ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

My Son is Dead - God Give Me Strength

Updated on January 26, 2016
R.J.'s Baby Girl
R.J.'s Baby Girl | Source

Sometimes Life is Good

Sometimes life is good, and sometimes life is hard. I know most human beings are touched by loss and trials and tribulations in their journey here on earth. The last few years have been especially trying for myself and my family. I never imagined we would be tested so severely and yet I know there are others who have been given so much more to deal with.

The last time I saw my beautiful son R.J. was Super Bowl 2010, we decided to have a party at our house and he was so enthusiastic about the idea. As soon as I mentioned it he took the ball and ran! "I will get all of the food and drinks," "we can get Pizza, wings, chips and dip, cookies." "Hold on" I interrupted, "you don't have to do all of that." "I want to Mom, it will be so much fun!" and out the door he went.

R.J. was our oldest child, he was the most gorgeous little boy there ever was, big blue eyes, thick brown hair,and always smiling. R.J. grew up taking on the cause for the under dogs in life. He was always fighting a fight that wasn't really his but he somehow felt driven to help. He would never turn his back on a friend or family member. I will never forget the day he came to my work with his new young wife and a baby girl in tow. This was a huge surprise as we did not know there was a baby in the picture, in fact, R.J. hadn't known himself. A woman he had had a brief fling with the previous year had shown up at his door with a cooing baby girl and said "She is yours." She left the baby with R.J. and said I'll be back to get her tomorrow. Well "tomorrow" turned in to 3 weeks and before we knew it R.J. was in court fighting for custody of Sierra, his 3 month old baby girl.

He had come to see me that day to ask me to sign a statement confirming that I would be his support in raising Sierra should he need assistaance. His attorney thought that would be helpful in court. We talked about court, the hand surgery he was recovering from, my upcoming sinus surgery, and our big Super Bowl party. Off he went excited to put together a feast for our celebration. Life was so good.

On Super Bowl Sunday R.J, and his wife Shauna showed up early with loads of food, I remember thinking "he has grown up to be a good man, a good provider, a good husband, and he really loved his baby girl so much." Shauna couldn't stay for the party, she had to work that day. That left me and R.J. in charge of the baby, no problem, I was an old pro and he was a natural.

The party was a great time, R.J. didn't let Sierra out of his arms for more than a few minutes all day. It was so obvious how much joy he took in being her "daddy." We cleaned up and packed up all the baby's toys and said our good nights. "I won't see you guys this week because my surgery is tomorrow" I reminded him as he was leaving. "Let me know if you need anything Mom, I love you" he said. That was the last time I ever saw my beautiful son.

Life got hard, very hard.

I had my sinus surgery the next morning, checked in at 6:00 am, surgery went well and we were home by 3:00. I spent most of the week in the recliner drifting in and out of wakefulness because of the pain meds they had given me. My husband John was there taking excellent care of me, when he had to return to work our youngest daughter came home to look after me. The week went fairly fast and before I knew it Sunday had come and I was preparing to go back to work the next day. I went shopping to get a few things for the week, I was only gone an hour or so, John was out working in the garage. When I finished unloading groceries I noticed there was a message on the phone. It was my brother from Pennsylvania, his message seemed so odd to me. "Hi Sister, I am so sorry about R.J. I am checking in to a plane ticket so I can come out there to help out, I will try to call back in a little bit." I was confused and concerned, I went out to John and said have you talked to R.J. today, "no why" he asked. I told him about the message on voicemail and then I called R.J.'s number, it went straight to voicemail. "R.J. it's Mom, please call me I need to talk to you." He would call, he was good about that. John cleaned up his tools and came in the house to shower. The phone rang - it had to be R.J. I remember feeling a bit relieved. "Hello" I said, fully expecting my son to be on the line. "Sheila, it's your Mom, are you sitting down?" The dread hit me like a ton of bricks - "R.J. is dead" the police called me because they could not reach you or John." "NO" I screamed - "your wrong, your wrong, why are you telling me this?" I fell to the ground, nauseated and in so much pain and heart ache. "John", "JOHN", I cried out for my husband. He came and took the phone from me and hung it up. "R.J.'s dead" - we clung to each other on the floor sobbing.

What Happened?

We were never told the whole story about what happened that day. Shauna supposedly came home several hours after having an argument with R.J. She said she didn't have the house key, she heard the baby screaming and after pounding on the door for several minutes she finally broke the window to get in. She found R.J. dead in their bed, Sierra was 5 feet away in her crib and crying at then top of her lungs. The coroner believes he was dead for 8 to 10 hours before he was found. Shauna was taken in for questioning, Sierra was taken to Child Protective Services. After several calls I was able to get Sierra in our home permanently and we have since adopted her. The official cause of death is listed as cardiac arrest, he was only 28 years old. Shauna says she and R,J, argued about Sierra and her birth mother, R.J. started drinking and Shauna left the house at around 3:00 am. She states she went to a friends house and slept. She found R.J. at 11:00 am, the coroner estimated his death would have occurred before she had left which is why she was taken in for questioning. Charges were never filed based on the autopsy reports. Shauna moved out of state and has since remarried. We are raising Sierra as our own, she is too young to remember her Daddy who loved her so much.

