In 1978 I lost my first-born son to SIDS. On the day he died I was 18 years-old and fresh out of high school. I was strapped for cash and living in a little apartment complex in a tiny town in the high desert of California. When I finally recieved the hospital set of pictures back of my newborn son I was very excited and joyous and wanted very much to go back to my old high school and show him off to all my friends. The problem was I had no car and no way to get there. I quickly devised a solution. I could ride the same schoolbus back and forth that I had taken to get to school the year before. I was certain I couldn’t sneak an infant onto a school bus, but at least I could take those pictures with me. I chose my next-door neighbor, a mature woman whom I implicitly trusted to watch my 2 month-old child. As I waited for the bus I began having feelings of doom and foreboding and an urgent sense that I should NOT get on that bus. Sadly, I wanted to go so badly that I shrugged it off as an irrational fear and feeling.
The more I shrugged off that feeling, the stronger it got. I still remember the bus pulling up and the look of that step, that first black step up onto the school bus as I made a firm choice to ignore those feelings. That step, that choice, was in the belief that I was choosing sanity and reason over an irrational and inexplicable feeling of anxiety and doom. I believed once I was safely aboard and among friends I would loose those irrational fears. Far from disappearing those feelings came at me stronger, each step I would hear, “It’s not too late, get off now, you can get off now!” or “Go back, you must go back!” I thought I was going crazy, that I was overwrought about leaving my baby, that I was merely feeling guilt for sneaking a ride aboard a schoolbus.
Everyone on the bus was laughing and happy and talking except me. My gut was in knots, I was in extreme anxiety. As the bus left our little town and headed down the highway the thoughts begging me to “Get off! turn around! Go back, NOW!” abruptly left me and I knew he was dead. My son had said, “goodbye” and I knew he had gone to God. When I reached my first destination, friends ran out to me waving and excited to let me know they had a message, that my son was in the hospital. I knew he was dead already and I told them so and they seemed shocked. “You don’t know that! He’s just in the hospital!” It took a half hour to hitch a ride to the hospital and I remember every moment of it wondering how I was going to feign the surprise and horror that comes with first knowledge of a loved one’s death as I had already experienced it.
When I arrived the nurses had me wait for the doctor to tell me the news. I sat in that room with a growing sense of what had just happened, what I had just done by ignoring the feelings sent to me by a wee, helpless little baby. By the time the doctor arrived I realized I didn’t have to feign anything, because what was settling in then was the shame and horror of having ignored my son’s cries for help when he had so desperately tried to reach out to me. Many years have passed since, but the lesson that I learned most potently and the one I feel compelled to tell is this.. If you ever get a feeling or a sense or a message that runs smack dab contrary to your wishes or desires do not rationalize those feelings… They are rare and precious messages from beyond and are NOT to be ignored.
Subject: WWW Form Submission
Date: Tue, 20 Jun 2006 02:41:07 -0700 (PDT)
Name: Terrie King
Location: High Desert of California