Capturing the image of a deceased child in a photograph was a common practice in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and although in today’s world some may view it as morbid, during that time it was an accepted way to preserve a precious memory.
"Post-mortem photography flourished in photography’s early decades, among clients who preferred to capture an image of a deceased loved one rather than have no photograph at all." (Mary Warner Marien)
"What a comfort it is to possess the image of those who are removed from our sight. We may raise an image of them in our minds, but that has not the tangibility of one we can see with our bodily eyes." (F.A. Windeyer-1870)
As time progressed, postmortem photographers sometimes enhanced the memorial portraits in order to make the deceased appear alive. They used techniques such as painting eyes on closed eyelids, propping eyes open, and placing the child in a sitting position at times including members of the family in the photograph.
"Let life be as beautiful as summer flowers, and death as beautiful as autumn leaves." (Rabindranath Tagore)