Sleep is not my friend on this cool, crisp February night.  Typically, I struggle to simply keep my eyes open through dinner but that has not been the case tonight.  No, tonight I sit alone on the couch as the remainder of my house is dreaming sweet dreams.  Or so I hope.

With all of this uninterrupted time on my hands, honestly, I don’t know what to do with myself.  I’ve already attempted to catch up on the queue of television recordings waiting for me but still, my mind will not silent.  I even thought about cleaning or working out… thought about.  Pffft.  Let’s be real….   Another time, maybe.

Tonight, my mind is littered with so many thoughts.  It always is.  For some reason tonight, though, I could not shut my thoughts off.  Some were productive as I’ve got a hefty ‘to-do’ list.  Some… not-so-much. It even got as bad as to think, “What’s gonna happen on the next Phineas and Ferb episode?”

Hey, I can’t help it.  Don’t judge me.  #momlife

Oh, but even in the midst of my mind racing, thoughts of him seem to stand still.

Christopher Riley

The thought of him is ever present.  Like a permanent fixture in my mind.

Ten months have passed, soon to be eleven, since I saw our sweet boy smile and look up at me with those perfect hazel eyes.

Can you believe it?  I can’t. 

Imagine not seeing, smelling, hearing from, or holding your child for over 300 days.  Impossible, right?

Now, imagine that same feeling and imagine it is permanent.  For the rest of your life.

Why, you ask?

You don’t get a reason.  Its just going to happen.

No notice.  No warning.

You’ll wake up one day and your ‘healthy’ child will be gone. No one will have an answer.

And, if that’s not enough, you’ll call for help and those that come to your home in your time of desperation will treat you like a criminal.  In your worst hell, the police and EMTs, that you are relying on to find answers will look at you as if you failed.  And, in the midst of your confusion, your heartache, and you will retrace every step and think of EVERY moment leading to this scenario and wonder if you indeed failed your child.

But, you didn’t.

Your very existence is to serve your children.

You couldn’t have predicted this.  You never could have planned this new reality.

Christine Suhan of the blog, Feelings and Faith, says:

Not everything happens for a reason. But in everything that happens, there can be a reason to bring hope and healing to others. God can use our pain for a greater good if we choose to let Him in. 

I never thought that I would lose a child.  I never could have guessed that my family would know such pain.  I never, in a million years, would have imagined that Easter would become my least anticipated holiday.  And, let me tell you, I am not ready for that day to arrive.

I am afraid.

What’s funny to me is that many times in their loss for words, people have told me, “You’re so strong.  If it were me, I’d just die.  I’d crawl in my bed and never leave.”

Even typing that causes thoughts to start racing…

This is not strength.  This is grief in its most organic form.  A fire.  A passion to help others.  To help those that might come after us.  It is a selfish need to tell the world about our son.   An even greater need to do whatever we can to try and prevent it from ever happening again.  To make progress, no matter how small it might be.

So, when you see another Facebook post about my son.  Or, you hear me going on-and-on about some silly fundraiser for ‘SUDC’ or ‘Christopher’s Crusaders’, know that it isn’t to bombard you, guilt you, or overwhelm you.

It isn’t about you, I hope.

Its about the family that is going to wake up tomorrow to find their child isn’t asleep.

I have no idea why living life without Christopher is our reality but we have chosen to try and bring hope and healing to others.  We have chosen to allow Him to use our pain for a greater good.

Graciously borrowed from







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