About Me

Who am I?  I thought I had the answer to that question, until April 11, 2013, when my son Leo passed away suddenly and unexpectedly.  My whole world, my identity, my values, my priorities, all of it; changed.  Who I am is no longer defined by my profession, age, or personal preferences, it’s defined by what I do, what I stand for.  I am a bereaved mother with two surviving children.  I am a dedicated wife, a loving mother, daughter, sister, cousin, friend.  I am a Christ-follower.  I am dedicated to showing the world the same kindness, compassion, and love that my husband and I felt when our son died.  I am dedicated to SIDS awareness and to helping others find hope during their darkest hours.  I am Angela Riggs and I am Surviving SIDS.

Angela Photo

What is Surviving SIDS?

Surviving SIDS is a weblog that I created to store the personal letters that i’ve written to my son, Leo.  Sadly, Leo didn’t survive SIDS.  This blog is about me, trying to survive the loss of my healthy baby to SIDS.  Grief can be an extraordinarily lonely, isolating, hopeless, confusing, and angry place to live but I can definitvely say that I’m on a journey to healing.  In the meantime, I’ve chosen to believe in, and more importantly, to trust, God’s will.  I choose to honor Leo’s memory by showing the world the same love, kindness, compassion, and grace that was shown to my family when Leo passed away.

If you are a grieving a parent or know one, please urge them to reach out to other bereaved parents.  It’s a sad “club” to be in, one that we most certainly didn’t choose, but nonetheless, we’re all in this together.  It really does help to hear from someone who has been through loss.  Seeing that they are still waking up every morning, that they care for their remaining children, that they can smile, laugh, tell a joke, talk about their angel, have more children, whatever it may be…seeing that gives us hope.  And at a time when the world feels so dark and constricting, hope is all we have.  It’s the beacon of light that is going to lead us through this pain to a place where it feels tolerable.

What you will read on my site are my uncensored and very personal letters to my son.  I originally created this site, simply to store my letters in a secure place (where they wouldn’t get lost).  Over time, I have realized that these may be helpful to some.

Thanks for stopping by.  If you’re a bereaved parent, please know that you are Surrounded by Love and that you can reach out to me if you want to talk.

God Bless,

Angela

leo 1

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7 thoughts on “About Me

  1. You are one the best mothers in the world. The “sad” club is a perfect way to describe it… But helping others by listening, talking, and loving makes the sad club a little better. Thank god for people like you.
    Leo is there looking over you… Everyone. We will never fully understand why children leave this earth before us. But what we do in the aftermath is what matters the most.
    Love to you and the family… All 6 of you:)
    Erin

  2. My son, Jake Douglas passed away at the age of 5 1/2 months…it has been over 20 years, but i have decided to post a song “Nolan’s Song” that was written for a family, whom also lost their son, Nolan to SIDS…Jim Gibson wrote and performed the song at a SIDS benefit for Nolan in San Jose, CA..Jim gave me a copy of the song, which I am posting here, in hopes it will help you and anyone else with the healing from losing a child from SIDS!

  3. My son didn’t survive SIDS. He passed away just two days ago. We buried him this afternoon. I feel like my world has collapsed, an emptiness like none I’veeever felt before. Reading your story pushed me to “reach out”. We are expats living in China. My son was born here in China seven months ago. I can’t believe he is gone. Seeing his body getting put into the ground, I kept hoping his little toes would wriggle or he would make a little sound. Of course that was not the case. I don’t know how to deal with this being so far away from friends and family and being in a place where there is a huge language barrier. Thank you for sharing your story.

    • K,
      I’m so very sorry for your loss. It is a pain that is so hard for others to understand…it’s hard for us to even understand and we are the ones going through it!
      I hated burying my boy. I remember watching my father in law put the lid on the casket and i remember how wrong it felt. I kept thinking that he wouldn’t be able to breathe. 😦
      I’m glad you found me and I hope that I can offer you some support. My loss was nearly three years ago and I have to tell you that, it doesn’t get better, but your heart learns how to live with this heavy, thick, persistent pain. I have days where I feel like I’m going to be okay and others where I feel like I’ve sunken to the bottom of the ocean. But at this point, the good days outweigh the bad.
      Keep an eye out for symbols that remind you of him. After our boy Leo passed, we saw cranes (the bird) everywhere. We still see them and we know that it is Leo saying hello.
      Please stay connected, our journey can be so lonely but by connecting with others, I’ve gained so much strength.

      Sending you love and many prayers,
      Angela

  4. Please help. On December 10 around 10 am my grandson woke to eat. Him and his mother (my daughter) then began watching curious George they both fell asleep. She woke around 12:30 to come to my house. When she picked him up he didn’t wake up. He was breathing. On the 5 min car ride over she noticed his breathing was not right and asked me to listen to him. It sounded asthmatic to me. He started to spit up so I tilted the carseat to the side. He still didn’t wake or react. I tapped his face and called his name and shook the seat but he never woke. I told her to get him to er. As soon as they got there it was determined he was unresponsive. He was on his back without blankets or any other object that could have obstructed his ability to breath. He was flown to Iowa City picu. It was determined by Wednesday he was not going to recover. He had been put on a ventilator on that sunday but his heart continued to beat on it’s own. Cat scan revealed his brain was swollen. He was pronounced on Thursday December 14th. There were no physical injuries visible or through x-rays. They said it was a lack of oxygen. We are being investigated and it is so horrifying. He was fine alert healthy in the days before. Unfortunately my daughter was the only one home when it happened. I don’t know what to look for. Could this be Sid’s. Will MY BABY ever not be looked at as if she caused this. An investigator who came just today made it seem like my daughter did something. Could this have been Sid’s. We haven’t heard back regarding the autopsy which was done on Monday the 18th. Please message me. It is easier for me than email. I’m on Facebook as Kristine Brockmeyer I have a Phoenix image

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