Gifts From My Son

November 5, 2009
Cheryl Darnell
Grief, Healing, SIDS

Billy’s birthday was a few days ago. He would have turned 2. So hard to believe. Time seemed to stop at 5 months with him, so envisioning him any older is difficult. Although anytime I see a child at the age he would be, I try to imagine what Billy would look like and what he would be doing.


Birthdays naturally evoke gift-giving. Since I can’t give gifts to Billy, I’ve been considering the gifts he gave (and is giving) to us. 


He has given me the gift of discovering the love of God more deeply and intimately. Billy has brought me closer to the God who loves me more than I love my own children. I don’t just read the Bible now because “that’s what Christians are supposed to do.” I LIVE and BREATHE the promises and treasures I find in God’s Word! Scriptures come alive for me and bring joy, hope, and healing like NOTHING and NO ONE else can. The song “Savior” by New Life Worship in our website's list of “Songs that Heal” does a fabulous job summing up what I’m trying to say here.


Billy has given me the gift of new perspective. I see life and death much differently, now. I see just about everything differently, now--through a lens that filters what is important and eternal, and what is not. I can hold things on this earth more loosely now, and I have no fear of death. 


My son has given me the gift of becoming a little less self-consumed and more compassionate for others. MANY people are hurting. It’s more gratifying to love and serve others than to sit in self-pity or try to fulfill my own desires. It’s a distraction from my own grief when I can bring a smile or encouraging word to someone else. It reminds me that what has happened to us is not just for us- it’s for others who God wants to touch in the same way He has been healing us. I’m both honored and humbled that God would choose to use our experience and the experiences of other families who have endured the death of a baby to SIDS to illustrate His miraculous power to heal, restore, and redeem. 


Thank you, God, for my Billy, and thank you, my sweet baby, for these priceless gifts you’ve given Mommy.


*Please note- I am writing this now 19 months after Billy’s death. Each person’s road of grief and healing is different. If you are freshly grieving the death of a child, “self-pity” and “self-consumed” do NOT apply to you! You SHOULD be grieving your loss, and it IS all-consuming for awhile. You should be concerned with nothing else but your own needs and the needs of your family right now.


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