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Beth's Grief Journal
In Memory of Alyssa Kaye Bradford
July 12, 2000 ~ August 10, 2000

Entry #10 ~ August 29, 2001
~ Case Closed but no sense . . .

Alyssa's statue that will contain her ashesWe finally received results back from the forensic department and were able to pick up Alyssa's clothes that she was wearing the day she died. It was an emotional time, seeing that same police officer again, receiving a package or 'evidence' bag that had been sealed for almost a year, not knowing whether to open the bag that contained her clothes, wishing I had some kind of 'closure' to this. The forensic department came up with nothing, and the case was then put down to SIDS. I guess SIDS means 'unknown' which really doesn't give me any relief, any closure to WHY she died. It only leaves me helpless with this new baby, hoping, and praying that this baby doesn't die too. There are no tests I can ask to be run, no options I can choose to ensure this baby doesn't succumb to SIDS. Not that I wish any illness on this child, nor on Alyssa. I am glad in so many ways that she was a perfectly healthy child, but it's just senseless, isn't it?

Yes, the odds are just so slim that this can happen to me again, but it has happened once and once is enough to put an insane amount of fear within me and my family.

I didn't open the bag containing Alyssa's clothes for over a week. I said to my husband, "What do we do with this now??" and he could only shake his head and say "I don't know".

One depressing afternoon, where I was crying for no reason a few days ago, I decided it was time to open the bag. The clothes had been carelessly thrown into the bag and I convinced myself that they needed to be carefully folded up. Taking them out, I started to fold the babysuit carefully buttoning it up. But I couldn't help myself, I brought her babysuit up to my nose and breathed in her smell. I couldn't believe it still smelt like her. The tears just bellowed out of my eyes, and I wailed out loud. OMG her smell . . . her sweet smell. That horrible day when she died just flooded back in full force. Her poor lifeless body, the ambulance officers' accusing eyes, the police running around in the background, a God who couldn't hear my cries that day as I pleaded with Him to bring her back. Heart wrenching as I was forced to lock my 2 year old son in his room to protect him from the mess in the loungeroom. Hide him from his Father's distraught face, his red eyes, his tears. It all came flooding back that I thought I was going insane again. I wanted to die, to get away from it all. But that was only a fleeting thought of wishing I could take Alyssa's place.

The 10th of August, 2001 the anniversary of her death came. I had more energy then I did on her birthday and decided we would go shopping that day. We went to the nursery and brought pink potted flowers to light up my day, and to put something positive into such a negative day. I cried a fair bit, especially the night before as I went through the times of the year before.

"At this time last year I was giving her her last bath."

"At this time last year I was feeding her one last time before she died."

It was a painful thing to do, but I think pretty normal. I was a total mess the evening before this anniversary. My husband went through the anniversaries very quietly and solemnly. It's so hard trying to talk to someone who just grieves so differently. But we get through somehow . . .

Baby Bean is doing well. I keep thinking how very lucky I am and just thrive on the hope that lays ahead. I think Christmas is going to be very special this year and kind of sad in other ways.

I can't believe how quickly this month has come and gone; this whole year has been a blur really. It takes an enormous amount of energy to grieve. But grieve we must, otherwise it will just haunt us later. I think one of the hardest things is just having that 'empty arms' feeling and thinking about how Alyssa would be now, and what she would be doing. The void never goes away, it just gets easier to live with.

I miss you Sweetheart

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