Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Moving Forward While Protecting the Memory of Your SIDS Baby

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), is an unthinkable, unpredictable, and unpreventable medical event that changes surviving family members forever. Families must adjust to having their precious baby taken from their arms to no fault of anyone. They must live with the knowledge that SIDS is a medical mystery and there is no known cure.

Many tears of grief are sown as family members adjust to the loss of a huge connection to the dreams, hopes, and identity of what their baby could have potentially contributed to their family’s future uniqueness.

A family’s love for their baby is endless, just as the memory of their baby will never be forgotten. Their baby’s life will be a cherished etching upon their hearts forever; filling the lingering empty space that’s left because there are no more dreams or hopes for their SIDS baby.

How do family members actively seek joy in living again, while protecting the memory of their precious baby?

I talked with a SIDS mommy, Ariana Adam, the other day about how she has chosen to look for joy in living again by writing poems, while protecting the memory of her baby girl, Jordan.

A typical day for Ariana is juggling a full time job and sharing parenting responsibilities of three children with her husband. Ariana says, “The loss of little Jordan Ezra Taffie has opened a place in my heart that no one else could reach.” During the day, Ariana usually finds her thoughts are bogging up her mind and not a free minute to write. However, when Ariana feels overwhelmed with emotion she states, “I HAVE to write. For me, it seems to be the only way I can release and relieve my heavy heart.” Her writing ideas come from the little things in life such as a certain smell, a song, or something one of her children says; mostly a deep love for her family captures where her ideas come from. The poems just spill out and sometimes she finds it hard for her hand to keep up with her mind while writing her words on paper.

Ariana has not officially published any of her poems, yet, she has found writing and sharing her poems with families to have a two fold healing process. For example, Ariana wrote a poem, titled, Visit From An Angel. By writing her deeply felt emotions on paper, it helped her heal and gave honor to baby Jordan.

~Visit From An Angel~

An Angel came to me one day
She touched my heart in such a special way

That Angel, she spoke to me with her eyes
And used an earthly voice that came as soft cries

I thought that she would stay with me
But I didn’t know what I couldn’t see

This Angel she had a different plan
She’d soon spread her wings and leave this land

If only she would have stayed a while longer
There are so many things that we would’ve done

The time we did share is my most precious treasure
Blessed by her presence, it was more than my pleasure

Maybe someday she’ll stop by again
And fill this void that’s left within

If she doesn’t I’ll understand…
She’s waiting for Mommy in the Promised Land

Written and printed by permission: Ariana Adam, © 2/7/07
Jordan’s Mommy

Jordan Ezra Taffe
Dec. 4, 2006 – Jan. 2, 2007

When Ariana shared her poem with other moms, they were inspired by her words so much, that they have asked Ariana for permission to place her poem on their babies’ memorial Web sites. Ariana says just knowing her poems are giving moms comfort warms her heart and puts a smile on her face.

Ariana’s advice for new writers is to “write what your heart feels. Let the little things inspire you.” Ariana also wants others to know that when they read her poetry they are looking straight into her heart and soul. “It is not easy for everyone to put words to paper,” she says; perhaps all along, reading one of her poems is just what they were feeling.

Like Ariana, most SIDS family members discover somewhere along their path of grief that they must purposely move ahead or die emotionally; they must give honor to their baby’s short life. To give honor, some family members build memorial sites, plant memory trees, work on charitable events and chat about the days when their baby was with them. Other family members write in journals, plant gardens, publish books, sew soft toys from their babies clothing or write poems about their SIDS baby. Each attempting to share the unique gifts their baby’s life has given to their family. Somehow, through this spirit of memory sharing, their baby’s legacy goes on and a new dream of what their lives are about is born. Once again, a family life that gives a sense of satisfaction, joy, and strength to each new experience exists. The very tears sown in grief are reaped in joy.

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