Life after R.J.

It is a terrible thing to lose a child and I hope those reading this will never have to have that experience. I make sure to thank God for all of the wonderful times we had with R.J. and for giving us our beautiful Sierra. When times are tough and I am feeling down I ask God to please give me the strength to make it through whatever he has planned for me. We are healing and it is getting easier with time.

Update on Shauna

In 2014 Shauna took her own life by overdosing on narcotics, she never did completely recover after RJ passed. God have mercy on her soul, not the ending we wanted for her.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Conservative Lady profile image
      Author

      Sheila 4 years ago from Surprise Arizona - formerly resided in Washington State

      Techicated - I was so touched that you sent "Hugs" how very sweet and kind of you my dear.

    • Techicated profile image

      Kathryn Kutny 4 years ago from New York State

      Wow I am very very sorry for your loss. I can't imagine how you must feel right now. I'm glad you have Sierra :) Hugs to you !!

    • Conservative Lady profile image
      Author

      Sheila 4 years ago from Surprise Arizona - formerly resided in Washington State

      HeartandSoulMom - I am so blessed to have Sierra - she has made me focus on being her "mom" and left little time to dwell on the pain of losing RJ. a true blessing.

    • HeartandSoulMom profile image

      HeartandSoulMom 4 years ago

      In the midst of all that sorrow, what a blessing to have Sierra - a gift from your son.

    • Conservative Lady profile image
      Author

      Sheila 4 years ago from Surprise Arizona - formerly resided in Washington State

      HoneyBB you are so right Sierra has helped me so much, she is such a joy! Thank you for the kind words.

    • HoneyBB profile image

      Honey Halley 4 years ago from Illinois

      How horrible for you to have had to go through this and continue to go through it. But, how adorable is that little Sierra! She's such a doll! What a wonderful gift he left you before he had to go.

    • Conservative Lady profile image
      Author

      Sheila 4 years ago from Surprise Arizona - formerly resided in Washington State

      toknowinfo - I am blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life to help us through the tough days. Sierra is pure joy and has RJ's face and especially his smile. He is always watching down on her. Thank you for your blessings.

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 4 years ago

      My words can not express the heartfelt sadness I feel after reading your story. I am truly sorry for your loss, there is nothing that can make things better for you. Time doesn't necessarily heal it only lets you adjust to this terrible situation. With all the pain, at least you do have Sierra, and I hope she is a shining light in all of that you are dealing with. I wish you peace and I hope that Sierra brings you much joy. Thank you for sharing your story and for letting me get to know you a little better. Wishing you blessings and better things.

    • Conservative Lady profile image
      Author

      Sheila 4 years ago from Surprise Arizona - formerly resided in Washington State

      Bankscottage - Sierra has so many of RJ's features it is uncanny - she has made this terrible experience less terrible. It sounds like Brian made such remarkable strides in dealing with his illness - I am certain you are proud of his accomplishments. Just remember when you are having one of those days (you know what I mean) it is good to let it out and tomorrow will be better. God has a Master plan that we are not privy too and I kn0w someday I will better understand why He has asked us to make this sacrifice.

      God Bless you and your family.

    • bankscottage profile image

      bankscottage 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Shelia, again, I am so sorry for your loss. R.J. died a few weeks after our son Brian. The pain is easing but the ache is still there. Our phone call still remains haunting. I don't know if I'll ever get the call out of my head.

      Brian had no children. Sierra only makes R.J's loss even more tragic. A father that loved her, a good father, should not have been taken from this young girl's life. I am sure you and your husband will teach her about her wonderful father. She will know him through you.

      While R.J. can never be replaced, I am sure Sierra brings much joy to your lives.

      May God's Peace be with you and your husband (and Sierra).

    • Conservative Lady profile image
      Author

      Sheila 4 years ago from Surprise Arizona - formerly resided in Washington State

      Thank you for the kind word Rajan - we are so blessed to have Sierra - she looks so much like RJ. I know God has a plan and someday it will make more sense. I do appreciate your kind words and blessings. Sheila

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Sheila, I can only say that I pray God gives you strength to bear this life changing circumstances. It is a very difficult time yet we have to abide by what He desires. RJ's fond memories and his daughter will surely help to heal this loss.

      God bless you and your family.

    • Conservative Lady profile image
      Author

      Sheila 4 years ago from Surprise Arizona - formerly resided in Washington State

      You are right Cassie it was a tearful but very surprisingly cathartic journey writing about this difficult life changing experience. Thank you so much for the nice words and blessings.

    • Cassie Smith profile image

      Cassie Smith 4 years ago from U.S.

      This must have been painful and cathartic to write at the same time. You gave me a glimpse of your sweet RJ and the fine man you help brought up. Thank you.

      Your granddaughter is very cute. Wishing you and your family many blessings.

