I know all to well.
The stabbing pain of sudden death.
The gaping whole in your heart from losing your child.
The shocking reality, that no matter what you say or do—this is real.
My name is Kelly, and I lost my son Elijah Cain Eldridge to SIDS September 10, 2015.
He was only 3 months and 5 days old.
He lived for 98 days.
98 days of WONDERFUL.
Elijah was my fourth born son. He was perfection. He was my baby.
We called him “Bat Baby” because he sported these adorable Batman onesies. We snuck him tiny bites of pears, and ice cream. He loved to be held and wrapped tight, and cried whenever I wasn’t around. He loved me and I loved him so much.
SIDS stands for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
The truth is, there is no definite answers as to what really happens when your child dies of SIDS. Safe sleeping habits can help prevent it, but there are still many parents who practice safe sleeping habits and have lost their infant child to SIDS with no answers.
It is a hard pill to swallow as a parent, because you have so many questions, and very few answers.
Here you are, with your life closing in on you, your heart shattered in a million pieces, and you find that not many people really want to talk about this because- well- it is depressing.
I never knew this until Elijah passed away, but one in four mothers actually experience some sort of pregnancy loss or infant loss. This is a staggering statistic. But what is even more staggering, is that these are real women (and families) going through the worst pain imaginable, and many of them not talking about it.
When Elijah passed away, my husband and I made a promise to him that we would change the world in his name. Because he only knew happiness and love, I would use those things to make the world a better place because of him.
Everyday I do an act of kindness in Elijah’s memory (You can follow them on my Instagram).
But I wanted to do more.
And I wanted to specifically help other bereaved parents.
So I started The Love, Elijah Project.
At The Love, Elijah Project we believe that every life has a story to tell, so we encourage parents to be brave and tell the world about their child. We have a post office box where you can send letters, stories, pictures, or ANYTHING you want to represent your child and their story. If you want us to share your story on our blog, the only thing we ask is that you include the hashtag #loveelijah somewhere on the package.
If you are not ready to share your story with the world, but would still like to experience the healing process of writing a letter and sending it off, we accept letters without the hashtag as well. We simply store these letters in a safe place and guard over them as if they were send straight to heaven for your child’s eyes only.
You can learn more about The Love, Elijah Project and our other remembrance projects at www.loveelijah.com
If you are a mothers (or father) who has experienced the pain of losing a child, please let me offer my love and hugs, as well as thoughts and prayers. I am so so sorry. I wish I could take this pain away from all of us.
I know it is so hard, but you are so strong, and you will find your way back to the sunshine again. You know why? Because the love you and your child share never dies.
It will continue to shine through in all that you do. Find a way to harness that love and live your life to the fullest (the best you can), because your child would want nothing but happiness for you. And I am always here for you if you need me.
To my Elijah, you are my sunshine. You are my reason for changing the world. You are so special, and I will do everything I can to continue to honor you. Because a promise is a promise, and you will always be my baby. I love you and miss you always.
Sending you all strength and sunshine.
Thank you so much for reading. xx
Love Elijah’s Mom,
Founder and President of The Love, Elijah Project