A Letter to Jake and Our Loved Ones-From Daddy

Dear Jake,

Our sweet boy. My words may do this no justice but I know you can feel my love and hear my thoughts. You my son, without spending a single living day on this earth, have change the lives of so many. I am so proud of you. These “ripples” you have caused are amazing but yet at the epicenter of the ripples lies the devastation that has occurred. Jake we miss you. Even though there has been an aftermath of anger, depression, hopelessness, emptiness, a lifetime of grief and thousands of unfilled memories, I have to find something that makes what has happened deem something positive.

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It has been unfathomable for me to try and find these positives which is so morally incorrect in my mind, but reading all of the ripples and knowing that your short moment in this world has helped others through your Mother’s words…that is what gives me some peace. You my son, will NEVER BE FORGOTTEN. I know that you are with your grandparents right now and you have introduced them to your great-grandmother. This also gives me peace to know that while you look down on us, they are beside you-cooking you great family meals on holidays, giving you a knee to sit on and making sure you are in dressed cute little outfits for all of the firsts you’re experiencing in your eternal home.

I see you next to me during all the yard work, projects and fishing trips. I know you hear me talk to you and when you make the wind blow or when “Cats in the Cradle” or “Oceans” play on the radio, you are there telling me “I miss you and love you too dad“. As much as that hurts, it is comforting to know you are there. Jake, I love you and miss you so much every single day.

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“I love you all the way to the moon and back”

Love, Daddy

Dear Loved Ones,

To all of the “ripples” THANK YOU. Thank you for taking the deep breath and having the courage to put into words how our son has affected you. I know this tragedy has caused anger and driven some to question their faith but it has also taught big lessons of compassion and love.

Caregivers, it has overwhelmed me the way you have done just that. Care for us, and Jake, in such horrible moments. All of you, and you know who you are-thank you for your devotion, caring and for not forgetting our son.

To Jake’s family, I know that this has been just as hard on you as us. I speak for myself when I say I’m sorry I didn’t call or respond in a timely manner or even at all. All I can do for that now is say thank you for your calls or your thoughtful text messages. Your letters, gifts and momentums to show you are thinking of Jake are not put in a box in the attic…they are scattered throughout our home to remember Jake and all the people who love him. Thank you.

3 Friends, old and new (mostly from the previous mentioned caregivers), your dinners, baskets, flowers, ornaments, gifts, cards and random stops by the house have been selfless and heartfelt. We are truly grateful. I thank you tremendously for your support to Lisa and me.

Jake’s story, while so close to our hearts is very special. But it is only one of millions like this out there. To everyone who knows others who have suffered the loss of a child, know this; we stand in the surf every day for the rest of our lives. While some days are calm and peaceful with a beautiful sunrise and sunset, there will be days with very nasty weather.

Wind and rain with 8 ft. breakers crashing on us, tossing us along the beach pummeling us, keeping us below the waves until we fight to get our head above the water and catch a single breath to only get hit by the next wave and take us under again. 

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This will be our life for the rest of time, so please if you’re on the beach with other parents and you see this- please step into the surf and help us or take a knee and pray for us… we will need either one.

In closing I simply ask this; Please don’t forget our son Jake. Love to all of you.

-Bret

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