Remembering Carter

By Zena Abro

Carter Abro 2.jpeg

The most difficult part of losing a child is the emptiness. Even though I was blessed with three other children, at the time I needed my baby in my arms. I couldn’t sleep for years haunted by the thought of never being able to hold my angel again.

Carter George Abro was an adorable one-year old boy when SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) took his life. At the time he was the youngest of four children. He gained two more siblings after he passed. He was exactly 1 year and two weeks old. He was born healthy with no medical issues and lived a happy life. He loved his playful silly time with his older siblings. They treated him like the angel he truly was.

The only thing that could compare to the pain of losing my son was explaining to my kids that their baby brother will never come home again. They were all so young at the time but they saw everything so it was very hard to get past that morning we lost Carter. I came up with so many different things to tell them to give them comfort and peace. They always asked questions I never expected and at times I looked in their innocent eyes and just asked God to help me. He did, he guided me to tell them things I didn’t even know were true at the time.

Watching my husband in pain and keeping it together for my sake was also very hard for me. Often times people forget the pain a father goes through. He was the rock of the family and he had no choice but to be brave and strong for me when I knew he was dying inside.

The only thing that gives me comfort in losing Carter is my faith in God. I know he is in the arms of our Father and I’m grateful for that. Besides my faith is my husband, our other children and our families. Without the support of my loved ones, I don’t know what I would have done. Speaking to other mothers who have lost their children is the most comforting. It’s crazy how I have gained such beautiful friends after the passing of my angel. There was a certain mom who was and still is my angel on earth. She has helped me be the woman I am today and now I know how to help mothers who are in my shoes all these years later.

I know family and friends want to be kind and sympathetic during such a difficult period, but unless they’ve experienced the same pain, they will never truly understand. People need to understand that a grieving mother and father should be left alone. If they choose to do things then so be it. The decision is theirs to make. No one should judge us. No one knows how we feel and the pain that is forever in our hearts. Just let us cry when we need to cry. Let us laugh if we can. Let us be what we choose to be at the time we choose. Don’t push us, don’t ask to many questions, just let us be.

There’s nothing I find more hurtful than when someone tells me “It’ll be okay”. Nothing will ever be ok. My son passed away nine years ago and my heart still aches for him. I am a completely different person now. Some may say I’m lucky because I only had one year with my son and I didn’t have as much time and memories with him, he didn’t talk a lot, he didn’t have a full life so I should be able to move on. I find it to be the opposite. I envy the mother who was able to share many years with her child before he/she was taken.

I have come accept that God needed his angel back, but Carter’s memory will always stay alive because I won’t let that die. When he first left me, I was lost. I had no idea what to do. I didn’t want any mother to feel my pain. I did research and found theAmerican SIDS Institute. It’s an organization created by mothers like me who have lost a child suddenly. Their research is aimed to find and eliminate the major causes of these deaths. I help them raise money for this research. In doing this I feel I’m keeping Carter’s memory alive. I have his picture around my neck that never comes off. I have his pictures on the walls of my house. My children talk about him as if he is with us. My two younger kids never met him and they talk about him more than anyone. He is there guardian angel, I’m sure of it.

I want to offer a bit of advice for every mother.

When you are sitting at home bored, watching TV and all of your children come and sit on the sofa with you, just stop and look at everyone and enjoy that exact moment, enjoy being alive and having your children at arm’s reach. I had great people in my life who taught me that and I always used to sit and just look and thank God for what I had. I still do this but I thank God I knew to do it back then because I have those memories forever etched in my heart and soul.

Anyone who knows me will tell you I try to have fun. I go out often I enjoy being around family and friends. My experience has taught me to enjoy today; I often worry about tomorrow but I am only human. I try my hardest to be the best mom I know how to be. God gave me an amazing mother to look up to. I hope and pray for every child in the world to have the love of a mother.