Chad Nedland lost his 10-month-old son to SIDS. This is his story and he is resilient.
Trigger Warning: The Resilience Project provides an open space for people to share their personal experiences. Some content in this podcast may include topics that you may find difficult. The listener’s discretion is advised.
About the Guest:
Chad Nedland is an author and a business strategy coach specializing in increasing profits and streamlining businesses. He amassed a wealth of knowledge and experience over 26 years of starting, running, and selling multiple businesses in addition to marketing digital products online.
He did not come from a life of wealth or privilege and also found himself living without a home multiple times. He admits that those were not low points in his life - they were stepping stones to his future. With a heart full of love he will have no problem hitting you with truth so hard it'll make your head spin!
trigger warning, the Resilience Project provides an open space for people to share their personal experiences. Some content in this podcast may include topics that you may find difficult, the listeners discretion is advised.Blair Kaplan Venables:
Hello friends, welcome to radical resilience, a weekly show where I Blair Kaplan Venables have inspirational conversations with people who have survived life's most challenging times. We all have the ability to be resilient and bounce forward from a difficult experience. And these conversations prove just that, get ready to dive into these life changing moments while strengthening your resilience muscle and getting raw and real.Blair Kaplan Venables:
Welcome back to another episode of radical resilience. It's me, Blair Kaplan Venables, and I'm here today with someone who is quite phenomenal, actually met him on the internet, surprise, surprise, I believe on Facebook, we somehow came across each other. We got on a call had a brilliant conversation. I was interviewed on his show, and here he is today. Today, I'm here with Chad Nedland. He is an author and a business strategy coach specializing in increasing profits and streamlining businesses. He amassed a wealth of knowledge and experience over 26 years of starting running, and selling multiple businesses, in addition to marketing digital products online, I'm going to drop his full bio below. But the reason he's here today is because one of the stories he shared with me is about how he lost his 10 month old son to SIDS. And he is so gracious to be so open and vulnerable to dive into his story. So welcome, Chad.Chad Nedland:
Thank you so much. I really appreciate being here. I'm a firm believer that our stories not only tell our past and our history, but they're also the framework and the groundwork that actually lay our future as well. And some of the greatest lessons that I ever learned in life weren't from my stories. They were from everybody else's. And so when we have a story that impacts us, and we grow from it, I firmly believe it's our responsibility that we should share that with the world.Blair Kaplan Venables:
Right. And that's just so beautiful. Like, you know, I've just met you recently and your positive outlook is contagious. And you and I have something very similar in common and that's we've turned our pain into purpose. We're turning our pain into purpose or lessons learned into the you know, tools to help others be elevated. And, you know, it's it's such a gift to have you in our world. So thank you. You know, why don't you tell us your story? I you know, you you currently are I don't know you're in the US but you were on the road you you're telling me the story about you and your your wife on the road. So why don't you just tell usChad Nedland:
your story? Okay, okay, I shouldn't tell me your my story. And okay, we'll, we'll hit the highlights. The highest point in my life is when I walked into the, into the produce department at the grocery store. And I walked up to this Pretty Gal and I asked her for Ken was in the right place. And she married me. There was a cool story behind it. She found out that I had written a book, I shared it with her. She wanted to read the book we did. We started chatting, she started cooking for me, I was done. It was like that was gold. We got married. And I realized that this timid little gal at the grocery store, long dresses, you know, skirts down to her ankles could hardly ever see your shoes, three layers on always have their head slightly down. And here I am a traveler who's talked multiple times back and forth across the country, love the outdoors, love adventure swimming with the sharks. And I said, Well, my tribal time is over. It's time to settle down. And within six months of being married to me, she said, Remember when you said you walked all over the country? And I said, Yeah, she says, and I said, what's next? And he said, I don't know, I guess I'll bite. And this is the I remember that because I think we're supposed to do that. And we spent a little bit of time and we talked about it. We prayed about it. And we came back together and we realized Yes, this is what we were called to do was to travel and serve. And so over the next few months, we gave away everything that we owned, we gave away our car, our possessions drained our bank accounts down and we got on bicycles with the sole intent that we were going to surf and do it very simply. If weBlair Kaplan Venables:
interrupt I'm interrupting you. Go ahead, let's sorry, let's for the listeners out there who don't know what surf means. What is surfChad Nedland:
that? That's what I'm gonna go to right here. Anytime that ask somebody asked us for help, we would just say yes. And it's it the purest form of just to serve them. In any way that they needed. And, you know, we did everything from helping do concrete and, and service work in that regard to helping people in counseling, we spent a lot of time working in homeless camps all over the US. Where we would help to encourage them, show them ways that they can get back on their feet, get their ideas, get their life started, give them hope. Well, during this time, this weird thing happens with people who live up north. It got cold, my wife got pregnant.Blair Kaplan Venables:
