Losing a Child – Our Story

Losing a Child – Our Story

My son went to bed a normal boy. Excited that Santa was on his way. Hopeful that in the morning, he would find everything he wanted under the tree. He would have! I never would have guessed that 2 hours later, when he woke up sick, it would be the start of my worst nightmare.

Every waking moment I replay that night over and over in my mind.

He had a very low grade fever that afternoon (December 24th). I thought, “Figures we’d end up with a sick kid for the holiday”. About 3 PM he started complaining his ear hurt. Great, an ear infection! So we hurried to get him to urgent care before they closed at 6. My husband took him. Both ears were red and a little inflamed. He’d had a cough so they gave him a Z-pack.

They got home about 6:30. He had picked out Ginger Ale and cheese popcorn at Walgreens for a snack later. He really hadn’t eaten all day so they stopped and grabbed McDonald’s on the way home. Cameron was so excited that he got pancakes!

After dinner, his mood had perked up a bit. We took advantage and made our reindeer food. Reindeer have a very special place in our house, so we always make sure Santa’s reindeer have a special treat. Oatmeal and marshmallows for eating. Glitter added so they can see the sparkle and know where to land. We sprinkled it all through the front yard.

Reindeer Food

We had planned to do a webcam with my husband’s parents that evening. Let the kids open their gifts from them. I will never forget Cameron was mad at us! He didn’t want to open any presents early. He wanted to save them all for Christmas morning.

He gave in though, and I’m glad he did! The look of excitement on his face as he opened one of the video games he wanted. I wish I had been taking more pictures. He and Melia took turns opening Sienna’s presents. Then he asked if he could stay up and play his new game. I wish I had let him! It was already getting late, and we had so much to do before morning.

David joked that he would test the game out while Cameron slept tonight. Just to make sure it was going to work OK for him the next morning. Cameron asked if he could play in the morning before everyone else got up. I told him there was no way he was going to let us all sleep in on Christmas morning! He said it was OK. He wouldn’t bother us. We could sleep a little while. Then we’d open presents later. Right about 9 PM, Cameron announced he was tired and he was going to bed. Just like that. He picked up his games to take them with him, which made us chuckle. Off he went.

I didn’t get to tuck him in that night. He was asleep the moment his head hit the pillow.

We worked quickly that night to get Christmas ready. It was still early so we decided to watch a movie. I was trying to listen carefully for either of the big kids to get out of bed. I didn’t want them coming in to see the tree before morning.

It was 11 PM when I heard someone was up. Cameron was in his bathroom sick. I thought, “Great, that damn stomach bug is back.” The first words out of his mouth? “Has Santa been here yet?” I lied and told him no. I said it was still too early. As I cleaned up the bathroom, he jumped in the shower.

We got him settled on the couch. We were sitting at the table so we could be close. Every time he moved or made a sound, I would jump up to check on him and see if he was going to get sick. His fever had gone up to 101. We attempted Tylenol, but he couldn’t keep anything down.

By this time, it was almost 1 AM. I carried him into the bathroom. He was so tired and weak that he couldn’t walk on his own. I sat him down on the toilet and began cleaning him up. It was about this time that I noticed things began to be off. He had a couple of words that he began to slur. His response times were a little slower than usual. He told me everything was turning into legos. He couldn’t stand on his own so my husband had to hold him up in the shower.

My husband kept telling me that surely it was just because he was so tired. I knew he was, but it just didn’t make sense to me. He should have been able to rally more than he had. There was something more going on.

We got him settled back on the couch. Our watch resumed. I felt bad because every time he made a noise I would jump. Inevitably it would wake him up. He gave me a nasty look and said, “You just woke me up Mom. I was sleeping.”

He began asking for water because was so thirsty. We took his temperature. 103.5. It was time for the ER. We weren’t able to control his temperature. I was sure he was going to need an IV for medicine and fluids. It was 2:30 AM. My husband carried him to the car. We put him in the front seat with me. Got him buckled in. He held the bucket. On our way there he commented on the number of green lights we were hitting…how lucky we were. All I kept thinking was, we’d be OK once we got there.

Just as we were turning the corner into the ER, I asked him if we needed to take the bucket in with us. He said no. I asked him if he felt like he was going to be sick again. He said no. No sooner did he say it, he was throwing up again. I pulled up to the ER door, ran inside to grab a wheel chair, lifted him into it, and placed the bucket beside him. As I wheeled him in they took him right to the back to take his vitals. By the time I got back from parking the car, we were being wheeled back to a bed.

They again tried Tylenol. He still couldn’t keep it down. We started an IV. He barely flinched. In spite of the fluids, he kept asking for water because he was so thirsty. The tests began. First round of blood work. Chest X-rays. He had to sit on the side of his bed with me holding him up because he couldn’t do it on his own. I remember the technician asking me if he was always like this. I told her no. She agreed that he wasn’t acting normal, even given he was sick. She said she expected she’d be asked to bring him back for a CT scan next. She was right.

In the room, everyone that came in would ask him how he was feeling. He always responded with a weak, “Good.” I kept telling him that he needed to stop saying good. That he needed to tell us how he really felt so we could figure out what was wrong and fix it. He would then say, “I’m dizzy.” Nothing more.

The nurse brought him a little present. She told him he could open it now, or save it for when he felt a little better. He turned it around in his hands, inspecting it. He then told her he wanted to save it so he could open it on Christmas. She asked if he knew what day it was. We told him it was Christmas. It didn’t matter. He held onto that present.

He kept trying to fall asleep. It never lasted long. We had so many people in our room. It was a constant stream.

Test results started coming back. I don’t even know everything they were testing for. Most were normal. Some were a little strange. The medical mystery had begun.

It was about this time that I had my first feeling that he may not make it. I was so angry at myself for even thinking it. Refused to believe it. Kept saying we had to be close to figuring it out. Once we did, we’d be on the road to recovery.

The doctor came in and told me they wanted to admit him. We were going to be transported to Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital. Our doctor was having regular conversations with their ICU doctor to make sure they were running the right tests and not missing anything. Our next test would be a spinal tap. In the middle of this conversation, Cameron sat up and asked me if I would help him. I asked what he needed. He asked if I would help buckle him. I said, “What?” He asked if I could help him get buckled in the car. I told him we weren’t in the car and asked if he knew where we were. He looked around and said yes…we were at the hospital. So I told him he didn’t need buckled. That he could just lay back and try to rest.

The doctor asked me if he had been doing this all night. I told him he had off and on.

As we waited, Cameron opened his eyes and looked at me. I will never forget the look in his eyes because it was nothing I had ever seen before! I asked him if he was OK. He said yes. I asked him if was scared. He said no. I said, “I love you.” He said, “I love you”. Then he closed his eyes. This was the last lucid moment I had with him! When I think about it, I really think he knew what was coming. This was his way of trying to make it OK for me.

By this time it was nearing 6 AM. Cameron had settled in and started to sleep a bit. I didn’t want to bother him. The doctor came in and we were preparing for the spinal tap. He attempted to wake Cameron and explain what we were going to do next. We couldn’t wake him. His eyes would open, but he would only stare off in the distance before closing again. The doctor and I both took turns shaking him, calling his name, trying anything to wake him. Nothing worked.

We were now being whisked into a larger room. There were at least a dozen doctors and nurses with us. Another IV was being started in his arm. He was being prepped for the spinal tap. My poor boy just lay lifeless on the bed. Like a little rag doll as they moved him around to the position they needed him in. I stood in the back of the room. Clear view to watch everything. Completely helpless.

It took forever for them to draw the fluid. Right after, I watched him seize a few times. A shift change had begun because we had new people coming into the room to get updates to take over. That was my mental realization it had to be around 7 AM. The ICU ambulance team had arrived from Arnold Palmer. They all kept telling me things were OK. His vitals were stable. He was “emergent”, but they were taking good care of him. The decision was made to intubate him for the ambulance ride. It was precautionary so that he didn’t stop breathing en route to the hospital. Again, it took forever!

I ran out to our car to leave some of our stuff. His clothes, minus the t-shirt they cut off of him. Our bucket.

As he as loaded into the back of the ambulance, the nurse that had been caring for us (Larissa) came to give me a hug. She told me she wanted me to bring him back to see her when this was all over and he was better. I promised I would. She had been amazing!

I had to ride in the front of the ambulance. The sound of sirens will never be the same!

losing a child

By the time we got to Arnold Palmer, things had changed. As I climbed out of the ambulance, I was being told we were going right to a CT scan. His pupils had stopped responding on the ride and they had to do a couple of things (not sure what). We were supposed to be going to a room in their step down unit. Now, we were headed to ICU.

When we arrived at the room, there were already a handful of nurses and doctors to meet us. They immediately began evaluating him. Getting him hooked up. Again, I was standing in the background watching. Analyzing faces. Praying.

The doctor had her back to me. She took out her cell phone and called to get the CT results. She told him she would text the number down and asked him to pull the results as fast as he could. She then handed the phone to someone else in the room. Told her he would be calling back and to answer when he did. It wasn’t but a few minutes. I will never forget the look in her eyes. Intense sadness. She handed the phone to the doctor. They exchanged looks. I heard the doctor say, “How bad is it?” as she stepped out into the hall.

When she came back she sat down with me at the back of the room for a minute. She explained that his CT scan looked really bad. His brain was so swollen it had started to expand into his spinal cavity. That she was very concerned about everything she was seeing. That she had called in a neurosurgeon consult to look at his scans and see if there is anything that can be done.

She was careful not to give me any hope. Only facts. She was careful only to share a small portion of what she knew at that moment. She then told me they were going to need to start a central line in his femoral artery. It needed to be done in a sterile environment so I would have to leave the room.

As we exited the room and began walking down the hall to a waiting area, I started crying. It was the first time I let myself cry or feel any emotion. I was immediately mad at myself. I needed to stay in control because if there was any chance in hell that boy would open his eyes again, I needed to be right there to reassure him it was OK. There was no way I could let him see me a mess.

I’m not sure how long I was out of the room. It was at this time that I knew my husband needed to get to the hospital. I began trying to track down child care. I had family telling me they had decided they were coming. At first, I told them not to. In my heart I knew if they were coming, it meant things were really bad. I just kept telling them to wait because we didn’t even have a diagnosis yet.

I paced the hallway. I kept telling myself to be patient. Everything they had done earlier took ten times longer than expected. This would too. I was anxious to get back into that room.

When the 2 doctors came down the hall, their faces were blank. I knew I was about to get the news every parent feared! We sat down in a conference room. They closed the door. She asked me if there was family they could call. I told her my husband was on his way, but I wasn’t sure how far away he was. She asked if I wanted her to wait, or she could come back and talk to him when he arrived. I just wanted the update.

She explained again the horrible CT results. She told me the neurosurgeon reviewed all of his tests (including the normal CT scan we’d had just 3 hours before it). There was nothing he could do. The swelling was far too great. His brain was so injured from stroke, swelling, and infection. The areas of his brain that were impacted greatest were those that controlled things he needed to live (heart rate, breathing, etc.). She explained that even if he came out of this, the parts of him that made him Cameron would all be gone. It wasn’t until I asked her what the odds were that he’d wake up that it really set in. She told me she didn’t expect him to make it.

In that moment, my heart broke! How am I supposed to accept that? How am I supposed to even think about life without this little boy. It wasn’t fair!

They told me I was allowed to go back to the room. I couldn’t get to him fast enough. He was being put into isolation because we still didn’t know the cause. Everyone that came into the room had to wear gowns, hats, and masks…except me. The tests continued so they could try and find answers.

When David arrived, I had to tell him the news. We cried. The doctor came back by and explained it all again.

This was the first time I stopped to think about the girls at home. Poor Melia was still waiting for us to get home from the hospital so we could open Christmas presents. We struggled with what to do. We knew we had family jumping on planes to get to us. We knew we needed to be able to tell Melia before anyone else arrived, emotional.

It was so hard to leave Cameron at the hospital, alone. The only reason we did is because we knew if he was standing there, he would tell us to leave him and go home to the girls. So we did. We made the 45 minute drive home. I had no idea what we were going to do until we pulled into the driveway. The moment I saw her, I started crying! She asked me what was wrong and gave me a big hug.

I decided it was best we tell her first. Then we could let her decide what to do about Christmas. I explained how sick Cameron was. That his brain was sick. That he was sleeping and the doctors told us he wasn’t going to be able to wake up. That he wasn’t going to be coming home. She tried to ignore what I was saying and asked to open presents. So we did. She loved the 1-on-1 attention. Told me she was glad it was just her, Daddy, and I. I tried hard not to cry.

Shortly after we finished unwrapping, we told her we had to go back to the hospital. She was OK with that because she was having so much fun with my friend Penny. Penny was a godsend giving up her Christmas plans to watch the girls!

The drive back to the hospital took forever! No real updates when we got back. The medical mystery just seemed to grow. All they could tell us was encephalitis. That it was possibly a virus. They said we all likely had it. For the rest of us, it was a cold. For him, it attacked his brain. I can’t tell you how many people told me they have never seen deterioration this fast! They also told us they would continue searching for answers so we could get closure and know the actual cause.

David held onto hope. That he would open his eyes. That we’d find something or they would be able to do something. I kept telling him not to go there. Not that I didn’t want to have hope, but I told him they pretty much told me there wasn’t hope. I just stood beside his bed and held his hand. I don’t think David really understood until they let me get in bed with Cameron. We had brought Reindeer (his favorite). I tucked Reindeer into Cameron’s arm. Then I laid beside him in bed.

I will never forget the cold of his forehead on my lips.

The tests continued. No answers. We were told the process of determining brain death. Our doctor would perform a series of tests (checking for pupil response, reflexes, etc.) These could only be started after he had been admitted for 12-hours. We then had to wait another 12-hours and have a second doctor complete the same tests, with the same outcome. It was all so surreal. She told us we could delay that process as long as we wanted, but it was in our hands.

By 8:30 PM, our immediate family had all arrived.

