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.

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...

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....

Aug
24
2012
Cheryl Darnell

Here is one of the most profound messages I've ever heard on grieving the death of a child. May this bring some comfort and encouragement to you parents, grandparents, and others suffering the loss of a child to SIDS. And may it give a voice to those of you who may not quite feel the ability to freely express your pain and grief. I'll stop there- Rev. Meghan Feldmeyer's message speaks for itself:

Lament for a Son

2 Samuel 18:5-15, 19-33

A Sermon preached in Duke University Chapel on August 12, 2012 by the Rev. Meghan Feldmeyer

A friend of mine serves a church similar to Duke Chapel in that ministers offer prayers for healing and anointing with oil during communion. He shared with me his recent experience of being one of the ministers of anointing on Easter Sunday. Easter is a day when the worship service is crafted to reveal extreme joy...brass instruments, choral descants, banners, and lilies all speaking to the abundance of...

Jul
30
2012
Cheryl Darnell

"Where was God when my baby died?"

 

It's a question asked by nearly every grieving SIDS family. And I found an insightful response to it in a blog posted yesterday on CNN. The blog was also addressing the question, "Where was God?," in reference to the recent mass shooting spree in which a gunman took the lives of 12 people and left many others injured in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, on July 20.

 

Rob Brendle, the author of this particular blog, also happens to be the pastor who came to see us in the hospital in March 2008 as we held Billy, lifeless, in our arms. While I couldn't tell you exactly what Rob said because my mind was in such shock that morning, I will always remember the peace that held my heart when he spoke to us in that hospital room- and as he shared a hope-filled, life-giving message at our son's memorial service. The man is not just gifted- he cares about people, he listens to God, and he speaks to our minds the...

Jun
17
2012
Cheryl Darnell

Today I write to the dads who have suffered the death of a child to SIDS. I was inspired to write this by the love and concern of a very close friend of ours. Separate from her constant checking in on me, she would consistently check on Bill and ask him specifically how he was doing for over a year after Billy died. That meant so much to my husband, and it had a significant impact on his healing. Thank you, dear, dear friend. :)

 

Much attention, empathy, and sympathy is poured out to mothers upon the loss of a child. 

But what about the dads? 

Weeks after our son died, my husband commented, "There seems to be lots of support available for mothers, but I kind of feel lost as a grieving dad." 

 

It's not often we hear men talk about being sad. Men and women certainly grieve differently, but I wonder if our culture really even allows for men to fully grieve at all. Perhaps dads feel an expectation to hold...

Mar
19
2012
Cheryl Darnell

Many people are quick to offer prayer when they hear of tragedy, such as a child dying of SIDS. Perhaps it's because we all know that it's going to take much more than our human efforts to bring comfort and healing to those who are so deeply suffering. We know it's going to take supernatural power to hold parents together when they suddenly and horrifyingly unexpectedly find their child lying lifeless in his/her crib.

It is encouraging to know that our prayers are not in vain. We have direct access to the God of the Universe when we pray, and His Word promises that when we pray, He hears- and answers- our prayers. Jesus said in John 14:13-14, "And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it."

Sometimes our most genuine prayers are uttered in moments of deepest desperation. God never said that prayer needed to be eloquent and wordy. Simply mustering the ability to...

Nov
23
2011
Cheryl Darnell

For those grieving the loss of a child to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), holidays can be really tough. Sometimes we simply go through the motions with the least exertion of effort, just trying to "make it through." And that's okay.

But it's also okay to enjoy the holidays. It's okay to find joy in other things while also deeply grieving the loss of your child. In fact, it is those sources of joy that will spark glimmers of hope and help bring healing to your heart over time.

When I consider the original "Thanksgiving," it was not a picture of family dressed up and sitting in comfy chairs in a central-heated dining room with a table decked with fine china, a perfectly roasted turkey, and an abundance of gourmet sides. Colonists gathered around their hand-built, humble, drafty log cabins with, sadly, many pilgrim family members missing. Half of the colonists were casualties of the previous harsh winter and diseases. And yet those who were present gave thanks. For...

Sep
20
2011
Cheryl Darnell

Songs can bring incredible healing, and when a song is inspired by the Word of God, which is living and powerful, it can minister to a broken heart like no other words can. One such song was sent to me just after our son died. I will confess, it took me about 3 MONTHS before I even took the packaging off the CD. People grieve differently, and for me, I was just very silent for the first couple months. I didn't want to talk to anyone. I didn't want to read any books about grief. And worship- which had always been "my escape"- my place where I felt closest to the Lord- now was extremely painful. I didn't know if I really believed what I was singing anymore. How could I worship or praise my God in the midst of wanting to blame Him for my tragedy?

Then I heard this song. I played it by myself in my room one afternoon. And I wept. For what seemed like hours. I played the song over- and over- and over. The words consumed me- and became my own cry- my desperate attempt to find the...