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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom: No Time Limits for Grief from RaeAnne Fredrickson


Thought for the Day: Quotes reach out to me from twitter, facebook and google+. Today's came to me from a feed on Facebook from The Compassionate Friends, Supporting Family After a Child Dies. Death is not easy at any age. My grandmother used to say at the end of her visits when I lived abroad that if she stayed for a day, a week a month or a year, it would always feel like not enough time and that saying goodbye would be difficult. That is true about life as well. Somehow the loss of a child magnifies grief. Children are so innocent and filled with potential, that the blow when they pass is simply harder to understand and accept.

When I saw the above quote, I did not know who RaeAnne Fredrickson was. I looked her up and discovered that she lost an infant child who was born with a fatal disease. She knew at 15 weeks that her son would not survive for long, but chose to bring him into the world. Since then she has devoted her life to helping others living with the same circumstances.

It reminds me of  Simon Sudman. Here's his story from the Simon's Fund website:
 In 2004, Simon was born. He weighed six pounds, 15 ounces at birth, and had an APGAR score of eight and nine. He was 50% for weight and 25% for height. Every few hours, he’d finish a bottle (except for a four-hour stretch overnight). It all sounds pretty normal, right?At seven weeks, Simon smiled for the first time. He died 47 days later.
By all signs, Simon Sudman was healthy and normal. But his little heart had a tiny unknown defect called Long QT Syndrome.
His parents had never heard of this condition before, let alone know that Phyllis (mother) also had the condition. They also didn’t know that this heart arrhythmia was responsible for up to 15% of all SIDS deaths.
Simon was one of thousands of kids to die of sudden cardiac arrest in 2005. Some were babies and others were high school athletes.
The Sudmans can never bring Simon back, but they have saved the lives of many other children and succeeded in getting laws passed to require education for coaches about SCA. Learn about Sudden Cardiac Arrest, have your family tested and help us spread the word. If you visit their website, you will see that they do not try to hide their grief, but they also have learned how to have the joy of helping prevent others from having to live through the pain they endured. Simon's Fund is one of the Dream Nonprofits featured in and benefitting from my book.
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