We asked the doctor to begin her first round of testing as soon as she could, which was 10 PM. David and I both felt like delaying it was the wrong thing to do. We knew what the outcome was going to be. It wasn’t fair to him that he be kept alive by all these machines any longer than was necessary. We even had medicine increasing his blood pressure. It had been increased several times through the day because his rate kept dropping.

At 10:10, the doctor came in for the first round of brain activity tests. We were told we could stay in the room if we wanted. I wasn’t leaving! David had a hard time with it. For me, it didn’t matter. He wasn’t going to be alone. So I stood at the foot of the bed. Results were as expected, he was brain dead.

It was at this time that we asked the doctor what we could do. We couldn’t stand the thought of waiting another 12-hours to do it again. We asked if we could stop increasing the heart meds. She told us that legally they had to perform the second test. However, she wanted to consult with some other doctors to see what we could do medically.

She was back within a few minutes. She told us as long as we had 3 attending doctor’s in the room, in agreement, that we could do it on our own terms. She said they had the 3rd doctor already in their car on the way to the hospital.

As soon as everyone was there, we were given forms to sign. Then we were told it was on our timetable. To just let them know when we were ready. I didn’t want to wait, so we asked them to begin.

Slowly they began decreasing his heart meds. I’m really not sure who was in the room with us. I just laid in bed with him and held him. I kept whispering that it was OK. That I loved him and would miss him so much. He and I had a lot of conversations about death, so we had talked a lot about what we would do when we got to heaven. He always said he would meet up with Max, our dog. Then he would wait for me if he got there first.

I remember consciously watching his chest. I wanted to see him take his last breath. It was something I never wanted to forget. Then I just held him.

He passed at 12:19 on December 26th. He waited. You see, Christmas is also my birthday. I believe he waited so that it didn’t happen on my birthday.

From that moment forward, it seems the question I keep asking myself is “What do I do now?” I’m not sure if that will ever change. It was so incredibly hard to leave the room that night. Leave the hospital. Knowing I was leaving him laying in that bed. It just felt so final.

This last week was the hardest of my life. How do you move on from losing a child? Every thing I do is done because I think, “What would Cameron want/do?”

My favorite boy is gone….I’m still waiting for answers.

Additional Posts Following Cameron’s Story:

  1. Cameron’s Memorial Balloon Launch
  2. Overwhelming Thank You
  3. Cameron’s First Balloon is Found
  4. Communication After Death – Signs From Cameron
  5. Our Story of Loss (Continued) – Guest Post From my Husband
Related Posts
Comments ( 330 )
  1. Carmen
    January 3, 2016 at 11:30 PM
    Reply

    Dear Emily, I cannot fathom the amount of courage and emotional strength it must have taken to share this heartbreaking story of the sudden, tragic loss of your little boy. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. May you find the answers you seek and the support you need.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 1:43 AM
      Reply

      Thank you! It has been an unimaginable week. I keep wishing that I will wake up and find out it’s all a dream. I play this story over and over in my head. I think I’ve reached the point where I’m numb. Hoping by sharing it will help someone else. Regardless, I think it will help me to write about my journey and share about him.

      • Joanne
        January 5, 2016 at 4:01 PM
        Reply

        Been thru. My boy was “almost six” he would say. Plz contact me for an understanding shoulder. I live in Brevard county.

        • Emily Graham
          Emily Graham
          January 6, 2016 at 3:06 PM
          Reply

          Sorry about your son.

      • Beth
        January 5, 2016 at 4:09 PM
        Reply

        What a nightmare. I am so sorry. The way you wrote everything made it all very vivid and had myself and probably every other mother (probably some fathers too) in tears. Keep writing and praying and loving those around you.

        • Emily Graham
          Emily Graham
          January 6, 2016 at 3:06 PM
          Reply

          Thank you.

      • Josh lombardo
        January 6, 2016 at 6:20 AM
        Reply

        Hi Emily. I’m only 13 years old and I lost one of my good friends just hours after your boy passed. Unfortunately. We must stay strong and let God do what he feels is best. Some of his choices we don’t like (obviously) but life keeps moving and there’s nothing we can do about it but pray. My heart sank when I read your story cuz I know what it feels like to lose a loved one but not a son. You must be thinking about him 24/7. Just know that, he’s home now:)

        • Emily Graham
          Emily Graham
          January 6, 2016 at 2:26 PM
          Reply

          Wise words for a 13-year old! I’m sorry to hear about your friend. That’s a tough thing to go through too. Hang in there.

      • Meme KElly
        December 13, 2016 at 6:41 PM
        Reply

        I am so sorry, Emily. I am praying for your strength. I came on to share a Huffington Post I just wrote, which after reading your post seems so unimportant. In any case it’s on my twitter feed, @memekellytoday. It’s another letter to my three black sons. Peace and Blessing to you on this tough anniversary.

        • Emily Graham
          Emily Graham
          December 14, 2016 at 1:01 AM
          Reply

          Thank you so much for stopping by, reading, and taking the time to comment. I will check out your latest HuffPo article.

    • Lisa KOenn
      January 4, 2016 at 6:09 PM
      Reply

      I am so very sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine the pain you must be feeling at this very moment. I can only imagine that he’s with jesus right now and playing with max. He will be there to greet you once you pass over. For now I’m sure he would want you to carry on and remember the beautiful times you all shared together as a family. I know life will never be the same and I pray that god puts his loving arms around everyone in your family and brings you peace.

      • Emily Graham
        Emily Graham
        January 4, 2016 at 6:38 PM
        Reply

        Thank you!

    • Jennifer garrison
      January 6, 2016 at 7:38 AM
      Reply

      I saw your story shared on facebook and felt compelled to comment. First, let me say I’m so sorry. I know those words are inadequate but know I am praying for your family. Without telling my entire story, my family shared a similar story. I could write it in detail like you have done. My nephew died the day after thanksgiving 2012. Black Friday has an entirely different meaning to us. Similar circumstances….was sick… A little sicker…and dying in a matter of hours. The memories of that day and the weeks to follow haunt me. Matthew died from sepsis from a MRSA infection in his blood that didn’t know was there. He had what was like flu symptoms and like your son couldn’t walk etc. A few hours later he was gone. We watched cpr a half dozen or more times. It’s been 3 years. And while it’s still painful and hard for my sister…life has not stopped for us all. Time keeps moving. Without matthew. If I can give you a little advice, delete the old texts. Dont read the horror over and over. I did. And it is like ripping a scab off of a bandaid. Also, my husband’s grandmother died this afternoon. Her birthday is christmas day. I don’t think it is a coincidence to read your story. Maybe she met your precious boy when she crossed the bridge. ❤️ Much love for your family!!

      • Emily Graham
        Emily Graham
        January 6, 2016 at 2:25 PM
        Reply

        So sorry to hear about your nephew and grandmother. I like to think Cameron’s new job in heaven is to greet the other little kids that are taken too soon. Giving extra special hugs to those that weren’t loved the way he was. I hope your family finds peace as well.

        • Jennifer garrison
          January 6, 2016 at 2:40 PM
          Reply

          When matthew died we all just wanted to know why!? Why did God take my sister’s child!? Why would He do that!? And although we still haven’t come to terms with it completely, the preacher helped when he said if God didn’t take children heaven would be full of old people. 🙂 I read all your comments and saw where you wrote ‘new normal’. That’s something we said as well. New normal sucks. But I will tell you my sister is surviving. And you will smile again. And laugh again. But you will always have that wound in your heart it just develops a scar and isn’t as fresh after time. I remember longing for a year or more to hurry up and pass. To get out of the ‘now’. And I will say time helps…but nothing heals. I am praying for your family. I’m so sorry this happened at Christmas for the sake of your other children. My sister has not celebrated thanksgiving since 2012. She says she never will again. Prayers for today…that you can rest and that you are surrounded by love and support.

          • Emily Graham
            Emily Graham
            January 6, 2016 at 3:44 PM

            New normal does suck! However, I have already decided that we will continue to celebrate Cameron’s life. His birthday. I want every holiday to be a repeat of the one before…when he was here. He loved the holidays, especially Christmas. He would want us to continue doing the things he loved doing. But I understand your sister’s feeling. It’s just such a tough, personal thing.

  2. Amy richey
    January 4, 2016 at 1:03 AM
    Reply

    Praying for you and your family. May God pour out only the comfort and strength He can.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 1:42 AM
      Reply

      Thank you!

      • Dawn engle
        January 6, 2016 at 12:54 AM
        Reply

        Emily,
        My husband and I have broken hearts for you and your family tonight as we just read your story. I am so very sorry for your loss. There are no words.
        I know that you do not know us, but I would like to do something. ..anything I can for you. Dinner, cleaning, a little extra money, ect. I work for Real Life Christian Academy. I can offer our amazing team of care counselors for grieving? I am praying fervently for you and your precious family. Please let me know if there is anything at all my family can do for yours. God bless you!

        • Emily Graham
          Emily Graham
          January 6, 2016 at 2:43 PM
          Reply

          Very sweet! Thank you so much Dawn.

  3. Cindy giles
    January 4, 2016 at 1:49 AM
    Reply

    Emily,

    My heart is completely broken for you. I cannot even begin to imagine your pain and I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. Yoy are in my thoughts and prayers.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 2:39 AM
      Reply

      Thank you!

  4. Kerry O'shea gorgone
    January 4, 2016 at 2:08 AM
    Reply

    Words can’t express how sad we all were to hear about your sweet boy. I can’t even imagine what you’re going through. Please know that he will be sorely missed, and my boys will remember their friend.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 2:40 AM
      Reply

      We appreciate all the support! Thank you.

  5. KELLY WRIGHT
    January 4, 2016 at 2:16 AM
    Reply

    I cried reading this. My worst fear/nightmare as a parent. I am so so very sorry. My heart goes out to you and your family ♡

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 2:41 AM
      Reply

      Mine too! It’s surreal, that’s for sure. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.

  6. Cheryl Aul
    January 4, 2016 at 2:30 AM
    Reply

    Oh my…I am so very sorry for your loss. I don’t even know what to say. You are a very strong woman and I have nothing but admiration for you. God bless you and your family. Cameron must have been the most special little guy because God chose him. I wish I could wrap my arms around you and hug you. I pray that each day God will give you strength to help you through this. Again God Bless you all.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 2:42 AM
      Reply

      Cameron was an amazing boy for sure! A part of me doesn’t want to ever get over the pain I feel today. Time passing without him is a scary thought right now.

  7. Alexis Kokales Spina
    January 4, 2016 at 2:36 AM
    Reply

    Emily,
    I just read your heart-wrenching story and I am crying so hard that I can barely see to type this. I am so sorry. I am in awe of your strength during the absolute worst time of your life. I pray that you and your family will somehow get through this. (If you don’t remember me, I was one of your old music teachers.)

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 2:43 AM
      Reply

      Thank you!! Of course I remember you.

  8. Kathy Moore
    January 4, 2016 at 2:41 AM
    Reply

    Prayers for your hearts to be comforted. May God who holds your son in His arms help you feel His arms around you as well.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 4:09 AM
      Reply

      Thank you!

  9. Kim Constantino
    January 4, 2016 at 2:41 AM
    Reply

    Oh Emily. I am so sorry. Words cannot begin to even say how sorry I am. You see, 11 years ago my husband, David, and I lost our oldest and only son, Michael, in a drowning accident. He was 7. Reading your post made me go back to that day….a mother’s worse nightmare. That day, the sight, the sound, the ambulance ride, the waiting, the final statement that he didn’t make it, having to see him in that hospital, lifeless. It is a parents worst nightmare and a journey that I’m sorry you are beginning. Grief work is just that, work. The first couple of years will be a blur. Lean on others, one another, and if you are a believer, lean on your faith…even at your angriest days. God is our Father….He understands we don’t see the big picture or understand the why…but our children see and understand it all now. Lean on other mom’s and dad’s that have walked this journey. If you want to connect, please do. My prayers are with you, your husband, and girls. We, too, had two younger girls at the time of the accident. They are now teenagers.
    God’s grace and love be upon you. I leave you with my son’s favorite Bible verse: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13.
    Kim

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 4:08 AM
      Reply

      Thank you for your support! So sorry to hear of your son.

      • Jolene Ion
        January 7, 2016 at 3:36 AM
        Reply

        Oh Kim, as I read this I sit here and cry. I remember that day as well. My husband was one of the paramedics that day. He had a hard time with it afterwards. We have 2 boys and at the time, they were 3 and 6. Our youngest was not afraid of anything! I couldn’t imagine then and I cant imagine now what the two of you are going through. You are Both in my thoughts and prayers! Emily it had me crying from the time I started reading this. I am so sorry and will keep you and your family in my prayers!

        • Emily Graham
          Emily Graham
          January 8, 2016 at 1:58 AM
          Reply

          Your husband was one of our paramedics? I remember two gentlemen (don’t recall names). One was driving, the other was in the back with Cameron. I do recall both were very kind and tried to reassure me as they prepared for the transfer.

          • beth
            January 6, 2017 at 1:32 AM

            Hi Emily,
            I realize I am reading this story a year since it was shared on my FB page, but my husband was the Critical Care Transport nurse in the back with Cameron. He and I are both nurses at APH. (Although I was not in the hospital that day.) Please know that we all grieved for Cameron and your family. I remember him saying how fast things happened and how terrible he felt looking into your face when you met them at the back of the ambulance, when everything had changed and he updated you and said he was really concerned, and then later when he realized it was your birthday. It is truly humbling to care for people at the most difficult times in their lives. I am so honored to work with those people who cared for Cameron. Even when they couldn’t save him, they made sure his mom could hold him and love him and reassure him on his way to Heaven.
            Blessings to your family. Thank you for sharing. You will always have a place in our hearts.

