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One Year Ago ...

by Nancy Eckert

Most of the posts I've seen have said what I would say about the anticipation of the "first year anniversary". That is, that the week or two prior to the anniversary of my son's death was truly much worse than the actual day itself. Once that first year was behind us, we breathed a sort of psychological sigh of relief. Nearly every month for the first 12 months after our children die is full of potential "land mines". The Christmas we never shared with him (or, perhaps in others' cases, the only Christmas we DID share with him/her)...The first Mother's and Father's Days...the birthday that would have found our son one year old...the first anniversary of his death. None of them are easy and even after eleven years, some of those dates still hurt like crazy. Cory was alive from February 22 to May 24, and I've always called that period every year his "window of time". It's a time, each year, when I somehow feel Cory's presence in a much stronger way. I know there are probably all kinds of deep, psychological "reasons" for this feeling, but I gave up trying to figure things out on this subject a long time ago. I just allow the feeling to wash over me and I hold it around my heart like a baby blanket. I can no longer smell him on the things he once used, which breaks my heart, but I'm grateful for this "window" and take it for what it is...just one more way that Cory stays with me over the years. For those of you out there who are family members or friends of parents who've lost a baby to SIDS, I'd like to confirm the fact that YOUR remembering our children means so very much to us. Contrary to what most people think, the fact that you say "I've been thinking about your little one so much today", especially on those anniversaries of birthdays and death days, mean more than I can express. It's kind of odd...since Cory's death, I have been actively involved in the local SIDS support group and frequently mention various things or events regarding SIDS to my family and friends, and yet no one ever seems to remember his birthday or the day he died. I don't hold it against them, really, but it would mean a lot to me if they did. While he was only with us for 13 weeks, he occupied a very definite period of our lives and touched many people. A day never goes by that my husband or I don't think about him...Every single day for 11 years I've thought about that little guy we used to call "the leader of the band" (for his erratic hand movements). Anyway, for those of you who still have some of these "firsts" ahead of you, I can only parrot what everyone else before me has said here, and that is that I'm thinking of you. When I'm at the Memorial Service planned for the International Conference in Maryland next week, I will, obviously, be thinking of my sweet Cory, but I will also be carrying all of your little ones in my thoughts and heart too... Nancy Eckert

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