Thursday, October 16, 2008


I don't know how else to describe how I'm feeling. I'm not afraid or particularly nervous, just overwhelmed.

The Viking and I lost a son to SIDS ten years ago this month. Recently, a friend of The Viking's told him of a couple in his church whose 4-month-old son died of SIDS just three short weeks ago. He asked if he could give them our number. We said of course.

The mother called me tonight.

We talked for an hour.

The four of us are getting together next week.

And I am overwhelmed.

I feel such sympathy. I know how shattered this woman is, how numb she and her husband are, how impossible the road ahead of them seems. And I know how terrible the road ahead of them is. I know what it's like to have to walk around and pretend to be normal when you feel like you're hemorrhaging inside. I know what it's like to wish you could go crazy because it would bring some relief. I understand why people start drinking, gambling, or shooting up after the death of a child. I know why most marriages don't survive it.

But I also know how my marriage was strengthened because of our son's death. I know what it's like to stare your worst fear in the face and not only survive, but come out the other side stronger, wiser, more compassionate and more mature. I know joy, not just the happiness we chase so tirelessly and fruitlessly. I know perfect peace; peace that makes no sense but comforts perfectly. I know hope, not positive or wishful thinking. I know the benefits of perseverance and the refining purity that comes from suffering.

I feel such sadness. While I may not feel the pain anymore, I still remember it vividly. And talking about it always brings it to mind, especially this time of year. Our son died during the last week of October so I always get wistful and a little weepy right before Halloween. And this year marks the 10th year since we lost our precious babe so I'm even more vulnerable. Already I've been crying a little more than usual. He's been on my mind so much lately.

I also feel a huge responsibility. Someone is reaching out for my help. Someone is hurting terribly and greatly in need and I have the opportunity to help them, simply by sharing my story. Simply by understanding and knowing. The notion that my suffering can be used in some small way to bring comfort, even healing, to someone else who is suffering is incredibly profound; a tangible example of something good coming out of something bad. I am honored and humbled by the very thought.

I'm just...overwhelmed.


... said...

You know there is so much I could and want to say...just know that I love you and you are the perfect person to talk to this woman. Someone just told me this evening something that I really liked:
"as sad as it is to lose your child, the place that such pain touches in the heart makes it capable of mighty things."

KnC Zman said...

It is moments like this that words are not enough.. a hug is what is needed.. wish i could give you a big hug and say you are so brave to me for walking this with this couple! May the Spirit work through you and may His presence minister to all. We love you and will be praying!

PS.. it took me a moment to figure out who signed up to follow my blog... glad i checked it out!!

Leila said...

My new friend, maybe you are feeling overwhelmed because, like the rest of us, you can't help thinking that at least some things depend on your "success".

Even saying the right things to these people depends on the Holy Spirit...

Give thanks that you are the right person at the right time for them, and put the rest in His hands. Even "failure" will be success! Be peaceful.

I'm so sorry that you are sad these days. In heaven all the tears will be wiped away! Until then, we just have to be patient and faithful.

Also, I believe with all my heart that you will get your baby back there, and have your "lost" chance to raise him and love him as only you can! What a glorious reason to hope!

Karen said...

Many thanks for visiting my blog,on my SITS Day, on Thursday.

I think that it is truely wonderful, that this couple have you there at this terrible time in their life.

It's also incedibly brave of you to offer them your help, as it must also scratch at the scar tissue covering your hurt.

I can't put myself in either of your places, but I have an inkling of what it must feel like.

About 11 years ago, just before Christmas, I got a call, at work, from my daughter. She simply said 'Sacha (my granddaughter) isn't breathing, I'm doing CPR, Call 911' and she hung up. I asked her later, why she called me and not 911. She said se thought it was because she needed 911 and me ...

I called 911, totally hysterical. Someone drove me home and I will neve forget all the police cars, fire engines and ambulance outside my house.

I'll also never forget the sight of Sacha, in my daughter's arms, inside the ambulance ... hooked to a monitor and on oxygen ... but blessedly alive.

I'm so grateful that we were granted this blessing and a 2nd chance, especialy since I had just lost a baby a month after Sacha was born. At the same time , I also feel so sad for people like this couple and you.

I'm so glad that you can be there for them..


Magpie Interior Design said...

You are more than I could ever put into words right now. Beautiful, strong, giving and kind. But no, thats not enough. To help heal another human who is grieving a loss you know so much about is superhuman. You continue to amaze me with your honesty and ability to strip down to your core and let the world see. Go forward and talk to these people and know that the world needs more good people like you.

At the risk of derailing my deep comment here, I want you to know that I am switching to Google Reader b/c many of my fave blogs (yours included) have not been showing as updated in Bloglines and it is ticking me off that I am missing posts. So, sorry if I have not commented. I slapped my own wrist in your honor.


Ya Chun said...

It is a sisterhood that noone wants to join...

Ten years without your son is enough to overwhelm anyone, let alone meeting someone who is just experiencing this...