          • Emily Graham
            Emily Graham
            January 6, 2017 at 2:12 AM

            This comment literally brings tears to my eyes! I do remember your husband. I have to say though that in those moments, we never stop to think about how our situation has impacted those around us. Those that had to give us the bad news and watch us fall apart. Those that continue providing care in the most desperate of situations. I am thankful for everyone. It means so much hearing that a year later we are still remembered (though I wish we were remembered for some miraculous recovery). XO

  10. Annecarole Hebert-Moon
    January 4, 2016 at 2:42 AM
    Reply

    Dearest, I am so sorry for your loss. My heart breaks for you and your family. Burying your child is the hardest thing you will ever do. I know, I have lost two sons. My prayers for peace and healing.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 4:07 AM
      Reply

      Sorry to hear about your sons! Hugs!

  11. Joyce meals
    January 4, 2016 at 2:49 AM
    Reply

    We are so sad for your family. Hugs to you all…

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 3:49 AM
      Reply

      Thank you!

  12. Charley
    January 4, 2016 at 2:50 AM
    Reply

    Wow..

    This was so incredibly hard to read. It is so well written that I felt like I was there at the table making the reindeer food.

    I can’t imagine how hard this was to write and that this just happened a few days ago.

    Bless his sweet heart and yours. I am so sorry you had to write this but thank you for doing so. I wish I could have met him. His love for Christmas just warmed my heart.

    Don’t beat yourself up for the things you didn’t do. There was nothing you could have done with the information you had at that time. He went to bed knowing he was loved and that y’all were there. I’ll be praying and sending lots of positive energy yalls way. God bless.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 3:49 AM
      Reply

      Thank you!

  13. Sarah (PROPER) Cevetto
    January 4, 2016 at 2:54 AM
    Reply

    There are no words strong enough to tell you how sorry we are for this loss. I applaud your ability to remain strong and write your experience yourself to share with the world. You are a great example of what a woman can be, especially for your daughters. Treasure them and try to enjoy each day with them.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 3:48 AM
      Reply

      The story plays over and over in my head all day long. Sharing is cathartic right now.

  14. MELISSA REICHARD
    January 4, 2016 at 2:56 AM
    Reply

    I have no words… just tears for you and your family. Sending many prayers and encouraging thoughts your way. Time will never heal this loss but I hope Cameron’s spirit will guide you in how to deal…. because now that is all you can do when your heart is not whole anymore…. Xoxo Emily

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 3:47 AM
      Reply

      Thank you!

  15. Kelly
    January 4, 2016 at 3:01 AM
    Reply

    Bless you and your family during this most difficult time. I am keeping you, your husband, and family in my deepest thoughts and prayers.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 3:47 AM
      Reply

      Thank you! We appreciate it.

  16. Patty Clark
    January 4, 2016 at 3:12 AM
    Reply

    Emily,
    I am so sorry for your lose and could never imagine what you and your family are going through. You now have a forever angel watching over you and your family. May you find peace knowing that. You have a world of supporters here. If you ever just need to talk, please feel free to reach out.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 3:46 AM
      Reply

      Thank you!

  17. DENISE
    January 4, 2016 at 3:13 AM
    Reply

    I am so very sorry for loss.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 3:46 AM
      Reply

      Thank you!

  18. AMANDA DAVIS
    January 4, 2016 at 3:15 AM
    Reply

    I lost my son on Dec 8th 2012, he was 7 years old. I can still see his countdown to Christmas plaque stuck at 17. I can remember the last meal I made for him the night before and his face that morning when he noticed the snowman clings I put on the bathroom mirror. It’s been three years since it happened and it has not gotten easier, just different. I go on because I have a family and another son. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 3:43 AM
      Reply

      I appreciate you sharing! Right now I’m only going on because of my girls. I’m terrified for time to pass. I don’t want a new normal.

  19. Diane Lavallee
    January 4, 2016 at 3:30 AM
    Reply

    Dearest Emily,David and girls, I can not begin to express my sorrow for you all. My heart just broke even more reading your story and I so admire your courage and strength for sharing it. I will always remember the times I got to spend with Cameron and you at Nana’s in Ky. I will always love that little guy and his beautiful smile and gentle nature. Love you all very much. I know that God will never give you any more than you can handle and you will. You are in my prayers.
    Aunt Diane

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 3:43 AM
      Reply

      Love you!

  20. JENN Glover
    January 4, 2016 at 3:39 AM
    Reply

    I sobbed reading this, I am so sorry for your loss of your sweet little boy..no words can express my deepest sympathy to you and your family, I do hope you find the answers of the unknown that caused this tragic loss..My prayers are with you and your family.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 3:42 AM
      Reply

      Thank you!

  21. Carrie oakes
    January 4, 2016 at 3:46 AM
    Reply

    I cried when i read your story you are a very strong person you and your family are in our prayers through this incredibly difficult time,

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 4:05 AM
      Reply

      Thank you!

  22. Alisa P.
    January 4, 2016 at 3:49 AM
    Reply

    I’ll remember you all in my prayers. My heart breaks for you all. As I read your families story I think of my half- brother’s story and you do always remember those last moments. Those little ones do know how to give you a special moment to hang onto even after 30 years of time passes. I can still feel, see and hold onto that precious time. Just a someone who’s praying you through. listen some time down the road. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ilYi-PJGyc

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 4:05 AM
      Reply

      Thank you!

  23. KOREY CONNER
    January 4, 2016 at 4:00 AM
    Reply

    Emily, I do not know you, but I feel like I need to send my condolences to you and your family. Being a mother is the hardest and most rewarding job in the world. In certain situations, you think that you would completely crumble…but then you turn out to be the center stone for your child. My heart breaks for you and as I sit here crying, I cannot help but feel as though life is so unfair and no words will make how you are feeling any better, but just know that besides your family and friends, their are people like me praying and sending virtual hugs to you.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 4:04 AM
      Reply

      The outpouring of support has been overwhelming! Thank you.

  24. Jennifer
    January 4, 2016 at 4:03 AM
    Reply

    I’m am so truly heartbroken for you and I can’t even began to imagine how your feeling, but I want you to know that you are in my prayers and I thank you for sharing your story. You are an amazing strong woman and I know by your description so is your son. Your son went home to be with Jesus and he will be waiting for you when it’s time. Please try to remember to focus on God and know you are not alone and he will not forsake you. Draw near to him In your time of need. God bless you and you will be in my thoughts and prayers.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 4:06 AM
      Reply

      Thank you!

  25. Katie
    January 4, 2016 at 4:15 AM
    Reply

    I am SO sorry for the loss of your beautiful little boy! That is one of my biggest fears as a mom! You are so amazing and strong to share your story. I can’t imagine what you are going through and will go through for the rest of your life! Praying for you and your family!!!!

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 4:28 AM
      Reply

      It’s surreal to be living a mother’s worst nightmare. I keep hoping I will wake up. Thank you for your kind words.

  26. Sue wagner
    January 4, 2016 at 4:16 AM
    Reply

    Dear Emily, may God be with you and your family. May he give you and your family the strength and peace you need. Cameron is now an angel flying high. He sounds like he was a very special little boy. I am sure after reading your letter that he is watching over you telling you he is fine and wants you to be ok. May Gid Bkess you. My prayers are with you all. 🙏

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 4:29 AM
      Reply

      Thank you. I know he is watching over us. I know he wants us to be OK and go on without him. I’m trying…

  27. susan
    January 4, 2016 at 4:25 AM
    Reply

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine your pain and grief….or that you’re able to share this story so soon. You must have amazing strength. Your story puts things into perspective and just how quickly our world can be turned upside down. I have a daughter the same age as your Cameron…I gave her an extra squeeze tonight. I can’t imagine life without her.

    Prayers for comfort to you and all those who carry Cameron on in their hearts.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 4:42 PM
      Reply

      Thank you!

  28. JENN
    January 4, 2016 at 4:46 AM
    Reply

    I can’t even begin to imagine what your family is going through right now. You are incredibly brave and your strength is shown by telling your story and keeping the memory of your precious little boy alive. I will be praying and sending positive vibes your way for weeks to come, in hopes that your family can continue on, but find a special balance to keep Cameron right there with you.
    All my love and deepest sympathies. <3

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 4:42 PM
      Reply

      Thank you!

  29. Kim Orapello
    January 4, 2016 at 5:25 AM
    Reply

    Emily,
    I am so sorry about your loss. No words can take the pain away. This is a mothers worst nightmare and you are a very strong woman for sharing your story. I balled my eyes out reading it and I pray you and your family will soon find comfort. Cameron was in my nephew Michaels class I am Jaime’s sister and when she told me what happened my heart broke for you. I didn’t know him but my sister said what a sweet smart outgoing little boy he was and that he always had a smile on his face. Cameron is smiling down on you in the arms of Jesus and when you guys had your last conversation he wanted you to know he was ok and he loved you! I will continue to keep you and your family in my prayers and may God comfort you guys and give you the answers you need.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 4:41 PM
      Reply

      Thank you!

  30. chris anne
    January 4, 2016 at 5:45 AM
    Reply

    Emily, your story touched my deeply. I have been wondering about Cameron ever since I saw someone else’s post about him the other day, and could not find any information about what happened to him. I was not prepared for what I just read. I often wonder, as mothers do, how I could ever get over the loss of a child, if forced to do so. I have never been able to think of a plan that would carry me through it. My cousin has been on that journey now for 9 years, and I am constantly in awe at the grace and strenth that she displays daily. Her other 6 children rely on her for it, and I believe that fact, along with the spirit that continues to dwell in every minute of every one of her days, are how she is able to live her life fully, despite the void she feels. You truly will be in my constant thoughts and prayers…Cameron will continue to touch lives through you and his spirit lives on in you. I am so sorry that you are experiencing the deepest sadness a mother can, and will carry you and your family in my heart.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 4:41 PM
      Reply

      Thank you!

  31. Anitarex
    January 4, 2016 at 5:57 AM
    Reply

    I am so sorry. I feel for you and your family. I will pray for you. I will pray that you feel Gods presence surround you and bring you peace. I hope you find answers why this happened. I can’t stop crying I can’t imagine how you are doing.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 4:40 PM
      Reply

      Thank you!

  32. KAren
    January 4, 2016 at 6:01 AM
    Reply

    I am so very sorry for your loss. 🙏🏽💔 I don’t even know what made me read this but it truly broke my heart. I will be praying for you and your family. No one should ever have to go through that…

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 4:40 PM
      Reply

      Thank you!

  33. EMILY Losier
    January 4, 2016 at 6:07 AM
    Reply

    I am so sorry for your loss. I can’t even imagine the pain. Prayers for you and your family.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 4:40 PM
      Reply

      Thank you!

  34. DEborah Reed
    January 4, 2016 at 6:31 AM
    Reply

    Emily,
    You and your family have been on my mind in and in my prayers. I hope you don’t mind that I shared this on my Facebook page. I wanted your true detailed story to be heard to help prevent any of those partially incorrect versions that tend to circulate in small towns. I wish I could be of some comfort to you. I lost my own son Jeremy to H1N1 influenza last May. I admire you so much for having the strength to share this openly.
    Blessings,
    Debbie Reed

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 4:39 PM
      Reply

      Thanks, Debbie! I’m sorry about your son. I also appreciate it being shared. To know that people know the true story is helpful in some small way. I’m hoping the medical records will provide some insight.

  35. amanda Bennett
    January 4, 2016 at 8:15 AM
    Reply

    Thinking of u you in this time of sorrow … May God wrap his arms around you and your family.. now you have a very special guardian Angel watching over you and your family

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 4:38 PM
      Reply

      Thank you!

  36. Allie
    January 4, 2016 at 8:51 AM
    Reply

    I try so so hard to avoid these stories these realities because I am an Empath and I have six of my own dear children. We have had close calls with my youngest son who was born prematurely by four months. My oldest two are autistic and my oldest other two stepdaughters are well…going through a lot because of a mother who loves herself and hates us more than she loves them. I have these fears always. That I could wake and find that my oldest stepdaughter has tried to or successfully committed suicide…that my kids could end up with a severe serious illness that there is nothing I can do. And I just…I just can’t believe it happened to your poor baby boy. I still can’t stop crying or wondering why. WHY? I just don’t understand when it happens so suddenly and so so young. But I can tell you that our children are far more superior than we are in spirit and mutually here on earth. They are wiser and know where or when they are needed everywhere. Or what it is “time”. I have been all too close to so many lost loved ones and yes…babies and children. I lost a baby in between my kids but to raise and grow a child and to have that taken…I am so very sorry. With all my heart. I am sorry for his siblings…And you…his mother. That is truly the worst feeling. But of I can give you some solace…please know that they are not gone. Truly. I know you hear it a lot and will more but truly he is closer to you now than we can see, feel, smell, etc. Once we learn to raise ourselves to their frequency and their level we can be with them still. It is so very hard though not being able to have them with us here in their physical form where we can hold them and kiss them any time we want to… I will say that I truly believe that a mother’s if she can truly love their child more tban themselves and their wants/desires; unconditional maternal love (by your grief expressed it is obvious of your ultimate love of your son)… It’s a bond that is strong enough to keep us all together through life, sickness, and yes even and esp death. I think that you will be together always and I am truly praying for all of you. I feel for you so deeply and so powerfully. I do pray also for your broken heart and hope that you are able to see the signs and messages he surely will be or is already leaving you to comfort you through. Much love and light and god bless you.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 4:38 PM
      Reply

      Thank you!

  37. Karim
    January 4, 2016 at 10:47 AM
    Reply

    Emily, I couldn’t read the whole article I was in tears. I am so so sorry for your loss. This is so heartbreaking, all my prayers are with your family.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 4:35 PM
      Reply

      Thank you!

  38. Barb Wice
    January 4, 2016 at 10:59 AM
    Reply

    What can one say except you and your whole family are in my prayers.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 4:34 PM
      Reply

      Thank you!

