The day was September 6, 2010, time approximately 9 am. I will never remember the
exact time, nor do I want to. One month and nine days short of his first birthday, this was the
morning that my eleven-month-old son Evan died. I find myself asking questions that will never be answered such as how God could take a new life so precious and innocent so soon and what did he do to deserve this? Following the death of my son, I realized that tragedies such as this are not as uncommon as I thought. I want to tell my story in hopes that others will not only read it, but maybe there are some that will be able to relate to it and find comfort in knowing that they are not alone. The death of my eleven-month-old son was a traumatic experience.
I remember sitting up in bed that morning as I heard my boyfriend Ryan’s voice
frantically yelling in a way that I had never heard before. He was screaming “DON’T COME
DOWN HERE.” The sound was coming from the opposing end of our home down a distant
hallway- the location of my eleven-month-old son Evan’s bedroom. I remember flying out of bed and running down the hall so fast that the walls were nothing but a blur. Reaching the bathroom on the left side of the hallway, I remember seeing Ryan holding Evan naked as the bath tub ran cool water. My baby was non-responsive, limp, and burning to the touch. As Ryan held Evan, he called 911, in which he was instructed to initiate CPR on our nearly dead baby. At this time my daughter Lily, who was four, awoke, I remember taking her to the kitchen as calmly as I possibly could at this moment. With my mind racing, I grabbed a bowl from the cupboard and poured her some cereal in which she sat at the table and consumed as she had each morning prior. The police arrived, and an EMS response team raced through my home. The final thing I remember at my house is seeing a paramedic exit my front door holding Evan’s naked body. After being questioned by police, we rushed to Hurley Hospital where we learned that Evan had brain damage caused by asphyxiation and aspiration (he threw up in his sleep and choked). The doctors were discontinuing his life support. I left the hospital and hardly remember anything after that.
Upon reentry of my home, it seemed as if my thoughts were about as organized as a box
of puzzle pieces preceding assembly. I was numb. I remember sitting on my couch staring
blankly at Ryan thinking “this can’t be real.” I was in shock; I couldn’t even shed one tear for the reason that I couldn’t believe this had just happened. As time passed, that day I just sat thinking. I did not eat. Ryan did not eat. We hardly spoke to each other because neither of us could find any words to say. As the days passed we began to understand that it was not best to continue sitting in that home with one another, we decided to spend some time with family. We were struggling with this; everyone wanted to apologize for our loss. I was not in the mood for a pity party. There are no words that can improve a situation of this sort. In fact, I started getting mad. I got so angry with the world I hated it. I hated life. I was beginning to hate myself. I was regularly busy caring for a baby each day; I could not handle the free time that I now faced without him. I remember calling my mom telling her I hated God. That there was no God, because if there was, how could he do this? It took me getting mad to start crying finally. I was beginning to face the reality that he was gone and could start to deal with my hurt.
The grieving process was a heart-wrenching process. The sadness had become so
physically overbearing that I felt as if I were a fishing hook being held underwater by an outsized lead weight. I knew it was time to face the inevitable. I finally mustered enough strength to walk down the hallway to Evan’s bedroom. As I opened the door, my mind overflowed with memories as my eyes made tears. His possessions still positioned the same as the morning that he had passed. I knew Evan would not want me to be sad. I took a seat on the carpet in the middle of his room and began to reflect on the times we shared together. I found some comfort in being able to hold some of his things and even smell them. I took his unwashed blanket and put it in my room to have at night. It helped me to feel close to him. Placing Evan’s stuffed animals in Lily’s room,I hoped that she too could find comfort in having something from her brother. I took some of Evan’s onesies and his little red and black Jordan’s and set them aside for his baby sister Gia,who would be born in 5 months. Through all of this tears were still streaming down my face. I kept reminding myself that time was on my side; it was the only thing that could help ease my pain.