Canadians know what that means. This weatherChad Nedland:
thing, you know, and downside sell, they didn't get the job because they don't know what cold is. But she got pregnant. We continued to travel. We ended up having our son, we did a home delivery. She gave birth I caught, you know, showed up with a hockey mask and a catcher's mitt just to make it happen faster. But no, we had a beautiful spankin boy, and he was happy, and he was joyful. And within two weeks, we were right back on the road again, doing it all over again. But this time, we were gifted a van. And so we were back on the road, and this little boy traveled with us. And we went to the East Coast, we were down into Florida over in California, we were in South Carolina, we traveled all over. And the beauty is this little baby boy.Chad Nedland:
There's, there's something when you're when you're working with people who have absolutely nothing. And they're on the street, and they have no hope. And they have no, they have no family that cares. And all sudden this couple walks up and says would you like to hold my baby. And little Jonathan would look up and he would just giggle or COO and smile at them. And their whole defense would just melt. And he opened up doors for us to be able to step into his life into their lives, and share with them our message of hope to show them that hey, yeah, even though we're literally living in the same situation that you are, we have joy. We have purpose. We have something to live for something to give back into the world and we help them to uncover that in themselves. And this beautiful little boy, he'd cry me he was a baby cry. But he wasn't an unhappy baby. He cried when he was hungry. He cried when he was poopy. You know, I mean, hey, who doesn't? I'm I still do, right. But we continue to travel. And then we were asked to come back to a town that we had served in. And they said we'd love for you to come actually come back and work with our community. And so we did. And we traveled all the way back to Leon, Iowa. And they gave us a little mobile home trailer. Park didn't the gentleman's yard mister, while you're here, let us give you this home. And so finally, if anybody has kids, you'll understand this. Little Jonathan was tired. It was afternoon it was time for his nap. So I picked him up when I swaddled them. And I burned wire him over to the little crib Berry and a lady down, patted his back until he went to sleep. And said mommy and daddy went and had a little bit of cuddle time. And you don't get that as a lot of parents with the baby. So we were having our cuddle time and button outward pass past and my wife is hateful Kathy, I think I'm gonna think I'm gonna go check on Jonathan. He's probably hungry, which was normal. She would go feet, Jonathan, she would take care of the baby. As far as like all the baby stuff that Mama does. We were breastfeeding at the time. And I would never think twice about it. And all sudden, I reached up and grabbed her by the arm just gently but firmly. I says, Oh, I'll go getting I didn't know why. But something said I needed to go get him. And she's like, okay, whatever. I was like, you just lay down and relax. You've we've had a hard week. And I walked about halfway across this little trailer. And I went over to go pick up my son and I picked him up. And it just didn't feel quite right. And I held him in my arms and I looked and he was all the blood had completely drained from his face had settled to the back of his head. And having gotten in the military, I've seen seen death. This isn't he stopped breathing. And his heart stopped pumping quite a while ago. And so I had to deal with all of these thoughts my son had passed, right? And so for the next year or so, I had to deal with these thoughts. Who swaddled in and who is the last one to laying down? Who's responsible whose fault so I carried that responsibly Woody in the back of my head. And for many, many days, I used to wake up and say it's killed my son. I know I didn't have wrapped him up when I laid him in bed, but somebody had to be responsible. This beautiful, perfect child has to be response, something had to be. And I didn't understand that way I was carrying that because I knew it wasn't the truth. But it was the way that we looked at things. But within three, three days, I was actually up and giving a sermon in a church there in that town, they'd asked if I would come speak, and they knew that my son had just passed. And they asked me to speak. And I says, yeah, absolutely. I said, What do you speak on? I says, I have no idea. I'm empty right now. But yes, I will. And I went up, and I gave a gave a message on how God is a good good father.Chad Nedland:
Because I realized that the father isn't responsible for the life of the child, the father is responsible to caring for and providing all of its needs. We can't control every circumstance. Just like you know, I personally, I believe there's a God in heaven who loves me. No, but he can't control me, he gave me a choice. Right? It's so I started to realize this, this father aspect was something so different than I'd ever known. And I struggled with it. I realized that in 10 months, this little boy had traveled all over the United States, had impacted the lives of 1000s and 1000s, and 1000s of people. Because I believe in the one to a million mentality, every person that I talked to, is going to talk to 1000 people in their life, and each person they talk will talk to 1000 people, that's a million people impacted, if I have an impactful conversation with one. And my son reached 1000s of people directly, and opened up and gave them hope and purpose. And it just opened up that renewal of life inside them. And I thought he did that in 10 months. And 99% of all the people in my life that I know that never I've never