I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I’ve never really experienced grief. I’ve been very, very fortunate – no one close to me has died.
So when I read about other bloggers who lose their babies suddenly, and without reason, I’m not sure what to say. I can’t imagine the terrible grief Heather and Mike Spohr are going through. I can’t even fathom losing a child. I’m simply incapable of even drumming up the concept of such a great and tragic loss.
What an absolutely horrific time they must be going through.
If you don’t know, Heather and Mike Spohr’s 17-month old daughter, Madeline Alice, died Tuesday, April 7th. She developed a nasty cough that wouldn’t go away and when they took her to her doctor, her oxygen levels were dangerously low. So low, they had to rush her to the emergency room.
She died only hours later.
Madeline was born 11 weeks early. And because she was so early, she had many, many complications. But Maddie fought, and she overcame many, many obstacles. Her life story is about courage, love and determination … and it will touch your soul.
I knew who Maddie was. I had seen her picture and had read about her struggles. I did not know Maddie, or her parents, personally.
So, given I am not familiar with grief and do not know the Spohr’s personally, I am hesitant to write about their situation.
But I feel compelled, largely due to the fact that I know what it’s like to have a premature baby.
GD was born eight weeks early. And though he didn’t NEARLY have the problems that little Maddie did, he lived under an oxygen tent for the first week of his life because his lungs hadn’t developed. I know what it’s like to be on top of the world one day, only to plunge into the depths of Hades the next day.
There is absolutely no way I can describe the level of emotions that one goes through while watching his/her precious baby fight for his/her life.
I simply can’t. Unless you’ve been there, you just can’t know the heart-gripping fear that your baby won’t survive the night. So, you don’t leave. And you wash your hands so many times to prevent your baby from catching any germs from you that they turn into raw hamburger before your very eyes.
But it doesn’t matter. Because it’s crucial that you get near enough to your baby that you can touch, and talk, to him.
I know. Dear God in heaven, I know.
Learning about Maddie’s death has been hard on me. Reading about her history, and watching her struggle through so many battles just opens up that old wound of when GD was fighting for his life. That emotional roller coaster … it’s just not something you want anyone to ride.
I don’t plan on writing anything more about Maddie – I simply don’t feel like it’s my place to say anything, I feel like I’m encroaching on precious territory, but I would like to show my support by turning my blog purple for a while. If you would also like to go purple, you can find instructions on how to do that here. Or, feel free to use the background graphic you see here on your own blog – you’re more than welcome to it.
In addition, the color code of the above background graphic matches the color in Maddie’s March of Dimes badge you see in my sidebar. The code is: #8C56A4 in case you just wish to make your background purple.
Or, Heather and Mike have asked that in lieu of flowers, you contribute to the March of Dimes in memory of Madeline Alice Spohr.
Rest in peace, precious girl.