  39. Linda Allen
    January 4, 2016 at 12:07 PM
    Reply

    Dear Emily and family, I am deeply saddened by your loss and the sadness you are now feeling. Almost nine years ago I watched my daughter trying to breathe life into my grandson who had drowned in our pond on the fourth of July. I know the feelings you are left with because I went through it with my Melissa. we too could not stop the re-runs of the days events in our minds. We too could not understand why such a thing could have happened. Later Melissa found things left behind that truly made us wonder. she first remembered a conversation about our dog Fantasy (who had passed) and she told him that she was with Jesus. He said that he wanted to go see Jesus. several weeks later she found where he wrote RIP 2007 (the year he drowned)on the wall next to his bed. Emily, Trust that God has him in his hands and that he will get you through this. the day will come eventually that you will be able to celebrate his life. In the meantime, my heart and prayers go out to you and your family. Bill Henderson and I will continue to hold you up in prayer. Your father was the first one to hug me after our Garrett passed. although brief it was such a comfort, Rick will never know! I pray that you find comfort in your husbands,children’s and God’s arms.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 4:34 PM
      Reply

      Thank you for sharing!

  40. CASSIE SHOWERS
    January 4, 2016 at 12:39 PM
    Reply

    Dear Emily,
    As I read your son’s story, and sobbed for you, I pray that you find answers and peace. I also have 3 kids, 2 girls and 1 sweet boy…I just can not imagine….any of this!!! My heart breaks for your family. Don’t lose your faith, and ALWAYS share stories of him! God bless your family, ours will be praying for yours.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 4:32 PM
      Reply

      Thank you!

  41. Colleen
    January 4, 2016 at 1:54 PM
    Reply

    I’m so incredibly sorry for your loss. I learned of this tragedy through your cousin, Laura. I know he will be missed by all who knew and loved him. It’s so brave of you to put into words the final hours of Cameron’s life. I hope things get easier for you with the love and support of your friends and family.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 4:31 PM
      Reply

      Thank you!

  42. kevin riccardi
    January 4, 2016 at 1:58 PM
    Reply

    Im defintely sittin here crying as i read this and as a father i am definetly not ashamed to cry for a familys pain, u too are so strong as u have to be for ur daughters .. itll nvr be an easy journey but it seems like from ur words u gave ur son the best life possible and im sure he is watchin ovr you and ur husband.. so sorry

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 4:31 PM
      Reply

      Thank you!

  43. Lisa Youmans
    January 4, 2016 at 2:20 PM
    Reply

    My brother was run over by a car when he was just 5 in April 1970. His birthday is on 121065. These two dates are the worst days for my Mom. She now has Parkinson’s and Dementia but she still remembers my Brother, Billy. She has always told me that you loose half of yourself when you bury a child. I was born a year later and I was her last child. My heart goes out to you because there was always a void in our lives. Yet, I knew he watches over us. May God comfort you and your family. God give you strength and understanding. Nobody knows what you are going through unless they have lost a child. We went and put put flowers on his grave this year and Mama just got back in the car. I know she still hurts but with the Dementia she can’t remember when he was hit by the car. Bless you all.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 4:30 PM
      Reply

      Thank you for sharing!

  44. Jean phillips
    January 4, 2016 at 2:22 PM
    Reply

    I feel your pain lost my son 10/25/2015 due to accident….sending you prayers and hugs.👼👼👼

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 4:19 PM
      Reply

      Hugs to you!!!

  45. Esther Allen
    January 4, 2016 at 2:43 PM
    Reply

    Emily AND dAVID, MY HEART BREAKS FOR YOU. reading YOUR POST, I COULDN’T BREATH. mAY gOD RICHLY BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 4:18 PM
      Reply

      Thanks, Esther!

  46. Judy
    January 4, 2016 at 2:49 PM
    Reply

    Emily, I know exactly what you are going through, My 13 year old son, i was able to put my arm around his shoulder and tell him I Loved him, within about 10 minutes later, he was hit by a truck in front of my house. He was rushed to the hospital, He was pronounced brain dead also, it was the hardest thing in my life, to have to say yes pull the plug, and let my little boy go. Its been 11 years now. I cannot get over it. I miss him day after day. Not a day goes by without thinking of him. The only way I have been getting through this , is I tell myself Him and God are with me at all times. I have 3 other children. This is something a parent can never get out of their minds. I cant sleep at nite at times, i See him laying on that road lifeless. and the whole event. I even heard the impact. These are very haunting memories , that i cant get out of my mind. Take it one dAY at a time. I never did have any counseling, my feelings are they are worthless, when i kknow nobody can ever bring my son back to me. I just go every day knowing hes in a much better place then we are. I tell him I love him all the time. People would tell me it will get easier, No It Dont. Buy God Has his Ways. Stay strong for you and your family.

    • judy
      January 4, 2016 at 2:54 PM
      Reply

      When I lost my son I lost a part of me. I will never be the same person again. But i know i have to live. Its been 11 years but seems like it was only yesterday.

      • Emily Graham
        Emily Graham
        January 4, 2016 at 4:14 PM
        Reply

        My brain is telling me I need to move on and live. My heart tells me that I just want to curl up and stop. I hate my new normal.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 4:18 PM
      Reply

      I appreciate your comment! I’ve grown numb to our story. It plays out like a movie over and over in my mind. It doesn’t matter what I’m doing. I’m not interested in counseling either. I know he’s with me. There’s nothing we can do to change what happened and have him back. So I’m just trying to figure out how to deal with a new normal…that I hate!

  47. Rashida
    January 4, 2016 at 2:53 PM
    Reply

    Emily,

    My heart hurts so much for you & you family. I am so incredibly sorry for the loss of your precious boy. There are so many things we don’t understand that happen to us in life. My hope & prayer for you is that you continue to have faith in God & trust that He will always be there for you. You are such a strong mama.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 4:14 PM
      Reply

      Thanks, Rashida!

  48. CATHY
    January 4, 2016 at 3:01 PM
    Reply

    So very sorry, I am friends with Jack, Ellen and Morgan. My heart goes out to you Emily. This is so well written and beautiful. May your sweet boy Rest In Paradise always. Cathy

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 4:06 PM
      Reply

      Thank you!

  49. Amy Cherry
    January 4, 2016 at 3:04 PM
    Reply

    I haven’t seen you in so many years and I never had the chance to meet Cameron. However, I feel like I knew a part of him thanks to posts and pictures you have shared on Facebook. My heart has been broken for all of you ever since I read your request for prayers and a Christmas miracle. I couldn’t sleep Christmas night as I kept checking for updates and hoped and prayed that what I thought was happening was way off. As much as it felt like a surreal nightmare to me, I can’t even begin to fathom how you have all felt. Not a day has gone by since then that I haven’t thought about and prayed for your family. I feel like as mothers, we are all bonded together in a way and although the pain and grief you are feeling can’t be compared, I have so much sorrow for what you have gone through and will continue to face in the days ahead. I will continue to send my love and Prayers to you and your family!!

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 4:06 PM
      Reply

      Thanks, Amy! Hugs!!

  50. Chriss
    January 4, 2016 at 3:12 PM
    Reply

    Emily, I can’t even begin to put into words how sorry I am. What you have gone through is truly unimaginable. I hope that you have plenty of love and support surrounding you to help you cope during this time. I’m praying for you and your family and hope that all the happy memories you shared with your sweet boy help you find comfort. XO

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 4:05 PM
      Reply

      Thank you!

  51. Molly
    January 4, 2016 at 3:29 PM
    Reply

    I can’t imagine what you are going through, just reading your story my heart aches for you and your family. Please don’t blame yourself or think there was anything you could do differently, I would have done same thing in your situation there was no way you could know earlier what was really going on inside his body. Praying for you all!

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 4:05 PM
      Reply

      I’ve definitely played the “what if” game, but you are right! All the signs pointed to the same stomach bug we had several weeks before. I really only expected to go to the ER for fluids and to bring his fever down. It’s crazy how fast life can change.

  52. Stephanie
    January 4, 2016 at 3:55 PM
    Reply

    Emily, I pray that God will give you the strength to surpass this. This is very close to home with my little one. I can’t imagine what you are going through. May God give you and your family peace❤️RIP to your angel in heaven🙏🏻

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 4:03 PM
      Reply

      Thank you!

  53. Desiree
    January 4, 2016 at 4:02 PM
    Reply

    Emily, I am so so sorry for the loss of your son. I am so sorry you are living this nightmare. I hope your other kids can give you the strength to continue on. I haven’t stopped crying since I read your story. I wish I could take all your pain away.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 4:03 PM
      Reply

      Thank you!

  54. Melody
    January 4, 2016 at 4:59 PM
    Reply

    I am so sorry this has happened to you. My heart breaks for you and your family. What a beautiful boy!!! I will look for a new beautiful, bright star in the sky. Nothing I say can help ease your pain. Please accept my prayers for you and your family and hopefully they will put some comfort in your heart. (((HUGS))) May God wrap him arms around you and comfort you.
    I am truly so very sorry.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 5:13 PM
      Reply

      Thank you!

  55. Justin de wet
    January 4, 2016 at 5:04 PM
    Reply

    Hi Emily, I’m so sorry for your loss! My thoughts are with you and your family.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 5:13 PM
      Reply

      Thanks, Justin! Hugs.

  56. Jenna
    January 4, 2016 at 5:24 PM
    Reply

    Emily,
    I am so sorry for your unspeakable loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this incredibly difficult time.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 6:03 PM
      Reply

      Thank you!

  57. Sharon HARTMANN
    January 4, 2016 at 5:29 PM
    Reply

    I just read about your son and was wondering what had happened. Thanks for sharing. I just can’t imagine what your going through. Cameron was adorable. I thought it was so sweet when he said he would see his dog in heaven. Sometimes when hearing about such tragic things happening to young children I question God. But then I think what if there wasn’t a God where would Cameron go? So then I think he is in a joyous place at peace and sure he is playing with his dog. Though we are hurting hear on earth I try and say to myself that there is a wonderful place to go when we leave this earth and that brings me peace knowing he is being taken care of and asking God to really help us now to deal with this tragic loss o earth. I believe and I am praying God will give you peace of mind and strength. It won’t be easy bit keep praying to God. One other thing I would like to mention that I read recently. A lady had lost her dog who she had for 15 years. She could not get over the pain of loosing him. She lived by herself. She wrote to Billy Graham and asked him do animals go to heaven even though they don’t have a soul. He replied that yes he believes that her dog is in heaven because God brought animals to this earth for a special reason to give people love and happiness. So Cameron right now is probably playing with his sweet friend. I hope this helps you a little bit. I will continue praying for you. God Bless.😇. Sharon

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 6:05 PM
      Reply

      Thank you!

  58. Lori WESCOAT
    January 4, 2016 at 5:58 PM
    Reply

    A few days before Cameron passed, I had a nightmare that my daughter had a seizure and passed away. I remember waking up, almost hysterical, feeling so relieved it was all a dream. I so wish that for you. That it was all just a horrible nightmare… The 26th, it’s weird, but I swear I could feel his energy. If I could I would trade my life for that little one, so he could have his Christmas with you… Happy, healthy, spoiled. 🙂 My heart breaks for you. Thank you so much for sharing your story. It helps those of us who love you to have understanding. This is a gift for us. Thank you.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 6:05 PM
      Reply

      Thanks, Lori! Hugs!

  59. Rae
    January 4, 2016 at 6:09 PM
    Reply

    Thank you for sharing this. I will never forget this story as long as I live. I am crying so hard right now, thinking of all the times I didn’t take my daughter to the hospital when I probably should have (high fevers, vomiting, etc.) I will never “wait and see” again. Your story will remind me to do the right thing and take her in every time. Thank you for that reminder. It sounds like everyone did everything they could have for him. I wish with all my heart that this story had a different ending. Thank you for reminding all of the parents who read this, not to take our little ones illnesses for granted. Hugs and love to you and your family.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 6:40 PM
      Reply

      I knew there was something a little different this time, but I never expected it to be so bad. We were big “wait and see” parents. Doctor them at home as much as you can. I’m thankful he was vomiting. If he wasn’t, we would have woke up to a completely different scenario. I wish we had a different ending too. Now I need to learn how to live with our new reality.

  60. Crystal
    January 4, 2016 at 6:14 PM
    Reply

    Emily,

    As I sit here I feel completely paralyzed and I can’t even begin to the imagine the ocean of emotions that you must be feeling. (Your beautiful boy is the same age as mine). I will hold your family in my prayers for a very long time and continue to pray for your healing. I am so deeply sorry for your loss!!! I know that Cameron’s spirit will continue to live on in all of the lives that he touched. Sending you so much love!

    Crystal

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 6:38 PM
      Reply

      Thank you!! Hug that little boy tight.

  61. Jacky
    January 4, 2016 at 6:48 PM
    Reply

    I am so sorry…. beyond words. We have been thinking of you all since we heard. We passed you today during drop off and I so desperately wanted to give you a hug/strength/everything and anything I could. But all I could do was wave. I am so very sorry.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 8:32 PM
      Reply

      Thanks, Jacky! It’s so weird dropping off at the back of the building now.

  62. Kenda
    January 4, 2016 at 6:50 PM
    Reply

    There just isn’t words to express how sorry and sad I am for your loss as a mom. I just can not imagine!! Thank you for sharing your story, I cried as I read it and felt your heart break. I pray you find peace!!

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 8:32 PM
      Reply

      Thanks for reading.

  63. Wendy S. Dunkelberger
    January 4, 2016 at 6:58 PM
    Reply

    …..every single detail, so fresh in your mind, and will be forever. You are a very special person, it’s no wonder your little Angel was so considerate of you, at his young age trying to shield you from pain. My GOD, such a mature 7 year old. I am crying so hard I can hardly swallow, there’s a lump in my throat. I prayed so hard that entire day, when Barbara and Marcia posted the news, I was devastated as if he were my own family. I will continue to pray for strength and answers for you and your family. I don’t know you but I can tell you are a loving and giving person, and above all, a wonderful mother. Cameron knew that. May GOD watch over you in this most difficult time in your life <3

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 8:33 PM
      Reply

      Thanks, Wendy! He was an amazing boy. So beyond his years in many ways.

  64. Saira
    January 4, 2016 at 7:00 PM
    Reply

    Oh Emily. I have no words. My heart is hurting for you & you will be in my thoughts & prayers all day today & everyday.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 8:31 PM
      Reply

      Thanks, Saira!

