By Sheena Ludlum Angel Mom for 2 ½ years

What advice do you have for someone that has just lost their child?
I really do not have any advice for someone who just lost a child. I personally think that this is such a touchy subject and people think that they are giving you advice or saying things that they feel will help, but really they only make things worse. I think the best advice I can give to someone is that in time things will start to heal or transform back to “normal”; life will never be normal, but you learn how to adjust to things better. They should do what they feel is right or what they need to do (for me it was to keep very busy and not stop cause when I would stop; that’s when I would have melt downs. I tried to stay very strong in front of everyone, but when I was alone like in the shower or trying to fall asleep at night I would lose it).

What if anything helped you through the grief journey?
I tried to learn as much about SMA as possible that way I knew what was out there and how I could help out, that way another family never has to go through anything like this. Also having my other boys really helped me, they kept me busy. My husband and I wanted things to turn back to normal for them (the day our son Kruise died our house also caught on fire and we were not able to go home for almost 3 months, so things were very crazy for us and our other two boys). I think for my husband his way of dealing with it was just not dealing with it at all or talking about it, it was too hard for him even to this day it is. He dealt with by doing absolutely nothing for the first 3 weeks, he just stayed in bed and did nothing. Once he snapped out of staying in bed, he started to take his anger out on our house by fixing it so we could come back home. It was a very hard process, especially when your family members just go about their business like nothing ever happened. There were so many times I just wanted to scream at them because of how they were acting. Just do what you feel is right in your heart and what you want to do, not what someone else tells you you should do (you will get that a lot).

Any suggestions on how to get through the anniversary of the passing of your child or how to celebrate their birthdays even though they are not here?
We have a family dinner with our immediate family. I get very frustrated from everyone calling, texting, and emailing me telling that they are thinking about me for some reason (I think its because I feel that they act like I only think about him on this one day only which is not true, I think about him non-stop).

Is there a song, book or poem that spoke to you after their passing? If so, can you share it with us?
This is a poem that I read once while holding my son in my arms and I literally just started to cry, it was so sad but sweet at the same time.

“I’ll let you have, for a while, “A Child of Mine” He said,
“For you to have while he lives and mourn for a while when he’s dead.
It may be a few weeks or months, a year or three, maybe even seven.
But will you, “Till I call him back, take care of him for me?”
“I’ll bring him charms to gladden you and should his stay be brief
You’ll have his lovely memories as solace for your grief.
I cannot promise he will stay since all from earth return,
But there are lessons taught down there I want this child to learn.
I’ve looked the wide world over in my search for teachers true
And from the throngs that crowd Life’s lanes, I have selected you.
Now hate me when I come to take him back again?”
I fancied that I heard you say ” Dear Lord, Thy will be done.
For all the joy Thy child shall bring, the risk of grief we’ll run.
We’ll shelter him with tenderness; we’ll love him while we may
And for the happiness we’ve known, forever grateful stay.
But should your angels call for him much sooner than we’ve planned,
We’ll brave the bitter grief that comes and try to understand.

What is your Angel’s Name, how old where they when they passed, and how long have they been in heaven?
My son’s name is Kruise Madden Ludlum
He was 6 weeks old when he died of respiratory failure.
He has been gone for 2 1/2 years now.

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