AND THEN IT HAPPENS TO YOU

Photo: Cindy Johnson

If you are new here or have stumbled across this page, welcome. You may be unfamiliar with our story. At the end of June 2013, our beautiful baby girl Shaundi was born and she was perfect and such a joy! In early September, my husband found her unresponsive and not breathing. Life with one of our babies gone has been hard. I’ve shared our journey here.
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Before I was a mom I had a lot to say about a lot of things when it came to how other people parented or the decisions they made. I knew everything.

And then it happened to me, I became a mom and I learned I was 100% wrong about everything I knew.

I never thought I was the best parent or that I had it all together; I try my best and do everything I can for my kids. In one second, I was the mom that was judged by my neighbor, gossiped about, questioned. Thankfully, I was only ripped apart by a few people and I found very little online. What you say online is out there friends, no matter what you feel about another person’s parenting practices, they are grieving and hurting. Your negative input does not help the situation.

My heart hurts so much every time I turn on my computer. I’m fortunate that I seem to have very compassionate, loving friends who look at the world a lot like I do…or like I do at this point in my life. Even my friends without children have kind hearts and soft words for what they see in the world.

One moment you’re the best parent — you take your child on vacation, or to the zoo or an amusement park or a playground — and then it happens to you. You lose a child. Your child is a statistic, a product of your failure as a parent. You’re the worst parent ever. And that’s just what you think about yourself. And the worst part is, your baby is gone!

One moment everyone is attacking and shredding an unknown mother (sometimes a father, but mostly a mother in my experience) for all of her faults, for taking her eyes of off her child, for taking a drink of water, for going to the bathroom, for tending to another child, for digging around in her purse — and then it happens to you. In a blink of an eye you lose a piece of your heart and the world turns on you. Let them say what they want, if only it brings your baby back — but it doesn’t.

One moment it’s someone else’s story and you have everything to say about it online, in conversation with your friends — and then it happens to you.

Children die every day for a multitude of reasons. Let’s turn our outrage towards the fact that in our prosperous society 15.3 million children live in food insecure households. They’re hungry. They’re starving. Let’s fix that, let’s find a solution — you never know when it could happen to you.

If the hunger issue or any other reason that children are losing their lives seems too big for you to contribute to, then try contributing love. Compassion. Care. When we lost our child, we were surrounded by love and care and kind words and it meant so much. Please stop with the narrative on someone else’s story. Hope with all of your heart that it’s always someone else’s story and that it never happens to you.