To The Medical Examiners Office Of Nova Scotia…..


        You don’t know me. In fact, you have never seen my face before……but you have seen my daughters.

        After my baby girl suddenly passed away, my heart not only broke to learn the grisly news that she would be leaving my hands for yours…but as a parent…as her Mama I was frightened. Scared not because I didn’t know what an autopsy would entail, but because I knew it was going to be performed on my most precious of treasures.

    I was given no choice but to entrust you with my beautiful little girl. I had no other alternative but to physically release her from my desperate arms that awful afternoon and watch helplessly as she was carried out of the hospital room to be handed over to you.

  See, I felt guilty. I felt anxious. Part of me felt responsible for her death and you were going to be the place that would provide me with the answers I needed to move on. You were going to be my healing…….my closure. When your call came that next day to tell me you could find nothing… cause as of yet, I was devastated…. yet I remained hopeful that the answer would soon come.

   But it didn’t.

     My husband and I waited impatiently for months, we called insistently, we got angry, and we cried. We became disappointed in the lack of compassion, empathy, and support we were given. We almost gave up every time we were greeted with an annoyed voice at the end of the phone or we never received a call back as promised.

   But we didn’t.

   See, my daughter, my Audrey was not my job….she was my life. She was to me what you leave your work to go home to each night. She was not a lifeless body or a combination of slides and tissue samples….she was full of life. Her smile could and still can brighten even my darkest of moments.

   Thirteen months later, when frustrations and exhaustion had finally set in… once again cheated me of my closure. Reading through those two pieces of tear stained papers, the words “Undetermined” killed me more a little bit each time. 

  You wrote, ” Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is a classification  that has been used in infants one to twelve months of age for whom no environmental, anatomic, or functional cause of death can be identified…..many who certify these type of deaths prefer the classification of “Undetermined”. As I continued to read how you had found no changes that would have had revealed themselves if my baby girl had suffocated, but how you did find that my sweet girls case was identifiable to SIDS….. you also went on to say because of bed sharing, that because of my choice to pick up my baby and lay her beside me…that because of your new system based on what you “prefer” to call these tragic sudden deaths…..that my Audreys death would forever be undiagnosed.

   I want you to know that your “preference” will always haunt me. That your undiagnosis will forever cause me to think what-if? I want you to know that this case may be over for you….that this report may be filed away in some back room never to be looked at by your eyes again, but that I……but that other families in my position, will continue to see it every single day for the rest of our lives.

  So today… I sit in anxiousness……anxiousness that I could have been responsible….anxiousness that I could have prevented it….and anxiousness that I may never truly know an answer……..

  I am thankful that my God is bigger than you.


8 thoughts on “To The Medical Examiners Office Of Nova Scotia…..

  1. Oh Sarah …. Tears are filling my eyes as I read your words. I can not begin to imagine the sorrow, the anger, the frustration, the blame, the helplessness you feel. Please know that you are loved… And that God will see you thru all of this … Just as He did with Daniel in the Lions den … He is with you; protecting you, hiding you, loving you, strengthening you, and providing for you…. Even when there are times you don’t “feel” Him, He is there. Love you, sweet sister in Him! 💕 I wish I had words to say … But I feel unable to speak!

    Isaiah 43: 2 – 3 … When you pass through the waters I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;


  2. Dear Sarah,

    Please don’t let the generic words used by a professional who must wrap themselves in layers of legal protection sink so deeply into your mother’s heart. They cannot tell you what you needed to be told – that you are not to blame, that your baby’s death was caused by something they simply don’t understand, and that your choices were not dangerous. That your loss has led you to reach out and be an amazing blessing to so many other hurting mothers, and that she will be standing right beside Jesus when He tells you, “Well done,” saying, “That’s my mom!”.

    You’re right. God is so much bigger than a mass-produced letter for hurting parents. And out of your own fiery furnace, you have let the light of His love shine into the hearts of many of them. Thank you for letting your pain be used.

    PS –
    If it helps, even Dr. Sears says that co-sleeping actually reduces the risk of SIDS.


  3. I’m going to get the results of my little daughter’s post-mortem next week. I’m so terrified. I’m sorry you didn’t get the answers you were hoping for. The uncertainty and the what ifs are so hard.


  4. Sarah I know your husbands family and my heart goes out to you when I heard about this my heart was breaking for you I never got the chance to have children as I was told I would never be able too I can’t imagine if I had and this happened to me what I would have done god bless you


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