I can’t sleep. I’ve been wide awake for hours. My family suffered another great loss yesterday and I’m not sure how to cope, for them. You see, my cousin Tyler collapsed last weekend at work for no known reason. He was placed on every medication and life saving machine known to man. All of the obvious things ruled out…no heart attack, no stroke, no brain aneurism, no infection, no nothing…that we know of.
Tyler may be my first cousin but we spent our lives on opposite coasts, building our relationship through a few random trips, phone calls and social media. Sounds very distant I know, but when you’re family…well, you’re family. I
loved love him and my entire west coast family very much.
Tyler, just age 25, is survived by a beautiful young wife, Deanna-his high school sweetheart and three of the most precious children you will ever lay eyes on…Joey, Mateo & Amelia. He is also survived by his loving parents, my Aunt Tamara and Uncle Ken and his two amazing brothers, Michael and Dustin. This is the short list…as there are so many more family and friends that will be missing and grieving for Tyler. Tyler was a child and adult filled with laughter, charisma and so much love for others. What a gift to this world.
I can’t sleep because although our losses are so very different, I imagined my family walking out of that hospital last night. Alone, without Tyler. No more hope to cling to. I remember that walk myself, carrying a baby blanket instead of my baby. Tears streaming as I sobbed my way through the longest walk of my life. I didn’t want to leave the hospital, because I knew the world would be moving very fast around me and that the reality of my loss really took place beyond the walls of that building. As I stepped out of the hospital room for the first time since I entered, I held Bret’s hand and whispered, “Ready or not world, here we come.” I can’t stop picturing this long walk for my family.
I think it’s harder to give when your grieving because despite wishing everyone would stop and pause until you can catch your breath, there is nothing, no words, no cards or flowers and not even any scripture that can ease the indescribable pain of such magnitude. It literally paralyzes your mind to not be able to think straight. The first few months are like walking around in a complete fog. And I hate this for them. I want to help, I should know how to help. But I’m so taken back that I too, feel paralyzed yet again.
I know the decisions ahead, the unbearable heartache, the shock to come and I wish I could take it all away for them. When I first learned that Tyler had fell ill I pleaded with God, “Lord, if you have to take a miracle away from me to give it to him, please take it.” I know that’s not how God works. He’s not one to bargain. But I meant it. I really did.
Here is a picture of Tyler sending Jake balloons to heaven. He couldn’t be at the service but his kind heart was there in spirit…“Love you cousin! We were on the Alabama river sending prayers up to heaven. In loving memory” -Tyler
I hated getting advice from people who didn’t understand my loss. I don’t understand the loss of a husband or father. But I do understand the loss of a son, even if it looks very different. So what I can say to my Moon family is to simply breathe. That’s all you need to do for now. It will take a long time before you can say his name aloud without tears. It’s okay to not be strong. It’s okay to be angry with God, he can take it. He lost a son too. Your relationship with the Lord may change for a while-but it will grow in the process. Tyler is still around you. Be still when you can and you will feel him. Even when it seems like the entire world has moved on-there are many who still mourn in silence and remember Tyler. And simpy be proud of the amazing son you raised, the wonderful brother you grew up with, the loving & dedicated husband and father he was, and the kind friend to so many.
His light leaves a legacy. It will never be enough to a broken-hearted person on this end but remember, not all who leave this world leave with such an impact. He has done so. His work here has been marvelous.
He will always be loved. He will always be remembered. And your heartache will be continuously prayed upon.
I love you Moon’s- to the moon and back.
If you can spare anything, please consider donating to Deanna and their children.