Victorian Era was a period plagued by very high mortality rates, especially among children, so it was often the case for the young ones more than adults.
Perhaps, more than creepy and terrifying, post-mortem photos of infants and children tell heart-breaking stories of love and loss. Families whose only child fell terribly ill and snatched away by death a few days later. Couples losing their little sons or daughters a few months after birth. Brothers and sisters losing their dearest younger siblings to grim accidents and fatal illnesses. It’s highly likely that scenarios like these were common at the time, explaining the large volume of post-mortem photos of the young taken all over the world.
As the the world takes time to honor and remember the dearly departed, let us take time to remember the little angels that passed away and say a little prayer for them.
Sources and additional readings:
Post-mortem photography on Wikipedia
Memento mori on Wikipedia
Memento Mori: Spooky Post Mortem Photography — Lomography Magazine
Memento Mori: Men — Lomography
Memento Mori: Women — Lomography