I would like to share this story and my opinion on how having a life-altering tragedy such as losing a child changes your perspective/perception of the value of material possessions.
We bought a beautiful 3 acre lot over 3 years ago. This was to be a dream come true for us, only possible because we scrimped and saved for so many years, lived under our means for years, etc. The area is above our means and the view is truly gorgeous. Every weekend we would take our young son and go up there and park the car, walk all around the neighborhood, still not believing that we would really ever be living in such a place as this. When I was pregnant w/ my daughter Marisa (who died last year at 42 weeks gestation due to placenta abruption), I was too tired to walk, so we parked the car in the street and took out a lawn chair for me while my husband and son romped through the lot. I would just sit and watch them in wonder. So happy I can remember being at those moments! What a beautiful place for "our kids" to grow up I thought - Matthew and his little sibling to be. We were hoping to build the year after we gave birth.
Then it happened. Marisa died and my life was torn apart. We actually forced ourselves to start building that house 4 months after Marisa died. It was not exciting as building a house normally would be. We were just going through the motions. It was a distraction - a few less minutes out of each day keeping our mind off Marisa. Every day we would drive out there to "see what they had done". Then the house was finished. We moved in. Immediately I experienced a let-down of extreme proportions. I looked out the windows at what I once knew to be unbelievably beautiful views, but I could no longer see it. The *magic* this place held was gone. Now I only see a nice place. How can I get excited about things like a house anymore... Without Marisa in it, it will never be much more than 4 walls. There will always be one empty room, the one she should have had. Everyone would come up to me, "aren't you excited about your new house!!!". "No, I would think to myself. Not w/out Marisa." It made me realize that things we hold in high regard like houses don't compare with the real treasures in life, our children.
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