  65. Nicola
    January 4, 2016 at 7:07 PM
    Reply

    There are no words of comfort I’m sure, but I just wanted to say how sorry I am for your loss. I will cuddle my little boy that little bit tighter tonight and my thoughts will be with you all xxx

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 8:31 PM
      Reply

      Thank you. Definitely hold that little boy tighter.

  66. Tina
    January 4, 2016 at 7:40 PM
    Reply

    My heart is with you all! I read your blog with my 13 year old daughter by my side and my 7 year old boy running around the house, I truly can not imagine your pain right now! May you find your biggest inner strength warrior to carry you through your sorrow. Sometimes we will just never understand LIFE, I guess it really isn’t for us to understand! <3 May peace be with you and your family. Tina-O

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 8:30 PM
      Reply

      Thanks, Tina!

  67. Miranda newman
    January 4, 2016 at 7:41 PM
    Reply

    I came across this story on Facebook and I almost scrolled right past, but something compelled me to read your story. My heart was broken for you and then as I got to the bottom and saw your name and picture I realized we went to elementary school together and my heart shattered and I couldn’t even breathe. I know that was ages ago but I can still remember your kind caring heart and your amazing smile. I noticed that your son has the same amazing smile. I am so deeply sorry for your loss and as a mother of a son close to the same age I can’t even begin to imagine. I know there are no words to comfort you during this difficult time, but please know that I’m praying for you and your family. I’m praying for you especially, for strength, courage, comfort and peace that passes all understanding in the days to come. You showed amazing courage and unthinkable strength just sharing your story. It truly touched my heart. Stand strong in your faith and lean on the Lord to guide you in the days and weeks to come.
    God bless!

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 8:29 PM
      Reply

      Thanks, Miranda! Such a small world. Hope you’re doing well.

  68. Matt F
    January 4, 2016 at 8:32 PM
    Reply

    I am so sorry. My heart breaks for you and your family. I don’t have the words to console you but please know that you and your family are in my thoughts.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 8:37 PM
      Reply

      Thank you!

  69. jennifer
    January 4, 2016 at 9:01 PM
    Reply

    My heart breaks for you and your family. I can’t imagine the pain that you’re going through. I am so sorry for your loss and hopeful that the doctors can give you some closure of what caused it. May he rests in peace and May God grant you strength to get through your daily lives without him.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 9:45 PM
      Reply

      Thank you!

  70. Kristin wolfe
    January 4, 2016 at 9:13 PM
    Reply

    My prayers are with you all. If you want check out http://www.jw.org type in death in the search bar lots of comforting stuff. May Jehovah be with you. Revelation 21:3-4 promises us death will be no more. Try to think of death as a comma not a period your dear Cameron will do a lot more living in the near future.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 9:48 PM
      Reply

      Thank you!

  71. Lisa
    January 4, 2016 at 10:06 PM
    Reply

    Dear Emily,
    I am so sorry for your loss… I am praying for you and your family.. I can’t imagine what your going through, it’s worse fear any parent never wants to go through.. Just no your little boy is watching over you and is with the angels now..

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 11:52 PM
      Reply

      Thank you!

  72. Colette B
    January 4, 2016 at 10:06 PM
    Reply

    I saw your post on Twitter. I’ve read the whole thing with my heart in my mouth and tears in my eyes. I’m so so sorry for your loss.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 11:52 PM
      Reply

      Thank you!

  73. Pam Matthews
    January 4, 2016 at 10:10 PM
    Reply

    Emily, i am so sorry for yoyr loss. I can only imagine how you feel. I am a high school friend of Sue Sparks. When i realized you live in the Orlando area, I tried to find out if there was anything I could do for you or your family. That offer still stands. I live in Orlando. Continued prayers for all of you.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 11:52 PM
      Reply

      Thank you!

  74. Kathryn
    January 4, 2016 at 10:38 PM
    Reply

    Emily and family, I’m completely devastated for you and your family.. I cannot even fathom the thought of losing my children it hurts my heart to even think of it.. My heart is in a million pieces for you,I’m praying and hoping you can find some comfort..Your special Boy will forever be with you..Everything your family does he will be by your side.. Thank you for sharing your heartbreaking story with us! I’m crying just thinking of your family losing him Christmas time a day after your birthday but most of all him losing him…I will pray for you!! Your all in my heart and prayers!!!

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 11:53 PM
      Reply

      Thank you!

  75. Xiomara
    January 4, 2016 at 11:09 PM
    Reply

    Hi Emily
    My sister Claudia sent me your blog. I am so sorry for your loss. He was such a beautiful little boy. I was in tears reading this. I have 2 boys and I couldn’t imagine what you went through. You and your family have been on my mind since she called me. I pray you find the answers you need. loosing a child is something a parent should never have to go through. Again I am so sorry for your loss and for the world that will not get to meet this very handsome and smart little boy.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 11:51 PM
      Reply

      Thanks, Xiomara.

  76. WhitNey Milward
    January 4, 2016 at 11:18 PM
    Reply

    God bless you and your family during this awful tragedy. You precious boy is always with you, can see and hear you and knows how loved he is. God takes the ones from us that are the hardest to lose… How we continue breathing is beyond me. Your strength and courage is an inspiration. May this loss only bring your family so much closer together. In moments of absolute agony, when you feel you can’t go on, please try opening a bible to whichever page is falls open to. And read. And take those words to heart. May they bring you the comfort and love and strength you need. When we are broken, only God can fill in the cracks. Thank you for sharing your story.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 11:54 PM
      Reply

      Thank you!

  77. Sandi
    January 4, 2016 at 11:37 PM
    Reply

    I’m so very sorry, Emily. Cameron is a handsome little guy with such a big smile. I know this pain as well and have somehow muddled on through life for almost 5 years since the loss of my son. There are no words that will ease your heart right now, but just know that another Mom in Clermont is thinking of you and praying for your family. Much love to you.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 4, 2016 at 11:50 PM
      Reply

      Thanks, Sandi. Sorry for your loss!

  78. Tina
    January 5, 2016 at 12:03 AM
    Reply

    I am so very sorry for your loss. My prayers to you and your family. My 11 year old granddaughter passes away on December 17,2015 due to an asthma attack. My heart goes out to you. There are no words I can say to help the pain and emptiness. I will keep you and your family in prayer.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 5, 2016 at 2:13 AM
      Reply

      So sorry to hear about your granddaughter! Kids should not be allowed to pass before their parents…let alone grandparents. Hugs.

  79. Jill
    January 5, 2016 at 1:00 AM
    Reply

    There are no words, that I can say to make any of this better. Just know in your heart, that he is always with you. As mom’s, we sometimes think there is more we can do, when there isn’t. Your entire family will be in my prayers

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 5, 2016 at 2:15 AM
      Reply

      Thank you! I definitely believe he is here with us and will continue to be.

  80. Ann
    January 5, 2016 at 1:07 AM
    Reply

    Emily, You do not know me, but I am a friend (and former neighbor) or your Aunt Ellen. I read what you wrote a couple of times. I understand what you went through, are going through and will be going through. My grandson, Daniel, had meningitis as a baby and we almost lost him. His mother, Rose, who was a single parent, passed away from cancer when Daniel was 18. This happened 4-1/2 years after my son Geoffrey (whose birthday is also Christmas day) died of a heart attack. I am so very sorry and will be thinking of you and your family.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 5, 2016 at 2:14 AM
      Reply

      Thanks for reading and sharing. This type of situation really opens your eyes to all the tragedy that exists out there. So sad. Hugs to you and your family as well.

  81. Wendy Grenier
    January 5, 2016 at 1:30 AM
    Reply

    Emily, I bawled reading your story. I just want you to know that we’ll be praying for you. I know Cameron is waiting in heaven for you, loving you, and wanting you to be happy again. I pray that you’ll be able to do that, but I know it will be a long, long time. As you struggle to move on, try to remember that being happy doesn’t mean you’ve forgotten Cameron, but that you’re living life the way he wants you to.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 5, 2016 at 2:16 AM
      Reply

      #WWCD (What Would Cameron Do) – That is my new motto. Thank you for your words. I do know you are right.

  82. Leeann
    January 5, 2016 at 1:31 AM
    Reply

    Emily, so sorry for your loss. When I came across this story it broke my heart. My daughter Stefanie died from being brain dead on October 22, 2015, and it just kicks you in the gut. It is so tragic that we have to live the rest of our lives without our children. I wish I had great advice to give, but there are no words. Some people say that time will heal, but I don’t think we will ever heal it will just maybe be less excruciating. I hope so. All I know is that no human being should endure pain like this. There is no death that can come close to the loss of a child. I hope that you and your family feel all the love and support from everyone and that it somehow gives you a little sliver of peace. I live in Windermere so if there is absolutely anything in the world I could do for you please email me leemyrt70@ aol.com. I might sound strange but when someone has a loss like this it helps to talk to someone who feels like you. Much love to you and your family.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 5, 2016 at 2:08 AM
      Reply

      I so appreciate you sharing! I am also sorry to hear about your daughter. It is devastating! The support has been overwhelming. And I will extend the same thing to you. Hugs!

  83. Mary Dees
    January 5, 2016 at 2:04 AM
    Reply

    I am so sorry to hear of such tragedy that you and your family experienced during the holiday/birthday, and mostly just in general. As a single mother (by choice) of 2 year old twins, I find myself in fear of something happening to one of them or to me. Your amazing courage, strength and love for your son to make the right decisions is such an inspiration. I pray that you continue to find strength and even though no answers will ever take that pain away, that you find comfort in knowing the true meaning of love and the joy that your son brought to you (and others). I will continue to pray for you and your family. My heart breaks for you.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 5, 2016 at 2:17 AM
      Reply

      Thank you for your kind words.

  84. Alli Chamberlin
    January 5, 2016 at 2:45 AM
    Reply

    As my heart cries out for you and your family, I can’t help but see your precious Cameron wrapped in the arms of Jesus, no safer place he can be right now. Cameron’s story will be shared over and over, because of the great love you shared with each other. You are a brave mother to be right there every step of the way, and being able to let go, but looking forward to your day you will meet again. I will continue to pray for your family to be wrapped in the arms of love by others around you who can help give ongoing support as you go through this time.
    May the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you. 2 Thess. 3:16

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 6, 2016 at 3:39 PM
      Reply

      Thank you!

  85. Maureen
    January 5, 2016 at 2:45 AM
    Reply

    I don’t know you, and my heart is broken for you. As a mother of five, this is my biggest fear. You did everything right. Each time one gets sick, I always ask myself – are the “really” sick – should we go to the doctor, or am I overreacting. I usually say I am overreacting. You knew what to do and you did it. I can’t begin to imagine your pain. I thank you for sharing your story with us. We will not only pray for you, but I will pray to my mom in heaven and ask her to watch for Cameron. She was a great grandma to my children. I will also make sure that I never stop telling my children how much I love them. God Bless you and your family. I am so sorry.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 6, 2016 at 3:37 PM
      Reply

      Thank you, Maureen. We know we did everything right, but we still play out the “what if” scenarios. We just keep telling ourselves that it doesn’t matter. What happened, happened. We now need to deal with it and keep moving forward. Definitely hug your babies and tell them you love them every minute.

  86. Cindy anderson
    January 5, 2016 at 3:04 AM
    Reply

    I, too, lost my favorite boy and had 2 girls to finish raising. We buried him the day before my birthday. It is the worst of this life! After almost 16 years, it still is. But I decided I could lay down and die too or move on.

    My husband and I found it helped us to talk about our son, Lane. We encouraged his friends to talk about him. I talked to total strangers about him! We never wanted anyone to feel bad for mentioning him or worried about saying his name, like they would upset us. In a way, it helps keep him alive.

    We laughed, we cried, we lived the best we could until new memories were made. Memories that didn’t include Lane. New memories with our girls.

    Don’t be surprised if some friends, even close friends, stop calling or coming by. They are grieving with you and for you. Some people just don’t know how to handle it.

    Do for others. There is something healing in helping others. Volunteer, work at a food kitchen, help out at church. Any little thing is better than sitting around wallowing in pity. I guarantee you will feel better for it.

    Mostly, talk to your husband! Many marriages fall apart after losing a child. Work on your marriage, fight for it! Understand what happened was no ones fault and that you did everything a caring parent would have done. As hard as it is to accept, this is part of Gods plan.

    And know that your boy is so happy, he would not want to come back, but he waits for you. Until then, live your life with joy in your heart knowing you will see him again.

    God bless you and your family.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 6, 2016 at 3:36 PM
      Reply

      Thank you, Cindy! I agree, talking about Cameron helps. My husband and I have already said we want to always talk about it and never want people to stop using his name. I want to share every piece of him so his memory remains in other’s hearts. I’m sorry to hear about Lane. My thoughts are with you all. Even though it was so long ago, I’m sure it feels like yesterday. Hugs.

  87. Tammy Jones
    January 5, 2016 at 3:37 AM
    Reply

    Lord, I pray for comfort for this family during this heartbreaking time of need. I know that You have a purpose for this tragedy, one we don’t see or understand right now, but a purpose nonetheless. Keep Your loving arms around Ms Emily and her husband, many tears will be shed in their alone times and during the quiet of the night, give them Your everlasting peace and reassurance of seeing their baby again some day. Help them to lean on one another and draw strength, knowing they both lost a precious child. Be with them Lord throughout the coming days and always. In Jesus name, amen. God bless. I am so so sorry for your loss.
    Tammy Jones

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 6, 2016 at 3:33 PM
      Reply

      Thank you, Tammy.

