PHOTO: Tree farm beside Azen Cemetery, Damascus,VA – where our son is buried. Copyright 2008 Sam Edwards (cousin extraordinaire)
Angelversaries are no fun. You know you’ll have one every year for the rest of forever. They say it gets easier and I suppose it kinda does but it’s different. I lost a child at 26 days of age. His developmental milestones were never achieved. All we have is a fantasy life to ponder on – what coulda been, what shoulda been. The same way you imagine what your in utero child will be like when they’re born – I have that eternally. So each new year is a reminder of what they would have been.
With infant loss people mourn differently. Some are vocal, some get religious, some try to numb the pain. I got vocal. I felt as if I could allow his life to go on – the more I talked about him, the more I shared his story with others. Sure there were people around me that couldn’t deal with their own issues on the subject and this made them uncomfortable. These people quickly were removed from #support circle. I couldn’t help someone else when I was the one searching for help.
In the early years I found dailystrength.org (DS). There I found an amazing group of #sids moms. As Facebook gained in popularity and mainly ease of use, we started backing away from DS and finding each other on FB. It was there where the true friendships were foraged.
Lead into today, my son’s 7th year since his death. I did my annual blah blah sad tears miss you post on Facebook and later that day, discovered this post from a fellow SIDS mom,
What an amazing gesture! Blew my mind and it was exactly what I needed. She even sent an update on the ink photo later in the day. I joked that my son was strong and he’s hang on all day! Seven years after my son passed, seven years after meeting this woman online and I continue to get support from her.
I continue to get support from them all! Other SIDS moms reached out in different ways today and I love them all dearly. I’ve only met one in person so far but do hope to meet more. When it comes to infant loss, any loss – I can’t stress enough how important it is for you to try different ways to cope. You’ll find what works and what doesn’t. You’ll discover who your true friends are pretty quickly and hear me now when I say, you will lose the least likely friends from your life. Wipe the dirt off your hands and move on. This loss is YOUR loss and no one can tell you what to feel, how deeply to feel, or when to stop feeling. It NEVER stops hurting.