actually impacted a fraction of that in the world. And I so I sat down, I've got two books published, I have three written, and I don't think the third one will ever be published. And it's called his death, my rally call. Because I imagined, in my mind, I see things very visually. And I said, his life was a rally call. But it wasn't until death. That end, that I heard that mighty roar, calling me to be greater to impact greater in the world. And I said, if he can do that in 10 months, imagine what I can do in 10 years with the wealth of wealth of experience that I have in my life. And from that day, I've never been able to sit still. Wow, because that changed me in such a way. I've seen a lot of people, the loss of a child destroyed them. And for me, it turned into this rally call it the just deepest point of my spirit. That said you can't dare give up. There are too many who needs you. There are too many that are relying on you showing up and they don't even know you exist yet. When you roar, roar loud when you speak, speak loud, when you have something to say say it in the world. But don't ever sit back and say my life is insignificant. I'm not enough. I can't make a difference. If a 10 month old child can change 1000s of lives. You have no right to say you're not good enough. Wow. And some days I have to wake myself up and give myself that same speech. Because even today, like I just shared with you, I'm going to share it with everybody right now. She asked how I'm doing and I said we we just had a miscarriage. And my two little my two little children. My four year old and my three year old said so baby's not coming out of mommy's tummy. And I said no, my little son says, well, there's not a lot of room he better not grow. And I was like no, no, a little baby's not coming out baby babies sleeping with Jonathan. As we have that talk with him about his older brother who would be seven this month this month up seven years old. And he He's since that point, every day he's come up to me and he said can we wake up Jonathan baby so I can meet them.Blair Kaplan Venables:
So heartbreaking.Chad Nedland:
Every time he does that. It just rips up all those building motions and all of that stuff. And I could never be more grateful because spa all of that ties me back to hearing that rally call. Yeah, you know, I can look at the pain or we can say, how will this motivate me? How will this move me in my purpose today?Blair Kaplan Venables:
Chad? Wow. Thank you for being you know, sharing your recent experience and what the last seven years have been like and what those 10 months of Jonathan Jonathan's life was like, and how you've taken, you know, his transition into the next phase of his soul, and really turn that into, you know, purpose. And I can't even imagine I you know, I had a miscarriage and like, that completely broke me up, we had a lot of trouble getting pregnant. And I, you know, I was told I couldn't get pregnant, and I did naturally and the miscarriage like really tore me up. So I'm my deepest condolences, like, it's firsthand, I, you know, I know the pain. Your pain is obviously your own and different and deeper in various ways. So, you know, I would love to, you know, I think some people listening might not even know what SIDS is, Can we can we talk about that for a bit? What is it? What did you think of it when it happened? How did you learn more about it?Chad Nedland:
Okay, um, they said, your, your son passed away from SIDS? And I'm like, great. What's that? They said, Well, it's, it's it's yes, yeah, no, no, what is SIDS? And they're like, oh, that sudden infant death syndrome. And I looked at the doctrine and said, What is? What does that mean? And they looked at me with this blank stare is that your son was an infant, and he died. And we don't know why.Blair Kaplan Venables:
So it's like sudden death of a baby. For No, no diagnoseChad Nedland:
reason. I have no understanding, no diagnosis, no reason. The child just stops. And there's a there's that daddy in me that wants to just break down every time I think about that. And I think wow, I mean, there was so much of his life ahead of him. There were so many things that I never got to do with you have to think about it this way. I had to reframe the situation. I said, You know what, I don't know how long I'll live. But when it is my day, that's my day. I'm only going to have a certain amount of days, you're only going to have a certain amount of days, anybody who's listening will only have a certain amount of days. We don't know what it is. We don't know if it's preordained, or if it's by chance. There's no guarantee. But all I know is this, he did something that I wished for everyone in your audience. He lived every day of his life.Blair Kaplan Venables:
Yes. So you hear that everyone out there he lived. He lived every day of his life for 10 months, he lived and you know what, in essence that rally, like the rally cry, you are carrying on his legacy. And we know this, we know that life is short, I had three parents die in their 60s. When's my time? Am I going to make it? No, none of us make it make it out alive. Right? I mean, what are we doing with our time? And like, what legacy Are we leaving?Chad Nedland:
Right? The question I have is most people say before I die, I'd like to, I want to whatever. Yeah. And I always ask them and say are you living your life in a way? That if today was your last day? And tomorrow, you had to answer? Did I live fully? You know, so yes.Blair Kaplan Venables:
