Days ago, Jordan DeRosier shared the worst experience of her life.
The Washington state mom had placed her baby boy, Sloane, down for bed the night before with his favorite blanket. When she went to wake him up the next morning, she found him in his crib, deceased, with the blanket wrapped around his head.
In a post on Facebook which has since been removed, the mother-of-two described the heart-shattering moment:
I yanked it off, touched his back and felt that he was ice cold. I flipped him over and a blood curdling scream for Justin escaped me. His face and chest were completely purple on one side. His lips blue. His eyes closed.
DeRosier recounted the unbearable reality of what transpired that morning: performing CPR on her lifeless son, the arrival of the paramedics, friends, and family rushing to help, the cries and screams from her husband, Justin.
In the midst of a mother and father’s unimaginable shock and grief, the DeRosiers had to recreate the scene of their baby’s death for police, then watch as the medical examiner took their son away.
For DeRosier, although grieving very, very deeply, she opened up about the agonizing loss of her son to plead with other parents not to put their babies to sleep with a blanket in their crib:
You never think it will happen to you. You never think it will be your baby. Please do not put your babies to bed with a blanket. Please. He was 7 months old, I thought because he was crawling, standing on his own, and climbing, that he would be fine with a blanket.
She ended her message with a self-eviscerating conclusion:
This is the face of immense, unfathomable grief, the face of longing, of heartbreak, of self-inflicted GUILT. I will NEVER stop feeling responsible. I will relive this for the rest of my life knowing EXACTLY what I could have done differently. Please learn from my world-shattering mistake.
In the wake of the account of tragic loss, which was shared more than 10,000 times, DeRosier shared with People the only source of comfort for her and her husband were the “thousands” of messages they received from other parents heeding their advice to take the blanket out of their baby’s crib.
But not all responses to the bereaved parents were kind.
As Kidspot reports, before DeRosier shared the actual cause of her young son’s death she was hit with a barrage of comments accusing her of not getting him vaccinated.
DeRosier was reportedly forced to defend herself against the accusations:
To those who keep commenting and messaging trying to blame vaccines for our sons death — stop.
Initially I had not wanted to explain the detailed circumstances of his death because of my guilt and the fear of condemnation from others. But I will not allow anyone to try and place blame where it does not belong.
Many commenters reportedly posted their assertions that the 7-month-old hadn’t been vaccinated and sent the grieving mother messages about their beliefs as well.
It was then that DeRosier explained the truth behind her baby’s death.
In the aftermath of the attention following her post, DeRosier has taken to Facebook once again, but this time to share that her heart is no longer capable of handling the criticism that comes with openly sharing one’s testimony in a public forum.
DeRosier explained that she initially found sharing the details cathartic and never expected her words to be as far-reaching as they were:
I had NEVER expected my sons story to be spread around the world. I had no earthly idea that it could make such a difference. I felt that by providing statements to popular publications, the message of Sloan’s life and purpose, and crib safety awareness would reach further and save more lives. Getting my words out and reading the messages of support and love was also therapeutic for me.
However, as the negative reactions increased, her willingness to open up dwindled, as she wrote in part:
Unfortunately I’ve come to a point in my grieving process where I no longer feel safe opening up publicly.
More and more people started to say hateful, hurtful things. I started getting messages and comments that made me physically sick to read. It is so unfortunate that people think grief should fit their guidelines, that because my child died I cannot talk about him. My sons life mattered. His story matters. What happened to him matters. I know that for every bad comment or message there are 50 loving and supportive ones, but I am only human and my heart is incredibly fragile right now.
DeRosier has since “locked down” her Facebook as a part of coping with the reactions to her son’s death. Earlier, she shared with People that she and her husband would be foregoing a “painful” memorial service in favor of a family gathering.
As she told the publication:
“But no big event.”
She also revealed she and her husband would be attending grief and trauma counseling.
It will undoubtedly take time for the DeRosiers to come out on the other side of their grief, but their memories of their precious son as “the happiest baby in the world” and “a dream” are the first step towards healing their broken hearts.