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...

Mar
13
2013
Cheryl Darnell

Written by: Martie Spurgeon

Psalm 46

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble.”

What comfort this verse can bring to the grieving parent!  God is a refuge – a hiding place, a safe place.  How we long for that after our world has been turned upside down!  How we desire a safe place to hide.  I remember after our daughter died the fear that filled my heart.  Fear fills the heart of every parent who has suffered the unexpected loss of a baby.   This reality becomes crystal clear:  Life can change in an instant.  Everything seems uncertain and unsure.  This verse helps us to realize that God is there for us even when everything around us seems unsure and unstable.  God is not just a refuge; oh no, it is so much more personal that that!  He is our refuge if we are His.   

Not only is God our...

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
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...

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...

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...