  88. Cassie
    January 5, 2016 at 3:46 AM
    Reply

    Dear Emily,

    Words cannot express how sorry I am for your loss. No one knows exactly how it feels to loose a child unless they have walked in your shoes. I myself lost my son Oct. 8th 2008. My sweet boy would have been 9 this January 8th. Just like your story it was a one minute he was fine and within 72 hours we were taking him off life support and telling him goodbye. I want to tell you that this gets easier. But it doesn’t. 7 years I have walked through this journey without my child and it isn’t any easier. But I will tell you the constant ache eventually hurts less. I wish I could tell you that you will stop missing him. But you won’t. I wish I could tell you that you will stop wondering what if. But you won’t. But I will tell you that one day it will hurt less and you will smile each time his name is mentioned. I will tell you that right now just thinking of your sweet boy is the worst pain you have ever had. But one day thinking of him will make you smile and laugh. One day you will use your story to help others get on with life instead of you wanting to give up on yourself. I will tell you that you may have lost a son but you still have 2 daughters, a husband, and a family that are here. Don’t forget about that when you don’t think you can go on anymore without your son. One day you will walk the streets of heaven and Cameron will be there to greet you. He’s just saving a spot for you. One day! 7 years for me and that is what I do is take it one day at a time. And I tell myself that this loss will not be forever it is just for a little while. Because one day I will be with my Tanner!
    Praying for you always! And know you are not alone He hears you and so do I!!

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 6, 2016 at 3:32 PM
      Reply

      So sorry to hear about Tanner. Hugs to you. I do believe they are there waiting for us…and here with us in spirit. A part of me never wants this pain to lessen because I don’t want to forget any part of him. It’s like this pain keeps him move alive. Crazy, I know. Thank you for your kind words.

  89. Joni Kijowski
    January 5, 2016 at 4:07 AM
    Reply

    Emily what a wonderful mother you are. What a blessing you were for Cameron. He may not of been able to let you know, but what a comfort for him to be in his mothers arms at his greatest time of need. I pray that you find quiet and peace in your head and heart. You and your family will be in my thoughts and daily prayers.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 6, 2016 at 3:29 PM
      Reply

      Thank you, Joni. I’m so glad I was able to be there for him right up until the end. I just wish our outcome was very different.

  90. Eddie alexander
    January 5, 2016 at 5:49 AM
    Reply

    Cody Alexander

    Am so sorry for your boy, I just lost mine on thanksgiving day I found him in his room he od on herion I tryed cpr but it was to late he was 21 and we was very close so now am trying to go on with out him but I don’t think I can I cry everyday and am in his fb page now I just can’t get my self to delete his account, I will pray for you so sorry I know how you feel

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 6, 2016 at 3:23 PM
      Reply

      So sorry to hear about your son! Hugs to you. Hang in there. I just keep telling myself that Cameron would want me to continue to live and find a way to be at peace. Your son would want the same for you.

  91. Tamika robinson
    January 5, 2016 at 7:03 AM
    Reply

    Emily,

    My heart goes out to you! I’m in tears as I read your story. I am a mom of 4. I’m sending prayers to you, your husband, kids, and family! Cameron is looking down on you all and will be waiting with it’s time for you all to reunite. God Bless You and continue to keep his memory alive #wwcd #whatwouldcamerondo Stay Blessed!!!

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 6, 2016 at 3:21 PM
      Reply

      #wwcd 🙂

  92. CharlEne
    January 5, 2016 at 8:34 AM
    Reply

    That was incredibly brave of you to share your story. Encephalitis is a swift thief of life in many ways. I caught it myself this summer and stories like yours hurt. I ache for your family. It is obvious Cameron experienced immeasurable amounts of love. Hugs!

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 6, 2016 at 3:21 PM
      Reply

      He sure was loved…still is. Glad to hear your experience had a happy ending.

  93. Johanna
    January 5, 2016 at 10:05 AM
    Reply

    I only started to follow your blog a couple of weeks ago. And to read that today… I just can’t believe it and I am only a stranger. It’s hard to find the words. Nothing will make you feel better. So I am just hoping that Cameron is happy & pain free with Max wherever he is.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 6, 2016 at 3:20 PM
      Reply

      Thank you, Johanna. I appreciate you following the blog. I know Cameron is happy, pain free, and reunited with Max.

  94. Dawn Quest
    January 5, 2016 at 10:46 AM
    Reply

    Dear Emily,

    I couldn’t read your post and not comment.

    I am so very sorry that you have lost your precious son Cameron, and under such traumatic circumstances. Though I do not know you personally, like everyone else who has been so moved to comment, I am sending lots of love to you and your family at such a difficult time. Dawn x

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 6, 2016 at 3:08 PM
      Reply

      Thank you for your kind words!

  95. Premila Whitney
    January 5, 2016 at 4:23 PM
    Reply

    As I read this, I could not stop my tears from falling. Mostly because of the heartache your family is feeling and then because I can’t help but think “what if that was my little, 7 year old daughter?” I certainly won’t pretend to know the pain you are living through, but I can promise you that your entire family will be in my prayers in the coming days and months.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 6, 2016 at 3:00 PM
      Reply

      Thank you. I know how you are feeling. I used to say the same thing about Cameron (my oldest) whenever I heard of stories, now like mine. Hug your daughter close. Try to remember that feeling even when you are frustrated with her. One of the things I said to myself early on in the hospital was “so this is what it feels like when people say hug your children for you never know what tomorrow brings”.

  96. Heather thomas
    January 5, 2016 at 4:49 PM
    Reply

    I am so very sorry for your loss. I lost my son 8 years ago & can say I still live day by day. Only because I have other kids do I push myself to go on. I still replay the events of his passing in my mind over & over. You are amazingly strong & thank you for writing this blog. It will help so many.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 6, 2016 at 2:58 PM
      Reply

      I’m so sorry to hear about your son! I’m finding this tragedy of losing children is all too familiar to too many. Hugs to you!

  97. Summer
    January 5, 2016 at 5:34 PM
    Reply

    You are in our prayers. He will be in our hearts daily. Thank you for sharing. With Love and Prayers, Summer

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 6, 2016 at 2:57 PM
      Reply

      Thank you!

  98. Angie Ausley
    January 5, 2016 at 5:51 PM
    Reply

    I am Laura and Melissa’s neighbor. Ever since Laura told me I have been thinking and praying for you and the entire family. I met you guys once… The surprise visit to Asheville when your mom and Susan came down. I pray God will wrap his arms around you and carry you during this difficult time. My deepest sympathy to you and your family.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 6, 2016 at 2:57 PM
      Reply

      I remember meeting you! Thank you for your kind words and prayers.

  99. TIffany
    January 5, 2016 at 7:17 PM
    Reply

    Reading your story brought tears to my eyes. The incredible strength you and your husband is amazing. I pray for you and your family. You have such a precious angel in heaven that will forever be in your heart and be with you always. I am truly sorry for your loss. God Bless you and your family. Hugs from Clermont

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 6, 2016 at 2:53 PM
      Reply

      Thank you!

  100. Theresa Buck
    January 5, 2016 at 9:20 PM
    Reply

    I am so sorry to hear of your loss!! There are no words that will ever ease your pain! I am so very sad for you and your family and I know that no matter what people say, you will always carry your sweet son with you until the day you go to be with him!! I applaud your strength and courage to share your story so very soon and I am sure you know that it will help others who may be facing the same situation. I grieve for you and your family as we all know how precious a child is, a Gift from God above. I pray for you and your family that God will hold you in his arms and give you peace that passes all understanding when it seems that you just can’t go on. We are praying for you and your family. God Bless you all!

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 6, 2016 at 2:53 PM
      Reply

      Thank you!

  101. Carla M
    January 5, 2016 at 9:22 PM
    Reply

    Emily, my heart goes to you. As a mother, I applaud your bravery and love for your boy.

    My mother in law lost her 8 year old (my husband’s brother) 29 years ago and not a day goes by without her talking about how great her boy is/was. The purpose of their loss? I, impetuously believe, was for her to comfort parents that will go through her same experience. You see, without people like you in this world, parents who loose their children in a sudden death would not know how to cope.
    You bring them hope.
    A great big hug from Mount dora, Florida.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 6, 2016 at 2:52 PM
      Reply

      I know there has to be something good to come out of this tragedy. Helping others is the easiest. I am hoping to find a way to pay forward all of the love, support, and positive outreach we’ve had.

  102. Sebastian Conti
    January 5, 2016 at 11:13 PM
    Reply

    I can’t even begin to imagine the pain you are feeling. Losing a child, under any circumstance, must be the greatest hurt that can be inflicted on a parent.

    A poem by Longfellow comes to mind when a tragedy like this happens:

    “The heart hath its own memory
    Like the mind,
    And in it are enshrined
    The precious keepsakes.”

    And another by Flavia:

    “Some people come into our lives and quickly go,
    Some stay awhile – leave footprints on our hearts,
    And we are never, ever the same.”

    Grief is how our minds heal the hurt in our hearts. When mourning ends, there is still sadness, but it is a sadness tempered by happy memories that remain. Because a child punctuates our lives forever, there is no period at the end of the grief we feel. We can’t change the tears and sorrow into joy, but remembering the one we love alleviates some of the pain.

    I believe that a loved one’s soul stays alive as long as it remains in the memory of all who loved him, and I imagine Andy is loved by many.

    I am so sorry for your loss.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 6, 2016 at 2:50 PM
      Reply

      I have to agree, he will stay alive as long as we keep him alive in our memories. Thank you for your kind words.

  103. Mary
    January 5, 2016 at 11:23 PM
    Reply

    Tomorrow is guaranteed for no one. My heart is full of sorrow for you.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 6, 2016 at 2:48 PM
      Reply

      Truer words have never been spoken.

  104. Karla Alejandro
    January 5, 2016 at 11:37 PM
    Reply

    Emily and David,
    Cameron touched many lifes, including my own and my family. The girls and I are grateful for having had the opportunity to share a small part of his life with us. His presence and kind spirit will always remain in our hearts. Your courage and valor facing your pain is unmeasurable. Stay strong in your faith for He is always with you and will never abandon you. My prayers, tons of hugs, love, and kisses are sent your way. Love you all!

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 6, 2016 at 2:48 PM
      Reply

      Thanks, Karla! We always felt lucky to find you and have you care for Cameron. I’m so glad we reconnected. Love to you and your family!

  105. Chelsea Johnson
    January 5, 2016 at 11:57 PM
    Reply

    Emily,

    I am so sorry for your loss. Unfortunately, I know what it is like to lose a child. I absolutely HATE that dreaded conference room at Arnold Palmer. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Cameron WILL NOT be forgotten. I say his name because I know this journey all too well. He is precious and he is loved. I have never met Cameron, but your love for him shows as I know this was one of the hardest things to put into words what you have just so recently experienced. The sounds of blaring sirens will never be the same, YOU will never be the same. And that is okay. Oh how I wish I would reach out and hug you – I’m right in Ocoee. I lost my son in April, so it is still very fresh in my mind and my heart. Please know that your grief is valid and real, and Cameron has etched a place on you heart that you will carry for the rest of your life. My heart breaks for you and with you. God bless you and your sweet family.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 6, 2016 at 2:47 PM
      Reply

      So sorry to hear about your child! It does help to hear from other mom’s that have gone through it. Seeing them still living their lives. Still remembering their children. Hugs!

  106. Brittney
    January 6, 2016 at 12:18 AM
    Reply

    I am so sorry for your loss 😥 My 5th son passed away April 1st 2015 and I just wish I could hug you. I’m so sorry.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 6, 2016 at 2:44 PM
      Reply

      So sorry to hear about your son! Hugs.

  107. Shana
    January 6, 2016 at 1:06 AM
    Reply

    Emily,

    Thank you for sharing your story, I am truly sorry for your loss. I wish I had the right words, just know I care. My twins are in the same class as Melia, I never met Cameron but feel I know him now and will never forget him. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Hugs

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 6, 2016 at 2:43 PM
      Reply

      Thank you!

  108. January
    January 6, 2016 at 1:12 AM
    Reply

    Prayers… So many prayers to you and your family! You are such an amazingly strong woman and I wish I could offer more to you than just prayers. You will keep him alive in your heart forever… My deepest condolences.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 6, 2016 at 2:42 PM
      Reply

      Thank you.

      • January
        January 8, 2016 at 1:46 PM
        Reply

        I wanted to share with you that your story has changed things within me that is hard for even me to understand. I want you to know although we are strangers, I pray for you all daily, and think about you often. I will continue to pray for peace and understand for you and your family.

        • Emily Graham
          Emily Graham
          January 8, 2016 at 2:18 PM
          Reply

          Thank you.

  109. Meredith
    January 6, 2016 at 1:35 AM
    Reply

    Emily, there are no words! Sorry doesn’t seem enough, but I will pray for comfort and peace for your entire family at this difficult time. Surround yourself with those who love and care for you and let them serve you at this time so you can grieve and be with your girls. Your strength is amazing, but I imagine you are also still in shock, which is expected. My heart was breaking for you as I cried reading this. Hugs!!

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 6, 2016 at 2:42 PM
      Reply

      Thank you!

  110. Ashlee
    January 6, 2016 at 2:24 AM
    Reply

    I cannot imagine the pain you must be experiencing right now. I was with my grandfather when he took his final breath. It is a life changing, eye-opening experience that I will never forget. What I remember most from that day was my father repeating the phrase, “Absent from the body, present with the Lord,”over and over, as soon as my granddad passed. Being that he just watched his father pass away, I don’t know how my dad managed to have to strength to speak. I think it was his way of comforting everyone in the room, so that they knew as soon as a loved one leaves this world they are immediately wrapped in the arms of our Heavenly Father.

    Once again, I am so sorry to read of the loss of your sweet boy. Your family will be in many prayers across this country for months to come. I pray God gives you an overwhelming feeling of comfort and peace.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 6, 2016 at 2:41 PM
      Reply

      Thanks, Ashlee. I agree, being with someone as they take their last breath is life changing. I also kept telling myself after he passed that it was no longer him. He was still here…but that body was not Cameron anymore. Prayers for your family.

