Friday, October 10, 2008

I am a survivor, too...

So, I was wearing my Maddux necklace the other day, and a lady asked me about it. I told her that was my son, Maddux. He died three 1/2 years ago. I went on to explain about the month of October being Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, and this was a way for me to honor him during this time...She politely nodded her head, like she understood, and then she opened her mouth. "Oh my God! I would just die if something happened to one of my children." "How did you ever survive?" Like I ever had a choice? How many times did I say I wished death would have taken me too? That only my death could ever stop my pain? That I have three other children at home, that needed a mother. How do I tell this to a stranger? Her question, for a moment made me feel like a failure. Like if I had been a good mother, I too would be dead. If we really loved our children, would we not die for them? Lay down our own lives?

Well, I stood there for a moment? Thought about her question. Then I opened my mouth. Yes, you heard me, I opened my mouth. I said, very politely, "I did die. My world was dark for such a long time. The person I was before my son does not exist anymore. Today, I stand before you, a new person, a stronger person, and a better mother. A person that can show empathy and compassion to a complete stranger." She looked at me, and I think she started to stutter out an apology. I stopped her and said "Please, no apology. You didn't say anything wrong, you said what you felt. Next time you meet a mother that has lost a child, and I am sure you will, just remember that a part of her did die. And that she is a survivor. A survivor of something there is no cure for, except that, of having her child back in her arms." Know what happened next?

She gave me a small hug, and whispered "Thank you..."

There is so much publicity about breast cancer awareness during the month of October, Pregnancy and Infant Loss gets swept under the rug. You all know what I mean and what I am saying. I want to scream at the top of my lungs "I AM A SURVIVOR!!!!" "MY BABY DIED, AND THERE IS NO CURE FOR THAT!!!" "WHAT ABOUT ME????" "WHERE IS MY AWARENESS, WHERE IS MY SUPPORT???" "HELLO, IS ANYBODY LISTENING?"


Mitra said...


You prob don't know this, but I check your blog a few times a week, I enjoy reading your posts. They are so very real, and uninhibitted. They are true and unedited.

October is Breast Cancer, Infant Loss and Awareness, and Domestic Violence Awareness. So many causes are remembered, and supported in October that I don't think any of them really get the support that they are owed. Support that they NEED.

My daughter's brother was killed 4 years ago in Maine, by his Mother's new Boyfriend. This month a local organization (up there) sets up events to remember him, and all the other children and women who have been killed as a result of Domestic Violence.

November 18th I'll be 26, and it will also be 3 years that I miscarried my 1st child. To have lost that child on the day I was born makes it even harder for me, I think. I never saw the baby on a sonogram, or heard it's heart beat. BUT I did mourn, I do mourn, the loss of my 1st child.

I too am a survivor Cheryl, and I heard your screams because I was screaming with you.

Christine said...

Hi Cheryl, it's Christine Miller (Kyle's mom). I just found your blog again and I wanted to tell you that I completely understand what you are saying. I would give both my breasts and every other body part to have my son back. I lost the most precious thing in the world to me and am still standing here, living and surviving, even if no one seems to recognize it as such. We ARE survivors, we have survived the worst possible thing that could ever happen to a human being. There are no ribbons for us, no public awareness, we are what no one wants to think about because what we have survived is every parent's darkest and worst fear. Your post just rang so true for me & I wanted to let you know.