Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

When Death Tears a Momma from Her Child

This past school year, a 35 year old mother sat in the same piano class with her preschool daughter as I did with my son. I didn’t know the mother very well, but she seemed to have a calm and kind spirit, and I was always blessed by the bubbly joy that emanated from her little girl.

About 6 weeks ago, we learned that this mother had begun experiencing severe migraines. Four malignant tumors appeared on her brain, and she’d been given 4 to 8 weeks to live. Apparently, she had been diagnosed 4 years ago with terminal cancer, but she shared with very few people, as she didn’t want the cancer to “define” her. She felt that God had called her to “live her life fully,” and after her cancer treatments, she enjoyed a year and a half of “feeling normal” (enjoying life as a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, worship leader, and missionary) before the cancer fatally spread.

Releasing My Baby Into God's Hands

Six years ago on Saturday morning, March 29, I awoke to my absolute worst nightmare. Puzzled as to why my baby hadn’t awakened to nurse yet, I went to get him up, finding him unresponsive in his crib. Billy had died of SIDS, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Our hearts, lives, and dreams were completely shattered. The moments, hours, days, and months that followed were the darkest and most painful I’ve ever experienced.

I had no idea that within my deepest suffering, I would discover some of God’s most beautiful truths and promises. I never fathomed the depth of love I could feel at the same time that my heart had been inflicted with its deepest pain. I had no clue that in just over the next few years, God would use our son’s life- and death- to bring healing in our own hearts and marriage, and to reach hundreds of other hurting families, bringing healing and hope to them.

Hope to Endure

 

Written By:  Martie Spurgeon

 

“For I reckon the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”  Romans 8:18

 

SIDS brings suffering to the hearts of family members touched by its sudden arrival.  It hurts.  It is unseen and nothing could prepare us for the void it leaves in our families for years to come.

There is a River

Written by: Martie Spurgeon

Psalm 46

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble.”

What comfort this verse can bring to the grieving parent!  God is a refuge – a hiding place, a safe place.  How we long for that after our world has been turned upside down!  How we desire a safe place to hide.  I remember after our daughter died the fear that filled my heart.  Fear fills the heart of every parent who has suffered the unexpected loss of a baby.   This reality becomes crystal clear:  Life can change in an instant.  Everything seems uncertain and unsure.  This verse helps us to realize that God is there for us even when everything around us seems unsure and unstable.  God is not just a refuge; oh no, it is so much more personal that that!  He is our refuge if we are His.   

When Fear Comes

“What time I am afraid I will trust in thee.”  Psalm 56:3

Written by:  Martie Spurgeon

We had loaded the family into the van and were heading up for a hike at a nearby mountain here in North Carolina.  Our youngest daughter had been so excited about hiking and had chattered about it all day long as we prepared for the time when Daddy would get home from work and we would go on our adventure.

What Would God Have Me to Do?

Written by:  Martie Spurgeon

 

We talked about the benefits of planning and looking ahead in the New Year that lies before us.  The benefits are there for everyone; but the grieving parent can find that taking time to plan for the days and months that lay ahead is actually a huge step in the grieving process. 

Planning for the New Year Ahead

Written By:  Martie Spurgeon

 God is a God of order and routine.  One of the greatest ways to see God delight of order is to view the changing seasons.  Everything follows a pattern.  We have spring, then summer, followed by fall and the winter.  The cycle continues - month after month, year after year.  Sure, we can have season that are mild or extremely hard – but overall we know that after one season follows the next and there is an anticipated pattern in the weather for each season.

God delights in order.  He has designed our bodies to function best in a consistency of order.  Can you imagine if there were no season changes?  How boring that would be!  Isn’t it nice to know that Tuesday follows Monday and that Friday comes at the end of the week?  Imagine if everyday was a Monday. Now that is a scary thought! 

Finding Hope When the Holidays are Hard

Holidays can be so difficult for grieving families. Festive cheer surrounds us, yet for those grieving such devastating loss, it can cause feelings of isolation and loneliness. Grieving families may not feel like celebrating, and others may or may not understand. The absence of our babies looms heavily over us, and we can hardly find reason to be joyful at a time that causes such deep pain. 

Precious

This post is written by Martie Spurgeon, gifted writer and mother of 6. Her daughter Ally died of SIDS on December 13, 1997. Be blessed by Martie's hope-filled and encouraging words, birthed out of her own grieved-yet healing- heart.

Psalm 116:15 – “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.”

How different are our views of death compared to God’s thoughts on the subject.  To us, death of a loved one is something that is dreaded, feared and we are left many questions of how their death could have been avoided or prevented.  This is especially true when it was one of our dear little children.  How deep the pain!  How comforting to know that God views death in a completely different way.  

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.”

Lament For a Son (or Daughter)

Here is one of the most profound messages I've ever heard on grieving the death of a child. May this bring some comfort and encouragement to you parents, grandparents, and others suffering the loss of a child to SIDS. And may it give a voice to those of you who may not quite feel the ability to freely express your pain and grief. I'll stop there- Rev. Meghan Feldmeyer's message speaks for itself:

Lament for a Son

2 Samuel 18:5-15, 19-33

A Sermon preached in Duke University Chapel on August 12, 2012 by the Rev. Meghan Feldmeyer