What happened to my child was horrific. It was unfair. It has altered our lives, and who we are, for eternity.
In those early days after his death I was a zombie. I was paralyzed within my grief and the trauma of losing him. I remember uttering only a few words to anyone, never sleeping, hardly eating. I didn’t want to be in a world he wasn’t. And then the immensity of the journey his story had taken became obvious.
I realized that I could do something, that I could, for him, make his difference. I made the decision to be transparent, to talk about the difficult things, to bring to the forefront a subject people avoid. I chose to share all of the darkness because without it, there couldn’t be light.
I get told all the time “You’re so strong”, “I don’t know how you do it”, “I can’t imagine.” The truth is, I’m strong because I’ve had all of you to lift me up. I do this because I’ve had your help. Sloan’s story wouldn’t have made such a difference if you couldn’t imagine it happening to you. Each and every one of you have been able to visualize yourself experiencing this great loss, you’re able to feel our hurt and the magnitude of it.
Not one word I’ve written would have done a thing, if it were not for those who shared it. So maybe I’m strong, and maybe I have courage, but it’s because of him, and it’s because of you. You’ve loved him too, you’ve held him too, you’ve mourned his death, too. The difference we’ve made is not my own, it is all of ours. Courage in numbers.