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
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...