Blogs

For the Mommies

An email was sent to me last year by the aunt of a precious baby girl who died of SIDS in April 2009. She was asking for advice on what to say to the baby's parents. It was Mother's Day weekend, and the aunt told me, "I feel an extra layer of sadness that (the baby's mommy) will be suffering this weekend- her first Mother's Day....I want to acknowledge that she is a wonderful Mom.....but I don't know if it would be better to let the holiday go by 'un-announced.'"

Especially for those of you who have suffered the death of your first and only child, you might feel so empty and sad on Mother's Day. You may question whether you still qualify for recognition on this day. But no more does the absence of your child here on earth mean you're not a mother than does the absence of one's parent mean he/she is no longer that parent's son or daughter.

I Will Not Forget

I can’t believe it has been two years since I last saw and held my baby Billy. I still cry when I see an ambulance. Every time I’m with my nephew, who was born 2 weeks after Billy, I think of what Billy would look like and what he’d be doing now if he were still with us. When we take family pictures, it never seems complete. My husband teared up the other day at the tax services office when the rep told him she had to delete Billy from our “dependents”- his name, his social security number, his birthday. I know it’s just for tax purposes- but it’s another painful reminder that he’s not here. There’s something really sad about “removing” him from our family. Will he be so quickly and easily forgotten?

How to Handle the Holidays

The following list might be helpful for parents grieving through the holidays.

Gifts From My Son

Billy’s birthday was a few days ago. He would have turned 2. So hard to believe. Time seemed to stop at 5 months with him, so envisioning him any older is difficult. Although anytime I see a child at the age he would be, I try to imagine what Billy would look like and what he would be doing.

 

Birthdays naturally evoke gift-giving. Since I can’t give gifts to Billy, I’ve been considering the gifts he gave (and is giving) to us. 

At a Loss For Words

In a previous blog, I mentioned the death of my close friend’s dad, Scotty. His daughter Kim and I have been such good friends for about 20 years, and yet- I struggled trying to find any words to say to her when her dad died. 

Another mom here in Dallas lost her baby to SIDS a couple weeks ago. When she attended our support group for the first time last week, it was very difficult thinking of what I could say to her.

WHY?!

Frozen in Time

What parent doesn’t enjoy proudly displaying photos of their kids? Come on...our kids grace just about every wall of our home. And I am truly blessed to have a mother-in-law who has generously made it a tradition to have her grandkids’ photos taken professionally every year. We got new shots done of Avery and Nathan just last week.

Sometimes it’s very difficult for me when I switch out photos to update my children’s pictures. I have photos on top of our mantle of all three kids. But only 2 get switched out regularly. Billy’s remains his 4 1/2 month photo in his adorable blue corduroy overalls. It’s a painful reminder of my inability to watch Billy grow up. As I notice the changes in Avery and Nathan as they grow and mature, I wonder what Billy would have looked like at each photo change.

Sudden - From Loss to Life

“I just hate death.” These were some of the first words uttered by my husband as he sat in shock, disbelief, and overwhelming sadness after receiving the news this past Wednesday that the father of one of my best friends had died suddenly of a heart attack. This man had been like another father to me growing up, and to Bill, he was also a father figure and mentor. Scotty was one of the friendliest people you’d ever met, and he made his opinions known on matters that were most important to him, namely his family and his faith. He was a man of great faith, solid integrity, and a terrific sense of humor.

So how does this relate to SIDS?

Running Patiently

The following is an excerpt from my journal 7 months after our son Billy died of SIDS. We had sold our home in Colorado, relocated to Texas in a temporary corporate apartment, boarded our cats, and were trying to figure out what to do next with our life.

October 30, 2008 -- Wow. What an amazing devotional I read today. It’s from L.B. Cowman’s Streams in the Desert, a devotional collection that has ministered to me several times over since I received it in college. This entry is from George Matheson. I’ve never thought about Hebrews 12:1, “Let us run with patience,” in this particular way.

Matheson says the word “running” suggests the absence of patience and an “eagerness to reach the goal.” But we consider patience to be associated with standing still.

Darkness Before the Dawn

When people visit this website, we want them to immediately sense peace... hope... healing. This “hope” that we speak of is not empty platitudes or “feel good” philosophy. Itʼs truth from the Word of God. But itʼs not like one day our son died, and the next day, week, or even month we were hopeful, happy, and healed. We ourselves have doubted and wrestled with the truth that speaks of hope and healing.

We understand that your life, heart, and dreams have been shattered. Because ours were, too. We know youʼre struggling just to survive another day. Weʼve been there. We are very much acquainted with feelings of grief, anger, despair, and depression.

Godʼs peace was with us even as we held Billy in the hospital, lifeless and cold in our arms. Godʼs healing began in those first few hours after our tragedy.