Friday, April 17, 2009

A New Perspective

Two days ago, I was contacted on Facebook by a woman who had stumbled upon our memorial group. A newly bereaved mother, she wanted to know how to go about setting up a group like ours and how we started our fundraising. I answered a few questions and then decided to ask her what her story was. The woman, Shantel, answered that a month ago her mother and her decided to go do some shopping. They put Shantel's two year old son in the stroller, her three year old son was walking with her mother and she had put her three month old daughter in her sling. They finished their shopping and walked over to the town library where Shantel went to take her sleeping baby out of the sling while the boys went to story time. Tragically, her daughter was dead. The library staff tried frantically to help her revive the baby while they waited for the ambulance but it was too late. Unable to find a cause, the doctors told her it was SIDS. I was struck by how sad her situation was. I couldn't imagine the pain and shock she must have felt when she realized something had happened to her daughter. It put a new twist on our situation for me. Although I'm terribly sad my son died, I am ever so grateful that Shane and I were prepared (well, as prepared as one can be in that situation). Shane and I had the privledge of holding Calvin while he died, of loving him and kissing him good-bye. As we held our son, we told him how much he was wanted, how much we were going to miss him, how sad we were that he had endured so much in his short life. I'm so thankful we got the chance to tell him all those things. I'm so grateful I got to kiss him a million times and whisper my "I love you's" to him. I'm so glad I had that chance. I'm also thankful that we knew the cause of Calvin's death, we knew exactly what caused him to leave this earth, there was absolutely no question, no searching for answers or need for an autopsy (although the doctors requested one...). I can only imagine the horror and shock not only Shantel must have felt, but her mother and two other children. Talking to her has really opened my eyes and in a way I feel lucky, as weird as that sounds, to have had Calvin die the way he did, in our arms and surrounded with love. I hope Shantel finds peace. Talking with her has renewed my sense of purpose with the memorial group and opened my heart back up to the possibility that maybe there is a God. If there is, then maybe He gave us the chance to say good-bye because He knew how much I had been praying for Calvin to be alright. Maybe He knew how much I loved him.


  1. That is so sad, I couldn't even imagine being that mother. Thanks for sharing that makes me grateful for what I have.

  2. I am so terribly sorry for Shantel's loss. How heartbreaking. How horribly unexpected to lose her little girl.

    You are right. It was a privilege and an honor to hold and whisper my Georgina out of this world. Maybe God was listening to our prayers. I knew she would be leaving. And I always knew that it was very unlikely that she would survive, from the moment that she was born. Stupid hope. I still had it.

    Really I have so very, very, very much to be grateful for. And most of the time I am. But there are times when I can't summon up any gratitude at all. And that makes me angry with myself and feel so guilty. Lucky. Unlucky. I can't fix on one. Perhaps because it was actually both simultaneously.

    I am glad to hear that Calvin's memorial group is going well. Would love to hear more about it.