In June of 2011, my life shattered. Not only was a going through a divorce, but my son who was 22 months old and perfectly, beautifully healthy, went to sleep one night and never woke again. The autopsy had no answers. His bright eyes and vivacious spirit just was gone from this world. My pediatrician, the intrepid Molly Hood, assured me the day after his death that I would probably be finding out about a group called SUDC soon. She told me to contact her as soon as I had the autopsy results back. They sited dehydration. There was no other thing wrong with him except that his electrolytes were abnormal. And I did end up contacting and loving the caring people who are fighting to make SUDC (Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood) an official ruling for autopsies for mothers like myself…..
He went to bed with a milk sippie cup after eating a spaghetti dinner and having a bath. My last memory of him was of me tucking him into bed with a kiss and an “I love you, little man.” Then I turned for the door, turned off the overhead light to leave his crib bathed in the light from his nightlight. He had his paci in his left hand, his milk cuppie at his mouth held by his chubby right hand, his blanket over his waist and a contented smile on his face. His blonde hair shown like a halo in the nightlight glow.
I relive this moment often and wonder what flaw in my mother code did not alert me. What did I miss that I could have corrected. Could I have held him all night and been there to make sure he was okay and breathing. What did I do wrong as a mother that failed my son.
These questions still swirl and circle in my mind.
They are no longer questions.
Merely thoughts and parts of my new me....The one without him in it. The one that I have formed out of the parts and the pieces that once made up my life. They can not be answered while I still walk and breathe on this earth. One day, maybe God will let me know when I cross over to the other side, but for now…I have to rest content that my son is in a place where there is no hurt, no fear, no pain and no loss. Only sunlight and peace.
That being said, it is still a hard walk to walk without him.
I have always been driven to help others. In anyway I can. I want to fix the world and not see anyone hurt. Be they strangers or close loved ones. I realize that is unrealistic to think that I can heal the whole world. But I can keep on showing up and trying. My husband and I were sitting around talking one night and I brought up my struggle with the garbage bag of clothing that were once worn by my toe-headed, hazel eyed boy. I was not taught as a young lady how to sew. I made it a personal mission of mine to learn how on my own.
Noah’s clothes were the biggest catalyst. I wanted to bring those clothes out of the closet and make them into something functional for his sister and myself. I wanted to do it myself because I felt like it would be a wonderful, and very personal, journey for my grief.
The first time I cut into his layette. I sobbed.
The first time I cut into his baby blanket that had held him while I sang to him…I sobbed again.
Then I started forming the pieces that would make up a teddy bear.
I hand sewed most of the first bear.
And I sobbed. But I saw what was forming right before my eyes.
I was creating new in the midst of the loss.
I was forming a new creation with new skill and the past’s personal treasure trove of memories.
His smile in his green doggie pajamas while he ran around after bath time.
His tiny hands waving from the arms of the striped brown and white layette.
Singing “Baby Mine” while walking in small circles in the bedroom. He was bundled in just this blanket…
now I can see it and remember and also know that I made something beautiful and charming from the things that his body no longer needs.
My soul is more centered now. I know that there was nothing I could have done or would have done differently because I’m just a mother who did all that she could to keep her child safe. Sometimes there is no answer that will satisfy us here on Earth. We just have to honestly turn it over to God. Know and TRUST that He has all of this figured out for us.
All this being said, the reason Noahs Bears is something beautiful to me - I want to give a piece of this peace to others. I want them to find something good in the loss. I want to help bring some light and love back into the void of loss.
I’m not charging for the bears, because, well, I’m not in it to make money. I want to help souls heal and not feel alone in the dark.
Reach out via text, email, facebook messenger, or phone. I will do whatever I can to try to help.
Whether it is the loss, physically, of a loved one. Or even if they are still living and for some reason, you are no longer able to see them. I know both and understand both sides of the pain.
And I see you.
Noah’s memory will be honored by helping to transform a small sliver of your pain into a possible smile…even if it is paired with the tears that may roll out from your heart and down your cheeks. May each bear give you the ability to hug and hold something that once held or reminds you of your loved one.
God’s Blessings to each of you.