Grief Journal: Pictures of the Future

One year, four months. Time is ticking by.

I dreamt of Charlie last night. Not a true dream, just a dream with him in it. I knew that time had passed, so in the dream he was a head taller than me. But he still had his same beloved 10-year-old face, because my subconscious doesn’t know how to age him.

There are services that do age progression. It started with kids who had been missing for quite a while, so parents could share pictures of what they would look like in the present day, as opposed to when they were lost. Now, these services will progressively age pictures of dead children, for the grieving parents.

Experts are of two minds about this. Some think it’s a comfort for grieving parents, so they don’t have to wonder what their child would have grown up to look like. Others think it’s a crutch that can get in the way of real healing, keeping parents stuck in the past rather than moving on.

And, it’s not cheap. One service I found in Michigan starts at $200 for one picture.

Unless Charlie decides to visit me in a true dream again (and as I’ve said, I don’t think he will), I’m thinking about getting one of these images. Not one for every year, just one of what he would have looked like as a young adult. It will be sad, of course, because he never got to be a young adult, but also comforting in a way I can’t quite explain. Something to look at when I want to smile. Something to blow a kiss to as I think of him, out on his great adventure in the universe.

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