I thought other parents and relatives of SIDS victims might like to read my letter to my nephew Taylor Patrick Sullivan (8-12-97 to 12-30-97), This is the letter I wrote to Taylor for his first birthday.
August 11, 1998
My precious angel baby, Taylor,
This is the day before your 1st birthday. This morning, Mark, Adam, and I were coloring pictures for your birthday. I looked down and the picture was of fireflies. I began to think of how very much you are like a firefly. During the daytime, you can't see a firefly, but you know it's out there floating around watching over all of us. Even at night, you usually don't see fireflies, but still you know they're there. Every once in a great while you do get to see a firefly. Those times are usually few and far between, but when you see one, you feel special, like you've just witnessed a miracle. This is just the way I feel on those precious nights when I get to see you in my dreams.
Oh Taylor, how I miss you. I miss holding you and looking at your beautiful face. Most of all, I miss that false sense of security I had before you were taken from us . . . that feeling that we can keep our children safe and protected from the bad things and danger in this world. When you died, I too wanted to shrivel up and die. However, I knew for my children and my family I had to go on. I had to learn how to pick up the shattered pieces of my life and go on. Before last December, I believed that I had been through some difficult times. I thought I had faced challenges and overcome some painful events.. How wrong I was. Instead what I have learned since then is that any problem or crisis I had ever experienced paled in comparison to the pain and loss of losing you. This has been the most difficult and pain-filled year ever for your Mommy and Daddy and all of us who were fortunate enough to know and love you for the four and a half months of your short life.
You were such a beautiful baby. You loved to snuggle. I can still feel you in my arms rocking. You had the most precious smile and the brightest dark brown eyes I had ever seen. These beautiful times are etched in my memory. In spite of my pain and grief, I would not trade the time you were here . . . even if it could erase the hurt. I still fantasize that I pack up my family and your Mommy, Daddy, and big sister Abby, and we leave this awful world and go to where you are. I imagine that where you are there are no tears, no pain. I believe that where you are is a happy place filled with laughter, love, and goodness. I must believe this for otherwise, I don't think I could get through the days.
I call on you often, Taylor. When I feel like I'm at the end of my rope or like I don't have the strength to go on, I call on you to help me. I believe that you are near. Just like a firefly you are there. . .maybe not visible but shining bright and strong, waiting for us to join you in your heavenly place. Until that wonderful time when I get to see you and hold you again, please help me to heal. Help me to fill that huge hole in my heart that was left when you were taken away.
Just like a firefly, shine for us, light a path for us to follow back to you, and until then, continue to fly my precious angel baby.
I love you,
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