This is from an e-mail we received last month; you’ll be able to read the whole thing below. It’s from one of our listeners and is an honest, heart-felt story of a young couple whose baby girl died 8 years ago. This hit home for me personally, given that my oldest daughter is 8 and I couldn’t imagine being in their shoes. We love and appreciate these sorts of honest e-mails and learn a lot from them. We were moved to share this one with you.
“I know this is a long email and I do apologize, but I just wanted to share my heart with some dudes who seek truth however dirty and gritty it can be. And losing a child is one of the most perverse things that someone would have to deal with. All we ask, those who have lost, is for others to be willing to get dirty with us. We know you can’t fix it. We know our grief makes you uncomfortable. We know it feels like we’re pushing you away sometimes. But honestly, we want to know that we’re safe to bear our soul and we won’t do it if we sense you are unwilling to hear it.” — Josh
My name is Josh and I am from Des Moines, IA. I just got done listening to your interview with Tedashii and I have to say, it is one of my favorites. For many reasons, including you guys improving on making things more relaxed and comfortable, but mostly because the story of Tedashii losing his son hits home with me. Eight years ago, my wife and I lost our 3 month old daughter to SIDS. I don’t have to tell y’all that it was pure HELL!
My wife and I are both believers and had a strong church family to hold us up. The whole thing went down at my wife’s mother’s house on December 17th, 2006. My wife and her mom were in the kitchen making up some Christmas goodies and my brother-in-laws and I were around the computer watching SNL videos. I felt super guilty for a long time about watching that video, and to be honest, also fought for a second with the thought of that’s why it happened. I obviously don’t feel that way anymore, but it’s crazy what grief does. Anyway, my wife went to the bedroom where our daughter was napping to get more ribbon. It wasn’t until she was heading out that she noticed Sarah was lying face down, which is unusual.
So she went to her and tapped her on the shoulder just to check and said her shoulder felt cold. When she turned her around, our daughter was pale and slightly blue around the lips and completely lifeless. My wife screamed for my mother-in-law who took her, and then my wife ran out of the room to grab a phone. She ran past me and yelled, ‘go to your daughter!’ I asked her why but she said, ‘just go’. Bear in mind, I was 23 at the time and had no clue what to think. As I ran to the bedroom, my mind went a mile a minute thinking, ‘maybe she fell off the bed and broke her arm…no, because she would be crying!’ I think I came up with a million scenarios before I got to the room and realized it was worse than I ever could have imagined.
At this point, my mother-in-law was on the phone with 911 and doing CPR. Needless to say, I was a mess. I don’t remember being able to think clearly, and I remember standing behind my mother-in-law and trying to rub on Sarah’s chest while she was doing the breaths. In a blur, a haze, other people began showing up. First my parents (my mom was a nurse) took over the CPR. Then the cops showed up and my mom wouldn’t let them take over. We later heard from the dispatcher (who my parents happened to know) that the cops had radioed in that ‘some pushy grandma wouldn’t let them take over CPR.’ I’m honestly proud of my mom for that. Then the ambulance showed up and the paramedics began their work. My dad (who is a paramedic as well) jumped in to help him. That was enough for me, I couldn’t take it anymore.
I remember thinking, ‘If I run fast and far enough, this won’t be happening.’ I took off out of the room, into the living room and punched a chair on the way out the door. As I hit the back porch, all my energy drained from me and I fell to the ground. I felt a body over me grab me and hold me, and I realized it was my dad, and we both just sobbed on the porch.
We headed to the hospital where I ultimately had to give the go ahead for the doctors to quit attempting resuscitation. This is still the most difficult decision I’ve ever made. I looked at my wife, who nodded, and I gave the OK. After this, everything stopped. We had a room full of friends and family surrounding us and it was so surreal. As people held my daughter and passed her around, most people saying, ‘she just looks like she’s sleeping.’ We had pastors sharing verses. People started worship songs and just randomly praying aloud. It always feels weird to say this, but in a very strange way, it was the most beautiful church service I’ve ever been to.
I know this is a long email and I do apologize, but I just wanted to share my heart with some dudes who seek truth however dirty and gritty it can be. And losing a child is one of the most perverse things that someone would have to deal with. All we ask, those who have lost, is for others to be willing to get dirty with us. We know you can’t fix it. We know our grief makes you uncomfortable. We know it feels like we’re pushing you away sometimes. But honestly, we want to know that we’re safe to bear our soul and we won’t do it if we sense you are unwilling to hear it. Your willingness to be uncomfortable with us is the most beautiful way to share the love of Christ I can imagine.
Anyway, thanks for being some real dudes who are trying to figure out this broken world together. You guys have helped me in ways you will probably never know. God bless y’all in everything you do. Thanks for being open, honest and sometimes outright disturbing. It helps me know I’m not alone.