Erica Marie’s Story

As told by her mother, Helen.

I gave birth to my daughter Erica Marie 34 years ago, she was born on March 7, 1981 and passed away July 31, 1981.

Erica Marie was born 3 months premature, weighing 1oz short of a pound. I remember the doctors coming in the room asking me if I wanted them to try and save her, but they didn’t think she make it though the night. All I said was “Please, please save my baby!” and I prayed and prayed.

Erica Marie spent the first 3 months fighting for her life. After 3 months in the hospital she was strong enough to come home. The doctors and nurses were amazed they could see no complications in her health other than that she would be smaller than other children her age. I was so happy to bring Erica Marie home to meet her big sister.

After one month of being home I woke up to my baby girl being lifeless and cold. She passed away from SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) I couldn’t believe it I was devastated. I took my baby girl in my arms for the last time, gave her a kiss and told her I love her and promised never to forget her.

Every night before I go to bed I say good night and tell her I love her. I have very few memories but cherish the ones I have. I have one photo and the outfit she came home in. Everything else was stolen from my storage locker a year or two ago.

I go to the cemetery every weekend and place fresh flowers at her headstone. I spend at least 15 minutes talking to her spirit. I tell her that as long as I live a part of her lives too.  There are people who don’t understand why I do this or how I feel after 34 years, some of them are mothers too. Only a mother who has lost a child can understand.