The days following Kiyana’s death are a big blur to me, but I clearly remember the news reports and comments attached to them. I remember spending many hours online searching for anything about her tragic death. Some of the reason was to learn about what happened, and I realize some of it was a distraction from the shock, disbelief, emptiness, and pure grief that consumed me. I realize now that there was another motive. I needed to express my anger, and the comments I read allowed me to express my anger, and divert it to someone I didn’t know.
I found myself defending our beautiful blameless little girl from accusations, and her dad and I from people placing blame on us. That was so offensive to me at the time. Did they not read or watch the news reports? Apparently not, because Kiyana’s dad and I were waiting patiently to hear from Kiyana’s mom for days. I kept seeing “why would the “parents” bring this dog around their child”, “the girl must have provoked the dog”, “she was a brat”, “it must have been a pitbull”. Did they not realize that we lost our beautiful “Baby Girl”.
In our grief, these things didn’t matter. Didn’t matter what kind of dog, didnt’ matter if she provoked the dog, and it didn’t matter they wanted to blame someone. What did matter, is that the world should understand the beauty, joy, compassion, love and kindness that was taken away. They didn’t care who Kiyana was, only that she was the 4 year old girl that was mauled by a dog.
I couldn’t let that happen then, and I won’t let that happen now. I am determined to share Kiyana with the world. As I read these comments, I responded by defending Kiyana and her dad. I also attached a video of her and her dad, or a video of Kiyana signing. See they loved music and sang together all the time.
It has been four weeks now since her death, and we still struggle each moment to cope with her being gone. I am just as determined today as I was 4 weeks ago to share her with the world. That is one of the purposes for my blog, but it is not the only purpose. I need to bring awareness, so another child is saved from the pain and other families are saved from the pain of losing a child. I need to make others aware of the risk.
I hope parents will remember our story when they are considering bringing a dog into a home with small children. I hope parents will picture Kiyana’s face when they teach their children how to be safe around dogs. I also want people recognize that your world can come crashing down at any moment, so every moment counts.
Our family was blessed with a no drama parenting relationship between Kiyana’s mom. We were blessed to have Kiyana in our home for weeks at a time, As a stepmom, I was blessed to have Kiyana as a daughter, not a stepdaughter, but a daughter. Now we just feel completely blessed that we have such beautiful memories of an angel that filled our lives with happiness.
The article below is a story related to a child being bitten by a dog. I visited the article, and the comments reminded me of the unbelievable anger I felt when people made those comments to me. I feel for the parents regardless of who, what, and how things happened. I know they are only concerned with their son, but unfortunately they feel that they must defend themselves. There is a time and place for everything. Times of tragedy are not that time and place.