From Loss to Life

This blog is written by SIDS America co-founder, Cheryl Darnell, whose son Billy died from SIDS. The thoughts reflected here come from Cheryl's heart to encourage others who are also experiencing the death of a child from SIDS. Her desire is that you might find hope and healing through her words and know that you are not alone.

Jun
8
2014
Cheryl Darnell

This past school year, a 35 year old mother sat in the same piano class with her preschool daughter as I did with my son. I didn’t know the mother very well, but she seemed to have a calm and kind spirit, and I was always blessed by the bubbly joy that emanated from her little girl.

About 6 weeks ago, we learned that this mother had begun experiencing severe migraines. Four malignant tumors appeared on her brain, and she’d been given 4 to 8 weeks to live. Apparently, she had been diagnosed 4 years ago with terminal cancer, but she shared with very few people, as she didn’t want the cancer to “define” her. She felt that God had called her to “live her life fully,” and after her cancer treatments, she enjoyed a year and a half of “feeling normal” (enjoying life as a wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, worship leader, and missionary) before the cancer fatally spread.

I could barely wrap my mind around this scenario. She has been joyfully and faithfully raising two...

Apr
17
2013
Cheryl Darnell

 

Written By:  Martie Spurgeon

 

“For I reckon the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”  Romans 8:18

 

SIDS brings suffering to the hearts of family members touched by its sudden arrival.  It hurts.  It is unseen and nothing could prepare us for the void it leaves in our families for years to come.

When a child dies of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome it causes the parents to feel vulnerable and uncertain of what the future holds for them or other children they have. 

Sudden death brings sudden pain, sudden suffering.

 This verse is for us.  It serves...

Apr
9
2013
Cheryl Darnell

Jesus – The Counselor

An Exposition of Luke 24:13-32

By: Martie Spurgeon

 

Having lost our daughter to SIDS several years ago I have had countless opportunities to talk with other families who have also experienced the same loss. God has allowed my heartache to be a springboard that has allowed me to counsel other Mother’s who are walking through the deep grief that follows loosing a child.  After our daughter died from SIDS in 1997 I felt like my life had shattered right before my very eyes.  I lost my way.  I needed someone to come alongside and share with me truth – a counselor.   As the years have passed and God has healed my heart; He has placed within me a burden to be a counselor to those who are grieving and hurting. 

A few weeks ago as I was in church and listening to the message a passage of scripture became so clear to me.  I saw it in a whole different...

Feb
13
2013
Cheryl Darnell

“What time I am afraid I will trust in thee.”  Psalm 56:3

Written by:  Martie Spurgeon

We had loaded the family into the van and were heading up for a hike at a nearby mountain here in North Carolina.  Our youngest daughter had been so excited about hiking and had chattered about it all day long as we prepared for the time when Daddy would get home from work and we would go on our adventure.

The hiking destination is about thirty minutes from our house and the trip there was filled with talking and laughing and a general buzz of noise.  We made the turn to head up the mountain to the hiking trail.  On either side of the van we were surrounded by mountains.  It grew a little darker as the road narrowed.  Suddenly our youngest who was four at the time began to cry; and I mean really cry!  I was stunned and looked for something that had caused her pain or even a sibling who had caused her pain; but there was nothing.  “...

Jan
2
2013

 

Written by:  Martie Spurgeon

 

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”   Jeremiah 29:11

 

Perhaps this is my favorite verse in scripture.  I can not say that for certain because I have so many ‘favorites’.  What I do know is that there is no other verse or passage in the Bible that I have turned to more and claimed more during a time of trial than this particular verse.

Isn’t it comforting to know that God does not think towards me thoughts of evil?  I am sure that one of the things that Satan desires most is for me to question God’s thoughts of me.  He brings questions to my mind during times of trial and hurt that are arrows of doubt aimed right at my soul.  Satan wants me to doubt God’s love.  He wants me to think that God is ‘out to get me’.  The...

Dec
13
2012

Writen by:  Martie Spurgeon

I want to take a blog post and introduce myself.  It is significant to me that my ministry here with SIDS America is officially beginning this week.  This is the week my life changed forever, fifteen years ago - today.  God has been preparing me for this ministry long before that sad Saturday morning. 

It was during a teen mission’s trip that my youth pastor was giving a challenge.  I remember the challenge distinctly.  He was talking about allowing the events that come into our lives to mold us into a person whose life glorifies God.  He then went on to illustrate his point by telling the stories of two women, unknown to each other, but who both suffered great loss.  Each of these ladies lost one of their children to death.  As the story went, car accidents had caused each of these mothers  to suffer heartache and loss.  He told of how the one mother grew horribly bitter....

Dec
12
2012
Cheryl Darnell

Holidays can be so difficult for grieving families. Festive cheer surrounds us, yet for those grieving such devastating loss, it can cause feelings of isolation and loneliness. Grieving families may not feel like celebrating, and others may or may not understand. The absence of our babies looms heavily over us, and we can hardly find reason to be joyful at a time that causes such deep pain. 

A mother from our Dallas Support Group sent me an email recently in which she referenced Luke 2:19 from the Bible: "But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart." It's right in the midst of the Christmas story- Mary is holding her newborn son in a humble stable, a mass of angels breaks through heaven to sing of the King who has come to save the world, and after shepherds witness the miracle themselves, they begin a mass communication effort to get the word out that God had come- as a helpless, human baby- to earth. Amid all the fanfare from the...

Dec
12
2012

Written by:  Martie Spurgeon

At Christmas time our thoughts turn to family.  The festivities and the nostalgia of Christmas causes us to remember memories of the past.  If your family life has been affected by SIDS, undoubtedly some of your memories this Christmas will be sad; and you may find this holiday season incredibly hard.Handling the holidays while grieving can be a challenge especially if your baby has died within the past three years.  So, how does a grieving parent cope with the added stress of the holidays while they are still grieving the loss of their baby?  Here are a few tips that may help you during this time of year.

  • Allow yourself to grieve.  While this may sound like a given, it sometimes feels wrong to be sad when the whole world is 'supposed' to be joyful and festive.  You do not have to be festive every day in December!  It is OK to cry and to miss your baby - even during the holidays!
  • ...
Dec
5
2012

Written by Martie Spurgeon

“It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord…” Psalm 92:1

 Our Heavenly Father knows what it best for us.  He knows our makeup and understands our humanity. Part of our makeup is to forget to see the good things in life.  This is especially true during times of crisis.  It is easy when life has thrown us a curve ball to only see life through a negative viewpoint.

Then we open the Bible and read here that it is a good thing to give thanks to God.  He reminds us gently saying, “My child it is good for you to give thanks.”  Perhaps your heart cries out, “But for what do I have to be thankful?  The dearest thing on earth to me is gone!”  Yet the verse is still true, “It is a good thing to give thanks.”   His promptings cause your heart to try to find something – even a little thing for which you can be thankful. Then Holy Spirit comes along side starts showing you how much you have been...

Nov
15
2012

This post is written by Martie Spurgeon, gifted writer and mother of 6. Her daughter Ally died of SIDS on December 13, 1997. Be blessed by Martie's hope-filled and encouraging words, birthed out of her own grieved-yet healing- heart.

Psalm 116:15 – “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.”

How different are our views of death compared to God’s thoughts on the subject.  To us, death of a loved one is something that is dreaded, feared and we are left many questions of how their death could have been avoided or prevented.  This is especially true when it was one of our dear little children.  How deep the pain!  How comforting to know that God views death in a completely different way.  

Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.”

There are some verses in the Bible that take on a special meaning after the death of a baby.  For me, this was one of those verses.  The day our...