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He is Gone

Our sweet rainbow boy is gone. I don’t even have words to explain the immense hole in our hearts right now. I’m alone for the first time since this morning, unable to sleep, unable to do anything but replay the nightmare that was this day.

This morning I went into his room to check on him. He was face down and unresponsive in his crib, his small blanket under his forehead and eyes. I yanked him upright and I screamed for Justin. He grabbed him and held him while we both screamed for what felt like an eternity but was only moments. Our neighbors heard us and came rushing in to help administer CPR on the kitchen counter while Justin called 911.

Rowan saw everything. I called my mother and best friend sobbing asking them to come. By the time paramedics arrived it had been nearly 20 minutes since we found him. They tried for about a half hour to revive him but were unsuccessful. One of the paramedics had gone through the same thing with his infant son several years ago and sat down on the floor with us to tell us it was too late, he was gone. I asked to hold him and he walked me out to the living room where they had him laying on the ottoman with a blanket draped over his lifeless body. I flung myself over him sobbing.

My dad came in and held me while I held Sloan. Someone was in the bedroom calming justin down and trying to keep Rowan from seeing anything. I say on the couch with him wrapped in his rainbow blanket for hours while people filtered in and out. Detectives had to get statements, chaplains had to explain what happens “after”, paramedics didn’t want to leave, most of them in tears as well.

He looked like he was sleeping, but he didn’t feel like him anymore. He was colorless, his lips blue, his body ice cold and stiff. I touched his lashes, traced his lips and nose, kissed his cheeks and cried on his hair. My baby was gone, and probably had been for long before I found him.

If you’ve ever lost a child you understand that there’s an unimaginable guilt you feel. I should have checked on him in the night. I shouldn’t have laid awake in bed this morning instead of going to get him. I should have I should have I should have….nothin can bring him back, and yet you still try and find all of the ways you could have prevented it.

The Medical Examiner came in to take forensic photos and they made me reenact (with a doll) how I’d put him to bed, then how I’d found him. I was forced to relive it. They took the blanket he’d slept with, that he’d had at bedtime since he was born, to be tested. Then finally, they took him away in a bag. It seemed so thoughtless, so inhumane.

We put our 7 month old to bed with a small blanket, we thought he was old enough, able enough…and now we’ll never get to put him to bed again.

A year ago yesterday we announced his gender. Tomorrow he would have been 7 months old. Sloan Valor was the happiest, smiliest baby, he lit up everyone’s lives who knew him and we were so blessed by his short life. We must find the ways to grieve and live without him, ways to make his brother understand, ways to help us understand.

We appreciate your love and support so very much. We have chosen not to have a funeral and will instead have a private memorial with family. We will be having him cremated so we can have him with us for ever.

Thanks again,


5 thoughts on “He is Gone Leave a comment

  1. Absolutely gorgeous boys! Those eyes! 😍 I bought one of the Sloan shirts for my girls. Your photos and words are so captivating. I very much feel your family in every photo and every word. Much love and support from AB Canada! Xx


  2. We have gone through the exact nightmare as you. Even we too slept in and thought he was still asleep. Our Benjamin was 8 months and 2 days. He also was the happiest baby you would ever meet. We did end up having a large funeral. Our whole town came. My husband and I didn’t even cry. We just felt disassociated not in our bodies. It felt like watching a movie to me. He passed 5 months ago now. My heart aches go him constantly. Probaly just like you xx


    • Amy I am so heartbroken to read of your loss. Because I know the devastation, the longing, the trauma, I ache whenever I hear of someone else having experienced it. Everyday is another mountain to climb, each of them a different form of grief, yet each of them looking just like the last- without our babies. My thoughts are with you.


  3. Hello, I just stumbled across your story. I just wanted you to know that i was the 4 year little girl, like your son, who witnessed everything. My brother passed away at 2 months old. I saw my parents give him CPR, everyone come in and out, everything you explained, I saw. Some things are so vivid in my mind I could tell you every single detail but some things are gone and i believe my mind blocked it out for a reason. The purpose of my message is to tell you not to worry about your older son. Though i was very young, i feel that that experience made me who i am today. My mom told me instantly after my brother passed away, i was protective of my sister, very motherly, and wanted to help others. Those still hold true today. You are doing an awesome job mama! 💗


  4. Two tragedies this past week have somehow led me to your blog. We too lost a son at 3.5 months to suffocating in his crib .
    I found him up against the bed bumper. This was in 2008 and even though it’s been years your story has touched me . I suffered miscarriages but have 7 children now. Two sets of twins . One set IVF after our son Tryson passed away.
    I believe that knowing I wasn’t alone in this hell of what happened is what saved me . Speaking to other mothers whom felt my pain , made me repair what little of myself I had left.
    Our sons death was highly publicized due to my husbands job and this week another NFL player also lost a child. It’s set me on a late night reading frenzy, of stories just like ours.
    Every story touching my heart. I’m virtually hugging you as one mother to another even though we’ve never met. I appreciate the openness to speak on this subject . I wish I could write it all out for the world to hear , because inside I feel like screaming ! Even 12 years later. You are a Saint of a mother for all you’ve been through . I applaud your perseverance! I cry with you over your losses. I’m a part of your fraternity none of us wanted to belong.

    Liked by 1 person

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