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Yes, my story is sad…


My son was born with a congenital heart defect. At age three, he passed away. It was recently brought to my attention that my story was too upsetting for someone. They no longer wanted to hear from me because of it. Over the past seven years, this was the first time I had heard such a response. I was shocked and am still a bit taken aback by this. Have I been so fortunate to have only had this happen once? Does this happen to other bereaved parents?

This all came about while I was trying to share resources online that helped me with my son in regards to one of his health issues. As the saying goes, “No good deed goes unpunished.” This was the first time I had felt isolated and ashamed of my story. For a moment I thought there was something wrong with it. I took a step back and realized that this person, who I had never actually met in person, really only got a snippet of my story before deeming me a leper (or so I thought).  

My story is incredibly tragic and sad. I live with it everyday. I do talk about my son because it’s part of how I cope (see my piece here).  However, because of my son, I’ve learned so much and have met so many incredible people. My friends and family are a wonderful support system and I am so lucky to have them. I also have three incredible daughters who came after him.  

I have always had a passion for philanthropy and I have been able to involve myself in two very special non-profit agencies that were able to help my son and our family.  Through these agencies I am able to stay connected to him and to help others who are going through a tough time with their child, or helping children and adults with disabilities. Even though my son is gone, I am proud to be able to help others. I will gladly do it in his memory and pay forward all the help we received.  

So, yes while my story is very upsetting, I will not be ashamed of it. Frankly, it is awful, but I will continue to honor him. I will also advocate for CHD awareness so that this maybe prevented for someone else. I will share my resources and continue to help my friends. This will not get me down. 

I know telling my story is not something that is contagious, it is something to create awareness.  

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8 Responses to Yes, my story is sad…

  1. Nikki F. May 15, 2018 at 9:53 AM #

    Shielding ourselves from sad or hurt, only prevents us from being able to love and help to the fullest. Thank you for sharing D with all of us, and for being a resource to moms, parents and friends far and near.

    • caroline
      caroline June 28, 2018 at 2:03 PM #

      Thank you and thank you for sharing information about him too!

  2. Lauren O'Brien May 15, 2018 at 6:40 PM #

    Thank you for sharing your story Caroline and continuing to honor your son.

    • caroline
      caroline June 28, 2018 at 2:02 PM #

      Thank you!

  3. amy May 20, 2018 at 9:51 PM #

    Thank you so much for this! I am really grateful for people who are willing to be open about their stories. As a friend — or especially when you’re not really a friend but just know someone, it’s hard to know how much to ask, you don’t want to be intrusive and you don’t want to put any pressure on people. But I very much want to know how people are doing and hear about the great things they’re doing in the memory of their loved ones.

    I am so sorry that person made you feel isolated and ashamed. That’s awful. It’s also awful that their fear made them so closed off. I’m glad you aren’t letting that stop you — and I’d bet your son would be proud.

    • caroline
      caroline June 28, 2018 at 2:02 PM #

      Thank you so much!

  4. Lizzy May 21, 2018 at 6:28 PM #

    Hi Caroline, It’s so important for you to share. Not only does it help you heal, but you’re always helping another person. Your son is a part of your story and he’s still your son. <3 I'm sorry that you had to feel and go through this type of pain. Don't take that person's reaction personally. Even though their reaction was surprising, you never know why they reacted that way.

    Thanks for sharing with all of us and creating awareness. Xoxo

    • caroline
      caroline June 28, 2018 at 2:01 PM #

      Thank you so much!

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