I have often been told I am sweet, which I suppose is probably true—I am quiet, and I strive to always be generous and kind. I am blessed with a husband who is my best friend, love, and supporter. We have a beautiful daughter who fills our home with laughter, hugs and kisses, a gazillion stuffed animals, and occasionally a little bit of an attitude… Yes, I would definitely agree that my life is indeed sweet, but it is also marked by bitter sorrow, the loss of my first son. Parenting after a loss truly is bittersweet.
It happened just two weeks before his due date.
Just a few weeks earlier, we were celebrating our baby shower. Several weeks before that, we were putting the finishing touches on the nursery, ready to welcome him into our home. Months before that, we found out he was a boy and we gave him a name, Owen Henry. And even before that, I felt his movements for the first time, and I knew I loved him already. I loved him even long before that. I loved him since the moment I knew he existed, and I began imagining about how our lives were going to change once he arrived.
During my last prenatal checkup, everything seemed perfect. We heard Owen’s heartbeat. We even saw him stretch and yawn during the ultrasound.
It was so close… He would be here any day.
That was the defining moment of my life. This is where my story begins.
It was so incredible, this feeling of love and support. There was also the most horrible deep, empty sorrow you could ever imagine, which I suspect will always be there… lurking… popping up when you least expect it. But it was the love that prevailed. It was the love that made me think about what really mattered in life, and what I wanted to do, and how Owen’s life could make an impact in this world.
It’s funny how life works out like that.. How the things that hurt us the most, somehow also make us better.
Hi there, I’m Sharon!
Designer. Photographer. Director. Mom. Wife. Self-Starter. Manager. Artist. Nurturer. Introvert. Survivor. Intellect. Optimist. Empathizer. Observer. Adapter. DIYer. Listener. Problem-Solver. Collaborator. Geek. Athlete. Superhero. Woman.
A little background about me…
I graduated from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth with a BFA in Digital Media. My roots were formed studying graphic design, animation, early web design and fine art. I stuck to a strict web-safe palette of 218 colors, carefully sliced and optimized graphics for dial-up, and constructed tables with hand-coded HTML. I shot on film and developed my own prints in the darkroom. I sketched live models in charcoal and conté crayons. And I designed and scripted my first interactive app with Macromedia Director. I began my professional career as a web designer, working for marketing and advertising agencies in and around Boston. Some of the clients I’ve worked for include GM, Gillette, Intercontinental Hotels, Microsoft, Radioshack, Bayer Healthcare, Novartis, Reuters, Liberty Mutual, and Cigna Healthcare. After the loss of my son and birth of my daughter, I left the corporate world to start Reiley Photography, which later evolved into Bittersweet Books.
I eat chocolate every day.
I love Elvis impersonators.
My favorite color is orange.
I believe pie is better than cake.
I like to run.
I would rather be in Maui.
I always choose the spiciest item on the menu.
I love my kitties.