Monday, June 10, 2013

Always A Parent

Sometimes in our lives, we come across someone who has endured the unimaginable.

Secrena is one of those people.

She has endured the death of her child.

And now, after years of hurting and anger and coping and surviving, she is someone who our mom community turns to when a friend has lost a child.  She is an expert in grief.  An area that no one wants to hold the title of expert.

Today, Secrena wants to share a bit of her experience as the mom of a child who has passed away.  No - her personal experience of being a mom.

***

It has been 5 years since I lost my beautiful daughter.  

In the beginning, there are so many emotions coming from so many different directions.  While the primary grievers are expressing shock and disbelief, the secondary grievers are often quick to express anger and blame.  They think that there is something that I should have done to be able to stop this from happening.  I should have been watching her closer.  

My mom was watching my daughter that day.  My mom thought she had went in the house, her neighbor swore she was in the house.  In the house, a 5 year should be safe. 

But she wasn’t in the house.

After a child passes away, you need and want somebody to blame.  You want to understand  “why did it happen to me?”.  These things don’t happen to me, they happen to other people.  I am a good mom, I love my kids.  This should not have happened.  If anything I want people to understand that bad things happen to good people.  We should not stand back and throw stones at people when they are down.  As humans we tend to blame others and want to call them out.  Why?  Do we want them to hurt, like we have hurt or the child has hurt.  There are blatant abuses that occur, but when an obvious accident occurs...  Please don’t throw stones at that parent.  That parent is feeling like the world is sitting on their shoulder, they are at their lowest point.  They need love and they need compassion.  They don’t need to be told what they should have done or could have done.   They are already telling themselves that exact thing.   They need you to hug them and listen to them cry.  

The outside world blamed my mom.  I didn’t.  I blamed God.  If he was such a good God, why did he take my baby.  Why would he allow this to happen?  I heard all the clich├ęs…she is with God now, she is in a better place… those are just words that made me feel angry.  I was angry with God- why should he have her??  I attempted to bargain with God (seems silly now) to bring her back.  I was willing to try anything to get her back.  I have since turned back to God but I still have trouble understanding.  

If you are the friend of a person who has lost a child, don’t shy away from talking about that child.  Talk about them, bring them up.  Say things like…remember when she did this or that…it makes us feel better knowing that our children are not forgotten.   Don’t be alarmed if we start crying, it is our way of saying thank you for remembering.   Don’t look at me with pity or sympathy.  Don’t tell me that I am strong.  I need to be accepted, I need to know that you don’t see me as “the mom who lost a child”, look at me as a mom. 

I feel strongly about what caused her death and I am more than willing to share.  I feel that her death could have been prevented, but due to lax pool laws in the state of Indiana and mortgage companies not being held responsible for the homes that they are in possession of, nothing was done.
 
I am at the acceptance phase, I think.   I am aware that she is not coming back and just this year, I made her room into my office.  It allows me to feel close to her.  We all go through this at different times, but please don’t be afraid to mention it.  I am still her mom and always will be. 


Secrena Erwin 
Mother of Sheyenne Rain Jenkins

***


My beautiful baby girl, Sheyenne. 

I lost her to a swimming pool that had been abandoned by the homeowners and not taken care of by the mortgage company due to a limbo law. If you know of an open pool on abandoned property, please make somebody aware of it. They are breaking the law- call the police. 

I can't bring her back, but I can make people aware of the dangers and perhaps another parent won't be hurting like this and another child won't be in Heaven.

***

I am honored that Secrena wanted to share her story, her warning, and her experience with my readers.

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1 comment:

KPCL Girl said...

Couldn't read this. My brother lost his only child at 2 to an apartment retention pond. Not my child, not a child I even knew well, but I will NEVER forget the horror of that time, the heart-rending details of toys still scattered all over the house, of my brother's grief, of his burial in his footie pajamas with his toothbrush and a sippy cup. Sure there was plenty of blame to go around from the babysitter to why did I have to be at work that day. At the end of the day, there's no point. Pain enough to go around, too.