Dear Mama,

Your bravery makes me proud to be in community with you. After losses like ours, your continued hope, love, and endless search for peace inspires me. The way you reach out for connection, for advice, for reassurance in the times when darkness takes hold of you, brings me hope. The way you embrace fear, uncertainty, and sadness is admirable.

I was so heartbroken and lost when my beautiful son Leo died of sudden infant death syndrome in 2013. It was then that I realized that it takes a village to survive grief. I couldn’t have come this far without the safe space that is our PALS friendship. Your willingness to listen gave a voice to my grief journey and I want you to know that I too am here to listen to you. You are a part of my village and I yours.

As you journey down whatever path it is that life has you on, know that you have a village of loss mothers, fathers, siblings, grandparents, family, and friends, cheering you on, reassuring you when you’re in doubt, strengthening you when you feel weak, crying with you when you’re overwhelmed, speaking your child’s name when you feel like they might be forgotten, and supporting you no matter what you’re going through.

We are in this together. We are a part of the same tribe…the same heart-broken, hopeful, devastated tribe.

I hope you know that your presence has changed my world for the better.

Angela Riggs

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