My Son Died of SIDS
by Marvin Job
Our son Spenser died of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) on August 22, 1987 when he was almost five months of age.
Zac, my 1½ year old son and myself were busy getting our new home in shape for the arrival of Spenser Tyrone Job. We had just moved into our house a couple days before. We still needed railings on the stairs, tile in the front entrance and a lot of boxes unpacked.
Spenser Tyrone Job Arrives!
Spenser was one of those kids that could eat a great meal (bottle) and then throw up half of it on you when you weren’t looking. I remember one time heading into town with Zac and Spenser (three months old) and seeing the two boys holding hands and just talking to each other. To me it looked like they were planning their first 2-on-2 basketball team.
Four and a half months went by very quiet. It was now mid August. Val just left with Spenser to help cook at Camp Tulahead. For one week Zac and I were on our own. I didn’t realize then that in six days my life would take a change in a direction that would affect me for the rest of my life.
I remember Sunday morning looking out of our upstairs living room window seeing the neighbor kids and their parents play by the swings at the park down the street. They were laughing and having fun. A car drove up to the mailbox across the street, the lady picked up her mail and left, just like many others did. People were walking on the sidewalk, cars were going up and down our street. Everyone’s life was moving at its normal pace. No one seemed to care that my world had come to a complete stop, that even though I may have looked normal on the outside I was in so much pain on the inside that I felt as if there was a hole blasted through my chest - only it wasn’t a clean hole. The edges of the hole felt as though they were torn all around and the entire way through. I didn’t know that you could feel so much physical pain from an emotional loss.
Spenser Tyrone Job is Now With Jesus
The next few hours were very draining on Val and myself. We spent those long hours praying, not even knowing what to pray for (to live or to die as Spenser had been without oxygen for quite some time) and we spent time crying. As I think back, I don’t even remember where Zac was, except that he was with one of our friends.
What Now, God?
That next day on Sunday, August 23, I remember a lot of people coming and going and I remember, as I said already, looking out of our living room window. The rest of the things I remember happened on the inside. Have you ever wondered what to think? What to feel? What was happening? Life did not prepare me for the death of my son. The emotions that I had were all mixed up and included the normal emotions of loss, and heartache but with an added sense of non-reality. At times I expected Spenser to start crying for food, the next minute I was trying to make a deal with God to trade places with Spenser.
Was it My Fault?
Isolation began to set in quickly. None of my friends could relate to what Val and I were going through. Our thinking changed. Many things became trivial. Our reason for having another child, as hard as it seemed to us at the time, was to have more than one just incase another one dies. When I would look at someone’s baby I wouldn’t look to see it smile, I would look at the chest or back to see if he or she was breathing. Some of my friends didn’t know what to say to me, so they didn’t say anything. Two years later one of my friends came up to me in tears, finally able to talk to me normally as we did before.
Over the next few months and years, although less frequent with time, my emotions which I never had before, were uncontrollable at the most inconvenient of times. I was told that time heals. Well, I discovered that in time you also forget. It was good that in time I forgot the pain of Spenser’s death, but it was forgetting his voice, his touch and his character - I would feel guilty that I was forgetting my own son. I felt ripped off that my friends got to have all their kids grow up with them and what memories I had were fading. To this day I only have a few real strong memories of Spenser and find myself guarding them.
"I Will Never Leave You"
During this time my relationship with Val became a more important part of my life. We heard that child deaths cause many marriages to break up. I could not understand how that could be, as I wanted Val close to me more than ever. We went through our grieving together. We needed each other.
Jesus Gave His Life for Us
I know in my own heart that God had a purpose for Spenser’s life. I trust that one day, when I meet Jesus face to face, I will know and understand completely God’s plan for his life.
Marvin and Val know they will see their baby again - in heaven. Learn how you can be confident that you will also go to heaven when you die.
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