No more tears – Matt, Emily and their son.

Matt and Emily are some of the most amazing people we know. They are loving, adventurous, super down-to-earth, and oh, so genuine. Kelly first met them while in college in Minnesota and then they headed to grad school in North Carolina. Since then, they have literally traveled the world: Ireland, England, Jordan, Egypt, Kenya, Israel, Czech Republic…

Around nine months ago, while in Jordan, they found out Emily was pregnant with their first child, after six years of marriage. Over time, they learned their little miracle of a son had conditions making him “incompatible with life.” Advised to terminate the pregnancy, Matt and Emily chose instead to carry their son and allow room for a miracle. They started praying for one day with Jacob. On April 20, 2012 Jacob Bradley was born, silently, into this world.

 

We are so honored that Matt and Emily let us photograph the day when family and friends came together to celebrate and remember Jacob’s life. This was one of the most difficult and heart-wrenching – yet – most powerful, and hope-filled stories we have ever photographed and compiled. We hope it speaks truth into your life.

If anyone who views this is going through a similar experience, Matt and Emily highly recommend the book I Will Carry You.

Lyrics to “After the Storm” by Mumford and Sons can be found here.

Part of our inspiration to create images and tell stories that matter: The Don’t Give Up Project.

 

AN UPDATE:

Matt and Emily welcomed their daughter, Anabelle, to the world on April 8th, 2013. They write, “While we rejoice deeply (and rightly!) about this news, one of the things that we have learned by walking through Jacob’s life and death is that there is a lot of invisible hurt that is prevalent beneath the surface in many lives around us centered on the issue of children and fertility. As we approach the one-year anniversary of Jacob’s passing we are evermore reminded to stand in solidarity with those who are hurting in these areas. So many stood and continue to stand alongside of us, and we know the beauty of the Body through times of suffering, so we find ourselves compelled to try to seek sensitivity to these issues even amidst our joy. We are so grateful for the chance to share our good news so as to invite you to ‘rejoice with those who rejoice’ but it is not without acknowledging that there are those who are silently stinging as they receive a reminder of a blessing that is not yet theirs. We want to simply say that we understand some degree of that pain and we weep with those of you who are weeping particularly in this area of your lives.”

 

Comments

  1. there are no words. what a powerful story.

  2. i’ve been sitting here trying to put this into words and i cannot. how wonderful that you have made this for matt and emily. i will probably never meet them, but they are surely in my prayers and heart <3

  3. What a beautiful story. A testament of his love and grace. He is hope.

  4. Thanks for sharing their story.
    Blessings on them!

  5. Wow. Tears and prayers are going out to this amazing and strong couple.

  6. i love you guys and i love what you have done for this family. God bless this couple.

  7. Wow. Wow, guys. You did a beautiful thing here. What else can be said except that we can’t wait for the time when we won’t lose anyone we love in death.

  8. […] times in the past week I was reminded how powerful a photograph can be.  After viewing an exceptionally powerful video put together by my friends Ray and Kelly Siler, I can’t help but plead with you: get out your […]

  9. Thank you for sharing such a special and personal moment in your life to show others the true love and hope we can find in Jesus Christ when we place our trust in Him. When I watched this I kept thinking about Philippians 1:20-21. The love and faith that helped you to carry that baby magnified Christ. May your baby rest in Jesus’s arms.

  10. tears

  11. beautiful job on this Ray and Kelly. just beautiful!

  12. We also had a child that only lived a short time . She had Trisomy 13 , which was also called “incompatible with life”( I hate that terminology). The time we had before and after birth will always be treasured memories for us. I hope that the future is bright for that family. I’ll bet Jacob Bradley is going to send them a new baby to love- Sydney Michelle picked a good one for us and she has the spirit of both of them! God Bless.

  13. Words cannot describe how touching this was. So sorry to hear about this, so sorry to Matt and Emily for their loss

  14. My heart breaks for you, Emily. I pray that you and Matt find peace.

  15. Heart wrenching – Tears – Love and Prayers to Emily and Matt

  16. Wow, I can barely write through the tears. Sending my love to them. And the love they have is so powerful and endless. Much peace in your heart to Emily and Matt. Maureen

  17. ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL TRIBUTE!! Thoughts and prayers Emily and Matt!!!

  18. I was so moved by this, Ray and Kelly. You truly have a gift. I don’t know how Emily and Matt faced this, but they did and it was so touching and beautiful. There is nothing more beautiful to me than treating another life sacred and meaningful. God is good all the time.

  19. Beautiful work you guys.

    Matt and Emily you are beautiful as well. Why does this happen to the most faithful of His? He’s up to something!! My heart breaks for you!

  20. Amazing and beautiful…just like the Bennett’s. Thank you.

  21. oh, friends. this is so touching, so beautiful, and such an incredible gift to this couple. I cannot say how proud and honored we are that you told a don’t give up story. well done, and here’s to telling more stories where beauty shows up in the midst of the broken.

  22. hi kelly & ray,

    this is so hard to watch, as i know people who have gone through a similar situation. nevertheless, this is so incredibly and powerfully told. such a beautiful don’t-give-up story. my heart breaks.

  23. Em and Matt, I love you both and are so thankful God chose you as Jacob’s parents.

  24. Em and Matt,

    Love is the greatest. I see Jesus when I look at you both.

    Rachel

  25. […] Matt & Emily: A Don’t Give Up Story. Some other great friends are – sadly – on the other side of the emotional spectrum. Just a few weeks ago they buried their newborn son Jacob. I have been humbled to watch them walk through this valley with their faith intact and their fingers still pointing others towards the resurrection. Their friends Ray & Kelly Siler captured the day of the memorial service in video and photos, and the Bennetts graciously gave me permission to share it with you. It’s a powerful symbol of Matt & Emily’s amazing faith in Jesus even through their loss. [read more / see the video] Share this:TwitterEmailPrintLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post.   […]

  26. overwhelmed. just, overwhelmed. what a beautiful tribute.

  27. Couldn’t watch this without fighting back tears. What a powerful time to have documented, you guys did a great job. What a beautiful couple, so brave for having this time documented and shared with others.

  28. WOW! What a wonderful way to remember and feel the love of God in the midst of pain and grief.

  29. Still gives me goodbumps. Amazing use of stop motion to create such a power video for this loving family. Little Jacob was truly loved though he never took a breath while on this earth. Prayers for continued healing for Matt and Emily and congratulations of the birth of Jacob’s baby sister!

  30. At first I could feel the pain of the pictures I was seeing, I felt the sadness and the grief but then I heard that still small voice say, “it’s not over” lol then the grace to know that, that family will be reunited one day and then the miracle of joy just swept into me and just at the time I saw this couple holding one another with smiles on their faces…it was a wonderful video to see and feel. Thank you for sharing.

  31. This is beautiful. I am deeply touched and saddened by your loss, but it brings me face-to-face with our own mortality.

    thanks for sharing.

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