    • Conservative Lady profile image
      Author

      Sheila 5 years ago from Surprise Arizona - formerly resided in Washington State

      Thank you frog - this hub is a huge part of healing for me.

    • The Frog Prince profile image

      The Frog Prince 5 years ago from Arlington, TX

      Wow! I am a bit stunned after reading this. Thanks for sharing your greif CL.

      The Frog

    • Conservative Lady profile image
      Author

      Sheila 5 years ago from Surprise Arizona - formerly resided in Washington State

      rfmoran, yes it was so difficult but at the same time it was almost a relief to get it out - if that makes sense. Thank you too for the blessings.

    • Conservative Lady profile image
      Author

      Sheila 5 years ago from Surprise Arizona - formerly resided in Washington State

      KathyH cherish every moment with your boys - loved ones are truly precious. Sierra is wonderful, R.J. is alive in her. Thank you for the prayers.

    • Conservative Lady profile image
      Author

      Sheila 5 years ago from Surprise Arizona - formerly resided in Washington State

      Pavlov, Thank you for reading my hub and for the blessings, you said it all.

    • rfmoran profile image

      Russ Moran 5 years ago from Long Island, New York

      God bless you for this story that must have been so difficult to write.

    • KathyH profile image

      KathyH 5 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      I am sitting here tearing up as I read. I cannot imagine the pain you've been through. Today is our twins 27th birthday, we have two boys. May God be with you and help you through this and help all of you to heal. Sierra is absolutely beautiful and a true blessing. Prayers are with you.

    • Pavlo Badovskyy profile image

      Pavlo Badovskyi 5 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine

      It is sad. Sorry there is nothing I can say about it. God bless your family...

    • Conservative Lady profile image
      Author

      Sheila 5 years ago from Surprise Arizona - formerly resided in Washington State

      ChitrangadaSharon,

      I am thankful for all the Blessings - that and Grace from God is what we need most. Thank you

    • Conservative Lady profile image
      Author

      Sheila 5 years ago from Surprise Arizona - formerly resided in Washington State

      Midget38 thank you for the nice sentiments - the blessings are most appreciated.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 5 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Dear Conservative Lady, I am really saddened to read your hub. When I started reading, I had no idea what I was about to read. After going through it, I do not know what to say to you. I can only wish and pray God to give you enough strength to deal with it. God bless you and your family.

    • Conservative Lady profile image
      Author

      Sheila 5 years ago from Surprise Arizona - formerly resided in Washington State

      Whidbeywriter - thank you for the kind words and blessings - that means the most in trying times.

    • Conservative Lady profile image
      Author

      Sheila 5 years ago from Surprise Arizona - formerly resided in Washington State

      Angela, I too am so sorry for your loss - you are so right we will see them again and I am so looking forward to that meeting. it is true what they say "time heals all wounds" that is our blessing from God in these trying situations. God Bless you and keep you too my friend and sister.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 5 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks for sharing, Conservative Lady. I know this is hard for you...my blessings to you, and your family.

    • Conservative Lady profile image
      Author

      Sheila 5 years ago from Surprise Arizona - formerly resided in Washington State

      teacherjoe52 thank you so much for the kind words and Jesus is healing every day, a little at a time. God bless you as well my friend.

    • Conservative Lady profile image
      Author

      Sheila 5 years ago from Surprise Arizona - formerly resided in Washington State

      Thank you so much rcrumple - Sierra has R.J.'s eyes and his beautiful smile - for that I am so blessed. I do appreciate the prayers and would not have made it without the Lord by my side.

    • Conservative Lady profile image
      Author

      Sheila 5 years ago from Surprise Arizona - formerly resided in Washington State

      billybuc, thank you so much for your kind words. I have been waiting for the day that I "could" write about this and for whatever reason today was the day. Every day God eases the pain a little bit more.

    • Whidbeywriter profile image

      Mary Gaines 5 years ago from Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island, Washington

      I can hardly type the words after reading this sad hub, there are no words. I would just like to pray the God will give your family comfort during this time in your lives.....God Bless

    • Angela Blair profile image

      Angela Blair 5 years ago from Central Texas

      Conservative Lady - there's no pain like the pain of losing a child -- I know, I lost my son/only child a year-and-a-half ago -- quite unexpectedly as you did. You've found the answer -- the wound never totally heals but it doesn't bleed as hard over time. God bless you and keep you -- we will see them again, you know? Best/Sis

    • teacherjoe52 profile image

      teacherjoe52 5 years ago

      Hi Conservative Lady.

      Having experiance of watching many of those I loved die I share in your grief. Yes only time with Jesus will heal your hurt.

      God bless you.

    • rcrumple profile image

      Rich 5 years ago from Kentucky

      Sheila -

      You've got a tough row to hoe. Not are you dealing with the death of a son, even though you are blessed by her, Sierra is a constant reminder. It's got to be impossible to look at her without thinking of R.J.

      I know you have the strength to handle it. You've already proven that. My prayers are with you!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      There are no words I can say to make it any better....I am terribly sorry for your horrendous loss!