Babies found dead in cars due to heat stroke is, sadly, far too common. But most of the cases end the same -- a frantic run to the car by a father (or mother) followed by horror and shock. This story out of Miami is so much worse.
One might ask how any story that ends with a dead 6-month-old in an overheated car can get worse. Here's how: It was the baby girl's 6-year-old brother who found the body. My fingers ache just typing those words and my heart breaks for the little boy.
It seems his father had dropped him off at school that morning and then forgotten to drop his baby sister off, so when he returned to pick him up, his baby sister was still strapped into the seat. She couldn't be revived.
As a parent, these stories make you just physically ill. Most of us can imagine ourselves there -- a new routine (the dad didn't normally drive her), a lack of sleep, a distracted mind. We can picture the guilt and pain WE would go through. But what about our other children? What about the effect on them?
First, can you even imagine the anger that boy will have? At his dad. At the world. At his mom. At himself. I can scarcely even comprehend it. But also, the grief. My heart just aches for him.
More from The Stir: Mom Who Forgot Baby in Hot Car Has Understandable Excuse for Tragedy
I know as a mom of two, my kids are so close to one another that the thought of something happening to one isn't only torture for me, but also makes me worry for the other one. Losing a sibling, especially that way, is just beyond anything any child should have to face.
As a mom, I would immediately tell my son it wasn't his fault (a 6-year-old will always think everything is), and I would put him in counseling. Nothing can save him from the grief, but one would hope he can at least be helped to get past the anger and guilt.
It's an unimaginable tragedy made all the worse by how she was found. I am going to hug my little ones a little tighter tonight and send my thoughts out to this poor family.
Do you ever think about what losing a sibling would do to your child?
Image via o5com/Flickr