  111. Lynette
    January 6, 2016 at 2:26 AM
    Reply

    Oh Emily, My heart broke over and over. I remember “that little conference room” in the hospital that no parent ever wants to be taken to. I remember so many details of that room, and what shoes the hospital chaplain was wearing (because I could only bury my head and cry). This was almost 7 years ago. Reading your story, but gut wrenched and my heart was in my throat. It’s unreal. I have always said it’s just the stuff you see on the news. This doesn’t happen to normal people. Please, tell me that makes sense to you?
    All this said, fast forward 3 years later and my third child was exhibiting similar signs to your sweet Cameron. I fought so hard for help but they really couldn’t say what was going on. My child was disoriented, wanted to sleep, throwing up, often looked like there was no recognition behind the eyes – just staring and confused. This lasted for days – not nearly as accelerated as Cameron’s swelling. I broke down sobbing when I read what the doctors told you – *exactly the same words* the said to me. It’s a virus your whole family probably had, but it affected her differently and went to her brain. I was so scared, just like you. After burying one child 3 years prior, I just couldn’t fathom that this would be happening. They told me I was lucky for transferring hospitals and she had slow swelling. She was on the way to healing, but in the hospital for 10 days. She had a serious relapse 40 days later and we thought it might be really bad. She is here with us now, but has never been quite the same.
    I’m saying all this because I’ve been in both situations and I have had your family heavy on my heart since I read this. Please feel free to contact me.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 6, 2016 at 2:39 PM
      Reply

      I have thought a million times “why us?” or “this doesn’t happen to people like us”. But it does, and it shouldn’t happen to anyone. All I remember about the chaplain was that I didn’t want to talk to her. Poor woman has a tough job! I’m so sorry to hear about your situation. It must have been even scarier going through this with your third child, after having already lost one. I’m glad your outcome was different. Hugs and prayers to you and your family!

  112. Jane
    January 6, 2016 at 2:39 AM
    Reply

    Emily,

    I am so heartbroken for your loss. Prayers being said for you and your family. Stay strong for your girls. May Cameron’s spirit carry you through these hard days… Jane

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 6, 2016 at 2:33 PM
      Reply

      Thank you! The girls are definitely our motivation to get out of bed and face the world each day.

  113. KAREN
    January 6, 2016 at 3:20 AM
    Reply

    I am so sorry for your loss. I can’t even imagine what your family is going through I cried at the end of this. A parent having to bury their child is the worst thing imaginable. I will pray for your family and hope that your family finds the strength to overcome this. God works in mysterious ways and I hope with him, your family can find the strength to heal. Once again I am sorry for your loss.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 6, 2016 at 2:33 PM
      Reply

      Thank you!

  114. Tami
    January 6, 2016 at 3:29 AM
    Reply

    Your way of relating on this forum makes me feel every sorrow like I was right there with you I know I wasn’t and couldn’t feel what you must have felt I can only say I almost lost my daughter 3 times but by the grace of God she is still with me.My heart is heavy for you and filled with prayer to you and your family.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 6, 2016 at 2:30 PM
      Reply

      Hug that little girl of yours tight!!

  115. Jessica stappenbeck
    January 6, 2016 at 4:00 AM
    Reply

    Dear Emily,

    My heart aches for you. I bawled while reading your story. I lost my daughter in 2012, and still I have real bad days. But,I just wanna reach out and tell you about a wonderful group online called “formomsonly.org” and it’s all woman who have lost a child. These woman are amazing and you can write in a daily journal, and talk to them, because we all know what you are going through. It helps to to talk about it and to know that you are not alone. They even go on yearly retreats. Again hon, so sorry for your loss. Thoughts and prayers being sent ur way!

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 6, 2016 at 2:29 PM
      Reply

      Thanks for the kind words. I will take a look at their site. Thanks for sharing.

  116. Maria duquette
    January 6, 2016 at 4:12 AM
    Reply

    Emily, I am amazed by your strength and love for your family. You and David are great parents… You really are. All of your children are such beautiful and wonderful kids. I didn’t know Cameron personally but it sounds like he was an angel already that was called back home. I can only imagine what you are going through right now and it’s been playing over in my mind so I can’t imagine yours. I pray you can maybe find some more answers to have some closure. I also pray that the days get easier for all of you all. I left my number the day of the memorial because if there is anything you ever need please call me!

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 6, 2016 at 2:28 PM
      Reply

      Thank you, Maria!

  117. Marilyn
    January 6, 2016 at 4:38 AM
    Reply

    I don’t even know what to say…I am so sorry for your family’s loss! Your son sounds like a very special young man! I cried as I read your story…I want you to know I WILL be praying for all of you…may God wrap His arms around you and hold you close as you find your new “normal!”

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 6, 2016 at 2:27 PM
      Reply

      Thank you! We appreciate the prayers and all of the kind words.

  118. Sandy Mangis
    January 6, 2016 at 6:01 AM
    Reply

    Emily, how hard it must have been to write this out. I couldn’t put it down. My heart goes out to you. It shows you that life is precious and can be short. God Bless you and your family. May your son be your guardian angel.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 6, 2016 at 2:27 PM
      Reply

      Life is far too short! I know he’s looking down on us though.

  119. JAMIE curry
    January 6, 2016 at 11:08 AM
    Reply

    I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my 13 year old last year. This situation being the same and waiting for tests which declared her brain dead. You are now part of a club that nobody wants to be in, nor many who can never understand. Especially when we ourselves don’t get it. I wish I could say it gets easier, or I wish I could say it all going to be ok. I which I could say that I understand what you’re going through but everyone grieves differently. Don’t be afraid to run outside and scream or spend the whole weekend avoiding outside human contact. My other daughter gets all my attention and that’s what gets me through. She doesn’t like to talk about it but that’s ok. Just tell your little ones you love them. You are going to have horrible days and that’s ok too. The best advice I was given was that it’s ok to be selfish because only you can grieve the way you need to.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 6, 2016 at 2:22 PM
      Reply

      Thank you. I am sorry to hear about your 13-year old. I’ve had a lot of people tell me it doesn’t get better, but it gets different. A part of me wants to just stay this close to it. It’s like the more time that passes the further away he is. Right now I can still look around the house and see things as he left them. I know it won’t always be that way.

  120. Karen
    January 6, 2016 at 12:32 PM
    Reply

    As I was reading this I was assuming this had happened a few years ago. When I realized it was less than 2 weeks ago I was amazed you could put any coherent thoughts together, let alone write such a poignant story about your experience.
    Praying that you and your family find your way to your new normal and praying for comfort for all of you.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 6, 2016 at 2:19 PM
      Reply

      Thank you.

  121. Shana
    January 6, 2016 at 2:35 PM
    Reply

    Emily,

    My twins are in the same class as Melia, I never met Cameron but feel I know him know and will never forget him.

    Thank you for sharing your story. I am truly sorry for your loss. I wish I had the rights words, just know I care. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Hugs

    • Shana
      January 6, 2016 at 3:11 PM
      Reply

      sorry for the duplicate reply

  122. Patty
    January 6, 2016 at 3:41 PM
    Reply

    Mommy hugs and love for you. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers as you navigate this journey. Please find people you trust and can be open with to bare your soul as you and your family attempt to move forward. So deep and unimaginable is the pain of a child.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 6, 2016 at 4:44 PM
      Reply

      Thank you.

  123. Crystal Snow
    January 6, 2016 at 3:41 PM
    Reply

    I just wanted to say that you and your family are in my prayers! This broke my heart! I have 2 little girls ages 3 and 5 and I couldn’t begin to imagine how you’re feeling or what you’re going through! I feel like us parents should always be the ones to go before our kids so having that fall out of place and go the other way around is just not how it’s supposed to be. I know that God called him home for a reason and that he’s happy and healthy as can be, but I also know that it’s not fair. My girls have both had a few viruses already this winter and I never would have thought a simple night of being sick could end like this. Just know that Cameron, u and your family are in all of our hearts and praying for yall! I’m so sorry u are going through this!

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 6, 2016 at 4:45 PM
      Reply

      Thank you so much!

  124. Lisa E.
    January 6, 2016 at 5:32 PM
    Reply

    Dear Emily,
    We were in the PICU that night at AP. A friend came across this post and sent it to me. I had told her how heavy our hearts were because we knew a child had passed away that night. We had no idea what happened, how old the child was, gender etc. We just knew that what the family was going through was horrible. I passed by you and your family a few times outside of his room and all I wanted to do was give you a big hug. But at times like these I didn’t know what to do and figured you needed your space to grieve etc. without a stranger bothering you. I am so immensely sorry for your loss. It’s unimaginable. I sit here crying, thinking of what you’ve been through … what you will go through, and as a mother, my heart breaks for you. It sounds like Cameron was a pretty incredible kid so I’m glad you got to experience him for as long as you did. I know your life will never be the same. I can only wish that as each day passes you’re able to find a bit more strength and joy for the next day. I will never forget your story and I am happy he is no longer suffering.

    Sending love and hugs,
    Room 2014

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 6, 2016 at 5:40 PM
      Reply

      Wow! What a small world, right?! I pray your stay in room 2014 in PICU has a much better outcome! I don’t even remember the room number we were in. Never looked. I do remember seeing another mother grieving in the hallway. I too, thought about just giving her arm a squeeze and at least making eye contact. I didn’t either. Hugs back to you!

  125. iLENE gILMORE
    January 6, 2016 at 6:17 PM
    Reply

    Emily,
    I am so sorry about your loss, this was so heartbreaking to read. Thank you for sharing your story. Three years ago to date my 4 year old daughter became very ill, we went and were discharged from 5 different hospitals in one weeks span. One night my daughter fell to the ground as she could no longer feel her legs. It was a nightmare and I was thrown into autopilot. Reading your story took me right back to that hospital ICU room prepping for the spinal tap, to all the tests, unanswered questions, the sheer terror and panic I felt in the pit of my stomach at moments but covered in fear that she would see the uncertainty in my eyes. I still remember my calm motionless face and gentle voice that masked my uncertain fears. Sometime the next morning she was we had a diagnosis, Guillain-Barré syndrome. I never heard of it before. All from a little virus we all had, but for some reason it attacked her completely differently than the rest of us. Thankfully my daughter survived after months of horrible pain, treatments, and relearning how to do everything. She’s 7 now, she remembers all of it, but doesn’t like to talk about it. She has nerve damage to her legs that causes shooting pains, medical anxiety so severe that taking her for a route checkup is traumatizing and causes night terrors, and it completely changed her emotionally. I still have so many unanswered questions, I am finally at peace knowing that I will most likely never have the answers. I wish I would have written about it as it unfolded, like you, I think it would have helped as a therapy. Whenever I look back I don’t know how I managed to get through it all, the best way to explain it is autopilot. May god bless your family and carry you though this, May god help guide you while on “autopilot.”

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 6, 2016 at 8:45 PM
      Reply

      I’m absolutely still on autopilot. I don’t know how else to be OK going through my days otherwise. I know he’s gone and not coming back. Yet, it’s as if my body isn’t letting me really believe it. I’m so sorry to hear about your daughters condition. How scary for her to remember all that she went through and be so traumatized in her every day life. You will all be in my thoughts. I wish you strength and healing. Hugs!

  126. Sherry speer
    January 6, 2016 at 6:47 PM
    Reply

    Hi Emily, I have been praying for you & your family since the day I saw Courtney & Marcia asking for prayers on facebook & I continue to pray for all of you. Cameron sounds like an amazing little man & I’m sure he will be taking care of his family from above. many hugs to you.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 6, 2016 at 8:46 PM
      Reply

      Thanks, Sherry!

  127. Meghan
    January 6, 2016 at 6:58 PM
    Reply

    Dear Emily,
    My heart is broken for your family. Although I never formally met Cameron, I remember seeing his smiling face at school. My youngest is in Melia’s class. From my family to yours, I offer our deepest condolences to you. Thank you for sharing Cameron with the world.

    Meghan Loden

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 6, 2016 at 8:47 PM
      Reply

      Thanks, Meghan!

  128. Lana Dambrosio
    January 6, 2016 at 8:26 PM
    Reply

    Emily,

    My heart breaks for you and your family’s loss. What a brave lady you are. Thank you for sharing your experience, inconceivable to me what you’ve been through. There is so much more I’d like to say but not in an open forum. My thoughts will be with you.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 6, 2016 at 8:40 PM
      Reply

      Thank you, Lana.

  129. Amanda
    January 6, 2016 at 10:57 PM
    Reply

    Dear Emily,
    I am so sorry. You are in my prayers. Cameron is with our Lord. You’ll see him again

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 8, 2016 at 2:19 AM
      Reply

      Thank you. I know he is up there smiling down, waiting for us to join him.

  130. DEBBIE ENFINGER
    January 7, 2016 at 2:00 AM
    Reply

    God bless your family losing a child is the hardest thing to go thru I know I lost 2 boys one at birth and one 22 it’s been 10 years and I still can’t cope but just know we will see are boys again prayers and God Bless .

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 8, 2016 at 2:18 AM
      Reply

      I’m sorry to hear of your boys! Hugs to you. We will absolutely be reunited one day.

  131. Jen
    January 7, 2016 at 2:02 AM
    Reply

    Hi Emily, I came across your story through social media. I have a daughter the same age as your sweet boy and am local. I just wanted to send my condolences to you and your family. My heart goes out to you and I will keep you and your family in my prayers. Jen

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 8, 2016 at 2:17 AM
      Reply

      Thank you, Jen.

  132. Nena Boutros
    January 7, 2016 at 2:25 AM
    Reply

    I cannot begin to tell you how much it pains me to hear about losing Cameron! I am so sorry for your loss. I cannot hold back tears when I read your post. I constantly replay your words and think of Cameron and my heart breaks!
    I find solace in how you are remembering and memorializing him. I truly wish we were here to attend his memorial and be part of the amazing ballon launch and celebration of his life! I read that Cameron has reached someone in MA! I am sure there will be many more lives reached by him! He will forever be remembered by is and so many more!
    I love how you’ve opened up to allow others to be touched by Cameron and his life. Thank you for your strength in this terribly difficult and tragic time. You are all in my constant thoughts and prayers.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 8, 2016 at 2:03 AM
      Reply

      Thank you, Nena. We did have a wonderful memorial for Cameron. I plan to share it soon. The first balloon has been found. Crazy that it made it to Boston from Orlando. One more life Cameron has touched.

