by Chris Gervais
Reprinted with permission
It has been three years since his death on April 29, 1993. Sometimes it seems like forever and sometimes it seems like yesterday.
When my 20 month old son Daniel died, a part of me died too. I know I will never be the same person I was before that horrible day. It has changed me in many ways.
Daniel was the perfect baby. He slept his nights almost immediately, rarely cried and was almost always smiling. I thanked God every night for giving me such beautiful little boys.
Most of the family had begun to call Daniel "the little clown" by the time he was 1 year old. He was always very energetic and would do anything to make people laugh. It wasn't hard, there was something about him that put a smile on your face the moment you saw him. I had said many times that I would die if anything ever happened to my children. I did not know at the time how right I was.
I am thankful for my friends at our SIDS support group who have helped me deal with the pain, anger and guilt that consumed and controlled my life for the first year after my son's death. They have helped me learn how to take control of my feelings rather than have my feelings control me. With time and patience things are getting easier.
One of the most difficult things I have had to accept with SIDS is the fact that there was nothing I could have done differently to prevent it. I know I should take comfort in this fact, but it leaves me feeling so helpless. The best remedy I have found for this is doing volunteer work for SIDS. I may not have been able to prevent my son's death, but there is something I can do to maybe someday help prevent it from happening to anyone else. I will inform the public on updated SIDS facts received from the National Foundation, and help raise funds for SIDS research.
Being a SIDS volunteer helps ease my feelings of helplessness and keeps my sweet Daniel's memory alive. My life will never be the same, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't be happy. I will strive for this happiness for Daniel's and his older brother David's sake, as well as for my own.
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