It's so interesting. It's so interesting. You're saying that and you know, I don't know if I've ever really talked about this on this podcast. Like I struggle with depression and anxiety and like I kind of let myself weaned off of Prozac and my prescription ran out. And the medicine detox for me and my chemicals are not balanced. And I got to a point of, I was not suicidal, make it very clear, but I was like, you know, I've been alive for 36 years now. It's 37. But it's like, I've done a lot. If I were to die tomorrow, like whatever, like I'm leaving my legacy. I'd made a huge difference. And that was scary. So went back on medicine. Like I went back on new meds I went on Hello, Zoloft. Welcome to my brain. But it's funny because I had this mentality of like, I've made a difference. If something were to happen to me, like I'm not looking to die, I don't want to die. But if something did happen, it's like, well, I've done a lot I made I'm leaving my legacy. And isn't a really interesting thing to think about because there's people Don't just go by life like, you know, wake up, go to work nine to five, come home, watch the news, have dinner, go to bed and they're just in a cycle. It's like, well, what impact are you having on this world? And it doesn't have to be massive, like yours or mine. But what are the things that you're doing to make the world a better place or to leave a legacy?Chad Nedland:
You know, you did this to me when I interviewed you, but I'm gonna check you right there. I gave her I use the wrong word with resilience. And she checked me. You said it doesn't have to be a great of an impact like yours or mine. But it reminds me of a conversation, an interview that was had with Billy Graham, the interviewer said to Billy Graham, he says, it's been said, that second to Jesus Christ Himself, you have shared the gospel with more people in the world than anyone else. And Billy Graham said, No. His name is and just said, this gentleman's name. And he said, Well, who was that? He said, he's the pastor, they did have a revival tent meeting. He says, I drove the truck, because a bunch of my friends wanted to go to their this revival. But he told me, he had an impact larger than I ever could. Don't worry about whether or not you feel like your impact is great, because there's one person in your life that you're meant to share your message with, and that person will reshape the world.Blair Kaplan Venables:
Ooh, burn Mic drop. That was I appreciate that. I just know that. People might see what we're doing and get intimated and everyone does have the ability and capability to do exactly what we're doing.Chad Nedland:
Absolutely. And I hear what you're saying, I just, I just want everybody to hear that. I think that's one person that you are purposed to share your message with. Don't hold back until they hear it and never know if they do. Okay, just keep going.Blair Kaplan Venables:
Oh, my gosh, we can totally talk forever. I have a couple more questions as we wrap this interview up. You're the first person I've talked to on this podcast? who's experienced a child dying, passing on from SIDS? What advice do you have for a parent who's going through what you went through?Chad Nedland:
If you just lost your child, I want you to sit down and write out a list pen paper, write it out of every single way that that child impacted. Absolutely every one that you know. And I want you to realize the impact that that child has. And that's even if you've gone through a miscarriage, because a child conceived as a child who was impacted someone already write those things down and say, this was my child, and this was the impact. I can mourn their loss, or celebrate their presence, because that impact will never go away. If it's something that's happened in the past, and you're harboring guilt, shame, pain, responsibility. You did it, carry it. But if you didn't go do it, don't carry it. Lay it down and say, You know what, this, this did happen. This child was a part of my life. And I get like, like you just said, I get to carry the mantle for their life for them. And I asked myself this kind of question, and I share it with other people. And I said, What kind of a horrible piece of crap dad would I be? To wish that my son had to come back and go through all the crap I did. He came, He lived a beautiful, loving life. He loved every day and was loved by 1000s. And then he went back to sleep. take joy in the part of the child being in your life. Celebrate that in your life. grieve. Beautiful, I live in Greece.Blair Kaplan Venables:
Beautiful. And on the note of grief. It's like grief. What you do is that you learn to live your life around it. You don't live in it, you live with it, and you don't just live with it. You live with everything else. And that's okay. And I really appreciate you sharing that. That's great advice. Okay, so final question. All right. If people want to learn more about you or you know someone's in business, and they want to maybe work with you, how can people find you?Chad Nedland:
Okay, so I like to tell everybody this, head north on 53 until you hit before we hit the gas station. Right, go up half a block. Take another left. We've got the white picket fence. If you show up at my house, I'll feed you and house you. If you're not up for that. Go ahead. Reach out to me on Facebook. Just touching you know Ted Chad Nederland on Facebook. I'm the one standing there with a big smile, no teeth and a goofy grin.Blair Kaplan Venables:
You know what? I'll drop your link below. Yeah, your links are gonna be in the show notes. You're like, well, I want to get to know this guy. This dude's rad. That's he is I think you should have them in your life. You know, give him a little connection requests on Facebook. Yeah,Chad Nedland:
I encourage you to have one conversation with me. Won't be your last.Blair Kaplan Venables:
I love it. If you reach out and have a conversation. You heard him here for the first time. Let them know that. I love that. I think that's great. Well, I really appreciate you taking the time to open up your heart and your story. To me again and to our listeners. I'm so sorry about Jonathan but also the miscarriage you're going through and everyone listening. Thank you for taking the time to spend with us with Chad and myself to talk about his story. Remember, you are resilient. You can do hard things. You're gonna get through it. You're not alone. You have me you have Chad, you have the global Resilience Project. We got this. Thank you.