sarah1

The death of a baby or child is forever life changing in every way that you can imagine, or maybe you can not imagine.

I must have heard this a million times, “I can not image how you handle this; I would not be able to handle it.” Who wants to imagine the death of their baby or child, No one I know and neither did I. But I found myself in that very real situation on December 15, 2005 when my 11 week old daughter died in her sleep at the babysitter’s house of SIDS.

SIDS is the sudden, unexpected death of an apparently healthy infant under one year of age that remains unexplained after the performance of a complete postmortem investigation, including an autopsy, an examination of the scene of death and a review of the medical history. SIDS remains the leading cause of death for infants one month to one year of age, continuing to claim the lives of approximately 2,000 babies each year.

This is a life event that I would have rather missed out on and not experienced at all but that was not in my life plan. This one event changed everything for me and changed the way that I saw GOD. I will not lie to you and say I have a strong faith in GOD. It is really the opposite. I have always been looking for a relationship with GOD and have found it very difficult. I’m a believer and at times have had a strong faith and was in a good place when my world was turned upside down.

My daughter Alexandra Gayle was born on September 29, 2005 a health little girl, she was my only daughter and had 2 brothers that were very happy to have a sister. My 1st question to God after her death was how do I explain to 2 small children that their sister is gone. I looked for books and all I could find was books about helping children deal with the death of a pet or grandparent since those deaths make since to the world. No one wants to admit that babies and children die and no one wants to speak about it.

The next thought I had was how does a perfectly healthy little girl who was loved just fall sleep and never wake up. Why would the GOD that I knew let that happen? Why would GOD cause me and so many that loved her so much pain? (Ok that is like 3 questions) But in the days, months and years after her death there has been question after question with little to no answers.

I will admit to turning on GOD at that time in my life. I like to say that I put GOD in a box, locked it, put it in the back of my closet, and locked the door. I was angry and since there was no one else to blame, I blamed GOD, He became the person that was able to be angry with. Most people did not see this side of me since I kept it deep inside. They saw the person that I was showing to the outside world a strong person who was learning to cope. I was dying and my heart was broken.

There were days that I just went through the motions and days that I was not able to make it out of bed. There were times that I wanted to kill myself. They were times that I was happy and that felt wrong. I had 2 other little children that needed me and who were also grieving. I had a husband who was grieving too. There were days that I only had enough to deal with my own grief and had no room for their pain. Somehow I made it though each day one at a time. One minute at a time, then one day at time, then a week or two. Slowly there was a new normal in my life.

My heart remained broken and then something slowly started to change. I did not know what it was at the time and can only see it now looking back but that box I had hidden away was starting to leak. I did not know that you could not put God’s love in a box and expect it to stay there.

There were people that were put in my path that would show me that GOD still loved me no matter how mad I was at him. No matter how much I wanted to hate what I felt that he had let happen. I was not able to see the slow fog that seeped out from under the door. GOD had waited long enough and knew that it was time for me to see what He had in store for me.

It was always painful for me when people did not remember my daughter or know what to say to me when they found out what had happened. So I realized that it was my job to remember her and to make sure others knew it was ok too. It was ok not to know what to say to me and it is ok if talking about her makes me sad. Remembering her is more important then pushing it away.

I knew that it was ok to be sad and it was ok to be mad at GOD. He could handle it and after all He is a grieving parent too. When I realized that I had something in common with GOD. Little me here on earth, imperfect me had something in common with GOD. We were both grieving parents and a parent would never make this happen to another parent.

GOD did not make this happen, it just happened. It was my part of my plan in life. What GOD did do is walk with me though it. He stayed with me even when I did not want Him there. He knew I was not ready and waited until it was time to let me see where this path would take me. GOD saw the big picture that I was not able to see. GOD loved even when He was not loved. GOD grieved with me, cried with me, was angry with me, and he held my hand through it all.

My cross to carry in is life knowing that I was not able to control the loss of my daughter and there is nothing that I could have done to change it. My cross to carry is helping my children learn that death is a normal part of life, young or old GOD calls us home at all different times. How lucky we were to be the ones that were chosen to love this little baby for such a short time. How lucky I was to have carried her in my body to have nursed her and given her nourishment to have loved her to have put her back into the ground and given her back to her creator. How lucky are we to know that she is there waiting for us and always looking after us.

It is not an easy path and it will never be easy. It is a live changing event for everyone that is involved in it. What I have learned is that my path can help others that are dealing with the same kind of pain. That I can tell her story about how GOD took a broken heart and started to heal it little by little. How thru GOD I have learned to see the joy in life and cherish every moment. My relationship with GOD is far from great and it is still a struggle everyday to remember the path that I have been given and that He is always there with me. It is still a struggle to see the love that GOD has for me. But what is important is that I always keep trying and I always keep remembering the little angel that is watching and waiting for me to join her in heaven.

Today, I have 2 more children and have found myself as a single mother of 5 (1 angel). And again I hear how do you handle it but today the answers are very different. Today I can answer that question. It is only with the love and support of GOD that I handle it and knowing that GOD is there with me through all the ups and downs. 

[To read other stories that have been shared of people who have lost a child, click here]

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