  133. Betty
    January 7, 2016 at 2:28 AM
    Reply

    Emily,
    there ARE NO WORDS TO DESCRIBE HOW SORRY I AM FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY. I CANNOT IMAGINE THE PAIN YOU ARE GOING THROUGH. I HAVE A 7 YR OLD SON WHO HAS MANY HEALTH ISSUES, AND EVERY TIME HE GETS SICK I WORRY IF THIS WILL BE THE END. I TRY TO PREPARE MYSELF, BUT I DONT THINK THERE IS A WAY. I AM SO SORRY THAT YOUR TIME WITH cAMERON WAS SHORTEN BY HIS SICKNESS. I KNOW I AM A STRANGER, BUT I WILL KEEP YOUR FAMILY IN MY PRAYERS.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 8, 2016 at 2:02 AM
      Reply

      Thank you, Betty! I will keep your son in my thoughts and wish you continued health. I would never wish for another parent to go through what we have. We have heard from so many though with similar stories and it breaks my heart.

  134. Donna
    January 7, 2016 at 3:16 AM
    Reply

    I read your story while shedding many tears, even when my daughter (mother of three sons) suggested that I stop reading it. I told her that I needed to read it because you needed to share it. Two things I would like to share with you: “for every joy that passes, something beautiful remains.” The beauty is the love Cameron brought you that will never die and your memories of him that you will hold dear and treasure in your heart forever. And … I recently attended an inspirational talk hearing something that touched me … “God collects our tears in a jar and waters the earth with them to make the flowers grow.” When spring comes and flowers surround you, may your heart be uplifted and make you smile knowing that all the tears that God collected on Cameron’s behalf are covering the earth with beautiful flowers. I will remember Cameron and will be thinking of you …

  135. Crystal
    January 7, 2016 at 3:39 AM
    Reply

    Emily & David I am so sorry to hear about your loss! Cameron looked to be such a special little boy and my heartfelt prayers go out to your family. Thank you for sharing your story with the rest of us, I know that had to be very painful.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 8, 2016 at 1:55 AM
      Reply

      Thank you, Crystal.

  136. Karla
    January 7, 2016 at 4:06 AM
    Reply

    Emily,
    My husband and I had to make this same decision for our daughter, although she was only 16 days old she was born on Jan. 2nd 1986 she was actually the New Years baby that year. I know it doesn’t make it any easier but be thankful for the memories you have with your son that you had a chance to make, I didn’t get that chance. We had to take her off the respirator at 16 days old. That is not living that is existing, I still ask why, especially when after the long grueling day of siting there while they slowly turned the oxygen down to give her every chance to take as you said the last breath on her own, about a baby that was found dead in a dumpster. The only peace I get is that the way the world is going today is she has no earthly trials to deal with, and now they test you while you are pregnant for the beta steep that she injested while coming down the birth canal. I had a very hard time this year she would ha e been 30, I don’t know any of the likes she would have had the only picture of her without machines is of her in her little casket, I just wanted to let you know you are not alone and please don’t think me cruel and mean hearted, but as you can see loosing a child is horrific my mom just lost my brother to cancer one week before his 50th birthday last year, and I told her the same thing be thankful for the time God gave you to make memories, you will always have those to keep tucked in you heart to take out when you need to and remember how proud you are to be his parent! Hope this helps and once again does not upset you a lot I seriously am not jealous of you having your son longer to make the memories because then it makes it even harder to let go but I would give a million dollars to have just one good one of my Nichole!

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 8, 2016 at 1:55 AM
      Reply

      I’m so sorry to hear about Nichole. I agree and am very thankful for the 7-years we had. You can likely look in the mirror and see your daughters likes reflected back. I’m sure she would have turned out just like you (but a better version as we mom’s always hope). Hugs.

  137. Jessica
    January 9, 2016 at 12:55 AM
    Reply

    Emily I am so sorry for your loss and will be praying for you and your family

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 9, 2016 at 2:38 AM
      Reply

      Thank you.

  138. Victoria Yake
    January 15, 2016 at 7:13 PM
    Reply

    Hello,
    Your story is so very familiar to my 8 year old girls.. She survived. She had encephalitis from an unknown source but I think she got it from the flu mist. She was in coma for three weeks and had to relearn everything.. Reading your story broke my heart. I am so sorry and pray for God peace for you and your family.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 15, 2016 at 7:54 PM
      Reply

      I’m glad your story had a better outcome. Thanks for reading!

      • Victoria Yake
        January 15, 2016 at 8:29 PM
        Reply

        Thank you. Your boy is beautiful I know he is safe and with his loving creator but I also know your pain must be unbearable. Prayer for you and your family for peace and knowledge that is is truly safe and loved with God.

  139. Jan
    January 15, 2016 at 8:09 PM
    Reply

    Losing a child has always been my worst nightmare, and I am so sorry Emily that you have had to endure this. What a precious boy. What a heartbreaking story. I can’t begin to imagine your pain when I feel like my heart has been ripped from my chest just reading about your sweet boy. I will keep you and your family in my prayers. You’re right. It is not fair. I hope and pray you can find peace. xo

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 15, 2016 at 10:49 PM
      Reply

      Thanks, Jan! It certainly is every parent’s worst nightmare. Still doesn’t seem real.

  140. Lisa O'Driscoll
    January 23, 2016 at 6:37 AM
    Reply

    Emily,
    I am in tears right now reading your story. I have two young daughters and I can’t even imagine the pain you must feel. I am so sorry that you had to go through this and though I’ve never met you, I wish I could jump through my computer and just give you a big hug right now. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers! xoxo

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 23, 2016 at 9:51 PM
      Reply

      Thanks, Lisa. Hugs.

  141. Luanne
    April 8, 2016 at 10:56 PM
    Reply

    Emily , I just read your story.I am so so sorry for the loss of your beautiful boy. I lost a 17 year old daughter almost 5 years ago so I know the pain and lonliness you feel. I wish I could give you a big hug right now. My heart has been broken like yours. If you want to e-mail me anytime to chat about anything, I’m always here. Luanne

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      April 9, 2016 at 2:22 AM
      Reply

      Sending big hugs your way! No one should lose a child, regardless of age. It breaks you in ways no one can understand. Living each day as close to normal as possible is exhausting and sad. I do it though for my girls. Sometimes I think it makes people think I’m in a better place than I am. I guess that’s OK. I’m not sure I’ll ever really be any better than I am today. I appreciate you reading…and your understanding.

  142. Becky
    July 8, 2016 at 8:40 PM
    Reply

    I am so very sorry. Hugs to you dear mama. I can’t even imagine how you must feel. I pray that you find comfort and strength through this difficult time. I also hope healing comes from sharing your story. God bless you and your family.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      July 11, 2016 at 2:37 PM
      Reply

      Thank you! These last 6-months have been difficult, but we are taking it one day at a time. Sharing our story has been very helpful.

  143. Cascia Talbert
    July 13, 2016 at 7:24 PM
    Reply

    I cried as I read this. I can’t imagine going through what you did, on Christmas and your Birthday of all days. I am so sorry! I don’t know what I would do if I lost a child.

  144. Jeanine
    July 14, 2016 at 12:22 AM
    Reply

    Oh my god, I’m so sorry!! And you still don’t know what happened??? I don’t know how you can stand it. I hope you’ll eventually understand what happened and have some degree of peace about it. It warms my heart that the two of you had talked about heaven and he said he would wait for you if he got there first. But that also makes me cry. Praying that though every day is painful, your family will be a strong support and you’ll find some amount of comfort in each day. Love to you all!

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      July 16, 2016 at 1:51 AM
      Reply

      We just finished an autopsy so we got some answers. However, there are still a lot of questions that we will never have answers to. It is definitely hard. Everything now makes me smile and cry at the same time! Thank you so much for your kind words.

  145. Maria Parenti-Baldey
    August 21, 2016 at 1:48 AM
    Reply

    My prayers are with you and your family. I lost a niece in one of my brother’s family of seven. There is a picture of her and individual photos of her six siblings; plus other family photos prettily framed on the mantel piece above the fireplace. We always remember her as a part of our family. This happened 10 years ago, but she will never be forgotten. There is a tinge of sadness whenever we reflect, but our lives go on, enjoying the precious moments we have whenever they visit and we are together. It will take time and it won’t be easy. Lots of Love. An Aunty to 20 nieces and nephews. Maria

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      August 21, 2016 at 9:39 PM
      Reply

      Thank you, Maria.

  146. Six Pack Mom
    September 3, 2016 at 2:03 AM
    Reply

    Emily, after you followed me on Twitter, I looked at your page & saw the link to this post. I had to click. I just finished reading this, sobbing for a mother I’ve never met in person, yet feel such sorrow & compassion for.

    As parents, our worst fear is losing our child. Knowing that you have gone through this tears my heart apart for you, your husband, & your girls. I’m so, so sorry that you’re missing your precious sweet boy.

    I’m glad that you shared your experience, as heart-wrenching as it is, because although no one can ever come close to taking that pain from you, sometimes knowing that other mamas are praying for you can help just the tiniest bit. I will be praying for your family.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      September 3, 2016 at 11:41 PM
      Reply

      Thank you so much for the kind words.

  147. Tara
    September 30, 2016 at 3:42 PM
    Reply

    Thank you for sharing your story. I’m so sorry for the pain and loss your family has suffered and will continue to live with. It sounds like you did everything right too. I fear I wouldn’t even have acted as quickly as you two did. I grew up having lost my older sister who was only 3 at the time and seeing my mother’s bravery throughout my life without her. Our bond grew because of it, and I felt like I had to be perfect and everything for her as a result. We are still incredibly close and now that I am a mom I’m even more amazed at her strength. She says I was given twins (her only grandchildren) because of her loss. Not that it makes up for it, but she seems to like the idea. All my best to you and your family.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      October 3, 2016 at 1:34 AM
      Reply

      Thank you for reading. I try to be very aware of the effect my grief has on my girls. It has such a deep impact on me and has changed me so much. I hope they never feel negative effects. So glad that you and your mom had a strong bond that grew because of it. You are right about understanding more about her strength and experience as you became a mother. It should never happen. Unfortunately, it happens more than we realize. Thanks for stopping by Tara!

  148. Crystal Mendez
    November 16, 2016 at 2:50 AM
    Reply

    Sending you so much love and so many hugs! I can’t imagine your pain. I read through your story and just cried and cried. Praying for you and your family!

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      November 16, 2016 at 4:35 AM
      Reply

      Thank you, Crystal! I have a hard time believing we are coming up on a year. Seems impossible. I appreciate you reading our story and commenting.

  149. Samantha Ramos
    December 8, 2016 at 6:53 PM
    Reply

    Emily, your story brought me to tears. Such a beautiful sweet boy taken from this earth far too soon. I admire your strength in sharing his story. Sending all my love and prayers for you and your family.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      December 8, 2016 at 8:34 PM
      Reply

      Thank you for reading and posting your sweet comment. It’s hard to believe it’s almost been a year. I work hard to keep his memory alive.

  150. Justine Y @ Little Dove
    January 2, 2017 at 6:50 PM
    Reply

    I just read your story for the first time and my heart broke for your sweet family. I am praying that 2017 is a wonderful year for you family. Your strength over this past year is an inspiration to me.

  151. val
    January 13, 2017 at 6:43 AM
    Reply

    I just read your post and I’m so, so sorry for the loss of your sweet boy <3

  152. Rachel @ Busy Mommy Media
    January 20, 2017 at 9:04 PM
    Reply

    Oh I’m so sorry. I cried reading your story. I can’t imagine what your family went through. We lost a son at birth and nearly lost my daughter in a near-drowning accident. Your story brought back all of those emotions for me. What a devastating loss. Reading this, I kept thinking that you are exactly the mom he needed while he was here on earth. You were so strong for him.

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      January 20, 2017 at 11:34 PM
      Reply

      You are very sweet to say that. Thank you so much for reading. Sorry to hear about your son. XO

  153. Lorna Ye
    February 17, 2017 at 8:03 PM
    Reply

    I read your story and I could not stop crying. My heart broke. I am so sorry you lost your sweet boy. Be strong! My best wishes to you and your family!

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      February 18, 2017 at 12:52 AM
      Reply

      Thank you, Lorna. XO

  154. Camille
    May 5, 2017 at 3:23 AM
    Reply

    Thank you for sharing you story of loss. I hope God will provide you and your family with peace. Your story tugged at my heartstrings. I lost a young man, he was a former student, that I considered my son. He was on his fourth tour of duty. How do you live after losing a child? I don’t know. I do know my boy would want me to live life to the fullest and see the joys in my life. I try to honor his memory by doing just that. I know you will find your joy again as well. God bless you.

  155. Megan
    August 19, 2017 at 3:04 PM
    Reply

    i am going thru the exact same thing you are! our ‘healthy newborn baby boy’ was born on 12/16/16 and passedaway on 12/24/16. he passed from a midgut volvus. unknown to us, we was born with malrotated bowels and the day before we were to go home he was sent to the childrens hospital had multiple surgeries and tests & complications and ultimately his bowels had all died and a transplant was not going to work. on top of that, i had my tubes tied during my c section on the day he was born. i always told myself i would be happy with just my 4year old daughter, but i dont think i really truly took it into consideration..because im miserable. the one thing i cannot get over is the anger at myself for deciding to tie my tubes & knowing without paying a hefty price for another child, i will never have another baby & it hurts soooo bad. i will continue to follow your blog and read everything as this may help me cope thru the first year of loss.
    thank you so much for write this blog!!!

    • Emily Graham
      Emily Graham
      August 20, 2017 at 6:49 PM
      Reply

      Thanks for reading, though I wish you never had to find this blog. Heck, I wish I wasn’t writing it so things could be different. The decisions that we make, believing we know what we are doing, are the hardest. I have a few of those that in the moment made sense (and I tell myself that), but now knowing how the story ends makes me wish I had done things differently. Much love to you as you navigate your first year (and beyond).

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