Monday, January 10, 2011

In Loving Memory

Robert Kenneth Cheney passed away 9 years ago today.

If you haven't read about Robert, you can go here.

I know there is a post like this every year and I just want to let you know, as long as I am blogger there will continue to be a post like this every year in the future too.  Here's what I know 9 years later...
  • My arms ache for a baby that I don't have and who wouldn't even be a baby anymore. His chair at the dinner table is vacant.
  • As blessed as I am for the special experience surrounding his birth, I am not grateful that he is in a better place and not in pain. Our home is full of love and he would have felt that love had he ever been able to come home.
  • The pain does not go away. We don't have a shrine of him in our home and we don't talk about him everyday, but even as I type this there is a lump in my throat and I want to cry.
  • I don't judge how many children people have or how far apart they are in age. 
  • Families are indeed forever.
Here is a little 'Infant Death 101' for you.
  • Don't ever tell a person they should be thankful their child that has passed away is in a better place.  I can think of no better place than my home.
  • Don't ever tell a person they should just be thankful for the children they have at home. If you lost 2 of your fingers would be thankful for the 8 remaining or would you often wish you still had 10?
  • You don't have to say the perfect words to a person who is suffering. Let them know you love them. Loving someone is greater than being sorry for them.
  • Allow them to talk about their loved one. Take deep breathes if it creeps into their conversation often. Their mind is consumed with their loss. It's impossible to just 'get over it.'
  • A child that dies at birth, even if they never left the hospital is still a child, a person, a member of a family and one to mourned after and one who will never forgotten. Don't judge a person for missing a child they didn't even know. Or for counting that child in the 'number of children they have.'
  • Lastly don't judge people for only having 1 or 2 or 3 children...or for however many they have. It's NONE of your business. You have no idea why they have the number of children they have and or why they planned to space them, not space them, or delay getting pregnant in the first place. and I repeat with greater emphasis IT IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. Do you have any idea how many times people, even at church, have looked down on me for having 2 children? Do you know how many times people have SAID something to me about it? I have 2 answers to the questions, depending on who they are and how rude/nosy they are.  #1 (pc answer) Heavenly Father knows what we can handle and so far our number is 2. (3 now suckers!) #2 (You've ticked me off answer) We actually have 3 children but one died. (DEAD pun intended. My answer made them feel bad and I AM GLAD!)  Three times a charm...IT IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.
Matthew 7:1-2
Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgement ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

If I've offended you it is because you have chosen to take offense to the words you have just read. Take a break and come back when you're ready. I'll take back nothing I've shared today.

If you  like this and want to share it with someone you are more than welcome. Just let them know I wrote it.

Thanks for reading.


  1. Dedra, I read Robert's story and my heart is so full. I will be thinking of you today and your sweet little son. Thank you for sharing your testimony and your life. You are a great example of faith to me. I agree with what you said about never getting over losing someone. And yep, I'm going to post about my sister every year too. They will always be part of our family whether they are on Earth or in Heaven and keeping their memory alive helps me on the hard days :) ((HUGS)) I really hope we can meet someday... I noticed your maiden name is Anderson... mine is too! Wouldn't that be awesome if we were related?

  2. Beautiful Dedra, thank you so much for this post. Happy birthday, sweet boy! His life continues to touch others. The way you are able to help people, through his life, understand what is truly important and the faith you possess help so many to have a greater perspective, to look outside of ourselves; those things are a beautiful daily tribute to him.

    My heart is full for your family today.

  3. I'm glad he is a part of your life you haven't just put away.

    When you mention that things to say , or not say to someone in that kind of situation it reminded me of when my dad died. I remember standing in the receiveing line with all these people coming in for the viewing. I am a sarcastic person at heart. I kept a smile on my face and just said thank you to most comments but my thoughts were not nice.
    When people come say " I am so sorry." All I can think is- "Well you should be, we all know it was your fault anyway." or when they would say " I am so sorry to hear." All I can think is " Than next time something bad happens we just won't mention it to you."

    I always feel like I am lacking the words. Thank you for the advice on how to be a better support. Thank you for your friendship.