Facebook has changed so much since I first joined. Now my time line is full of funny videos and other sorts of comedy. One day, I happened to be on Facebook and one of my Facebook friends shared a video of a little baby who had recently passed from SIDS. I clicked the video and watched the entire thing. I kept saying WOW this baby is gorgeous. I clicked on the page where the video was coming from and realized that this baby’s parent’s created a Foundation in her honor. Now I was even more impressed with this family’s strength to overcome their tragedy. I started following them immediately.
Shortly after, a friend of mine reached out to me and told me that I should reach out to this family. I told her that it’s funny she mentioned it because I was familiar with them from previous posts I had seen on Facebook. I knew that our stories were different but we both shared the same pain of losing a child. I reached out to Bailey's Mom, Bettye and asked her if she would be interested in doing a short interview for the blog. I was so excited that she responded right away. Although we haven't met face to face, I could feel her spirit through her response! She was so genuine and appreciative for the opportunity to share her story. Here is Bettye's story.....
1. When did you become an angel mommy?
I became an Angel mommy on June 26, 2015. At just 4 months and 2 days our Bailey received her wings.
2. How did losing your baby change your life?
Losing our Bailey completely changed our lives. You know you wait for 9 months for this little blessing. Each day I got to spend with Bailey was great because she was reaching a new milestone each moment. Be it her sleeping a little bit longer, smiling a little longer cooing and etc. My other 3 children looked forward to coming home to play with their little sister. To have that suddenly taking away was devastating. It also changed the way my family viewed life, we all understand that at some point we have to die and most always say "Life is short" cliché I know...BUT... Bailey's passing showed us just how short life may be. Our lives have forever changed.
3. Did you ever experience negative comments from others?
No not really, I am bothered when others say “Don’t forget you have other children. Its like, how could I forget them? I always use the analogy of a puzzle. Let's say your children are the puzzle, when you lose a piece of the puzzle the puzzle is never the same. Lord forbid you try and move it, it all falls apart. Although that puzzle piece is small it is very important in keeping things together. That's how I feel about Bailey; she was needed to keep things together. (Hope that makes sense)
4. How did your loss affect your friendships and relationships?
The loss actually helped my friendships and relationship. It definitely brought me and my husband closer. I often hear that such a loss tears families apart; it was the total opposite for me.
5. What are you doing to turn your pain into purpose?
I have founded a not-for-profit organization called Bailey's Dash Foundation. This foundation will be geared towards helping families who lose a child to SIDS. I want to offer counseling services/ referrals to help with grief. I also want to offer monetary donations towards funeral cost. This part is very important to me because we did not have insurance for Bailey. I am grateful we were able to take care of her arrangements but everyone isn't as fortunate. At such a young age you really are not thinking about getting life insurance, well at least we weren't. There are several other services I plan to offer as well. You always hear the saying "hurt people hurt people in our hurt we have found that helping others helps our hurt. I believe this pain was purposed by God and that it working together for our good. I also believe that through my loss, I am going to be able to help so many others. That brings some kind of consolation!
6. What do you want others to know about your baby?
Bailey was hand-picked just for me and my family. She was truly an angel here on earth. Bailey had this glow about her, she could draw in strangers. Everyone who ever crossed paths with her loved her. Her smile was everything and she smiled often, sometimes for no reason at all. It's so weird because I would brag often on how she never cried, if she was crying something had to be wrong, she was just that good! She brought so much joy to our lives. I loved absolutely everything about her; she was perfect in my eyes. Bailey’s time here was very short but it was purpose driven. She fulfilled her purpose. As of today I still don't know what that was but I do believe God will reveal it in time!
7. What advice can you give a grieving mother?
Take each moment at a time. I know most say take" each day at a time" but unless you have loss a child you could never understand. Making it through some moments is tough let alone a day. The most important thing that gave me peace was knowing that there was absolutely nothing I could have did differently to change the outcome. I prayed and cried for weeks pondering the what, whys and how...Maybe if I would have let her sleep with me, maybe I shouldn't of allowed her to sleep for so long... Did she try to alarm me and maybe I didn't hear her.. Those thoughts crowded my mind daily! It wasn't until I was in prayer one day and the lord spoke to me clear as day. He said, this was my will, there is nothing you are anyone could have done to change that. From that day forward, I released those thoughts and even now when they try and creep back in I don't dwell on them. Lastly it would be that they can get through it, cry, scream, shout, sleep when you have too. Allow yourself to feel those emotions, that is what helped me. Just don't give up, that is not an option. Although you can't change the pain that lost brought you can redirect it. God is faithful and he can restore your life in ways you can't even imagine if you trust and allow him too.
For more information about Bailey's Dash Foundation