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.

Nov
1
2015
Cheryl Darnell

Today we would have been celebrating a new 8 year old in our home- Billy would be turning 8! There’s always some sadness with not getting to plan his party and reflect each year on how he’s grown. But I can honestly say that reflecting on my own journey of grief, I have experienced true healing- a healing that even brings an inexpressible joy.

 I’ve heard it said, “You’re doing better now because so much time has passed. God made time, and time heals. It’s not prayer. What does prayer really do? What’s gonna happen is gonna happen, whether we pray or not.”

I definitely agree that God has used time to help remove me from the intense, vivid, horrific memories and pain of holding my lifeless son in my arms and desperately trying to bring him back to life. Time has also allowed me to experience many new moments of joy again.

But I’d have to disagree with the idea that time itself has healed me. I disagree because of...

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
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
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...

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...

May
12
2012
Cheryl Darnell

For all mothers who have suffered the death of a child to SIDS....

While many moms blissfully relish in the joys of motherhood today, there are also many mothers who face this day feeling empty, surrounded by empty.....empty arms, empty carseat, empty nursery, empty heart. How, you may be wondering, does a grieving mother possibly "celebrate" Mother's Day?

To answer that, it helps to look at a significant truth about becoming a mother.

God says in the following passages:

Jeremiah 1:5: Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart...

Psalm 139:13-16: For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days...

Apr
7
2012
Cheryl Darnell

In general, most holidays can be pretty difficult to face when grieving the loss of a child. But Easter is different.

While it does not completely erase our pain, Easter brings the miraculous Truth that allows our hearts to heal and find hope in the midst of our trauma and tragedy. The Resurrection is a miracle for each one of us, and it assures grieving parents the hope of reuniting with their children again one day. I know the devastation of losing my son to SIDS. I cannot imagine the devastation I would feel if Christ had not taken my sins upon Himself and died so that I could live- in eternity- with Him and with my loved ones. 

The children's choir at our church this Easter morning sang a song that dates back 139 years. Even with a new melody/arrangement, the hymn's words are powerful and timeless. I've copied the lyrics to the song below, and you can listen to Aaron Shust perform it at...

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...