The unexplained death of Kyrstyn Johnson’s healthy 8-month-old baby boy was her worst nightmare, and she soon discovered there’s no right way to grieve over such a loss.
Johnson, however, chose a solemn way to put her son to rest just a few months before he reached his first birthday.
Heartbroken the mother of little Mayson Michael and twin girls, aged four, posed with her lifeless infant as a way to raise awareness to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS.)
Johnson suddenly lost Mayson to an unknown cause, and now the courageous mom is on a mission to use her tragic experience to educate others about the unimaginable grief bereaved parents suffer.
The mother said more parents want to share their story and talk about their loss, but unfortunately she found that most people would rather change the subject. Johnson explained to Dearly:
A lot of mothers who lose pregnancies or infants feel like they can’t talk about it because it makes people really uncomfortable and nobody thinks about the mental health impact it has or the fact that people don’t just get over that.
But for me personally and other bereaved parents I’ve spoken with in this situation, it’s a lot more comforting to talk about it or to come to the celebration of life or come to the birthday parties people hold even though it’s a sad experience.
I feel like we as humans (like I’ve been guilty of this before) tend to not want to talk about you know babies that die or things that seem really unnatural to parents or people.
Johnson said that when her son died on April 16, her loss felt out-of-order, and the shock set in after she got news that her baby died of completely unforeseen circumstances.
That’s the big mystery of it all he had never had a single health concern he was advanced in his milestones. He was almost walking. He said momma … you know he was very happy and healthy.
The mom continued:
You know he was just playing in the living room with his toys and he kind of dozed off and never came out of it.
And it’s unfortunate but that’s kind of what it is like. It’s like the silent killer.
Left with many unanswered questions and feelings of guilt, the only thing Johnson could think of at the time was confronting her painful emotions and becoming a healthy mom again for her daughters Violet Ann and Lilah Nicole, all while suffering from depression.
One day while sobbing over the fact Mayson wouldn’t get to have a birthday party or a first birthday photo shoot, she decided she was going to have one anyway.
“I didn’t want that date to be one of the hardest days of my life.”
So the mom threw her late son a huge birthday party and hired a photographer to provide photos that would represent her story of love and loss while honoring Mayson.
She hopes her experience with SIDS encourages people to engage with those who are grieving.