Jake, sweet Jake.
I remember first hearing about you and your presence in your mother and father’s world. They learned they were pregnant and before they told me, I knew- I just knew. I had been praying for them (and for you!) for many months. I saw it in Lisa, somehow…Jake, that was your spirit, I suppose, shining bright -so intense. And no, Jake – I do not claim to see visions. I am not THAT kind of a chaplain. But I knew. I believe it was God’s breath breathing life into you and asking for prayers before others were even aware. I am and will forever be your prayer warrior.
You continued to grow and grow and watching you was like watching a miracle. An answered prayer. I knew you had the strength of your daddy and the heart of your mother. You were a perfect creation from both of them. And you still are. I miss you. Isn’t that strange? That I had barely known you but many nights and days were full of prayer for you and in that way, I think we knew each other. It is quite ironic, I think, Jake. My job, in a sense, is to do bereavement care and help journey with families throughout much of that time after their child dies- so, it is supposed to be something I deal with easily and be prepared to deal with my own feelings in regard to death but I had never experienced anything like this on a personal level. I can say that I never expected my reaction to be so raw and my pain to be so intense. I am friends with Lisa and Bret but I wasn’t family- so why did it hurt so much when you died? Why did I question God’s plan? Why did it affect me so deeply? Your death was a stab of shock for me and quite honestly, made me a bit frustrated with our God. I know our human frustration and anger toward God is normal and I know God is big enough to handle it, but it still stung like hell. I remember that day quite vividly and I remember sitting in my office just wanting so badly for it all to be a misunderstanding. But it wasn’t and you were gone from the earth. One thing I knew, and still know, is your love and spirit were full of life and my prayer, in those moments of anger and frustration, was that it would fill your mom and dad’s heart through all of this- each and every day.
In a sense, I feel like your mom, dad and I became closer, too, during that point which is a blessing but at the same time it was a curse because you weren’t here. You aren’t here; at least not on Earth. And yet, in your absence, I look back and think how much closer I have come to know your mom and dad. I find that beautiful and yet so sad at the same time. While I am thankful for drawing closer to your mom and dad, you are not here to be a part of it.
Jake, one of the most beautiful moments I had was meeting you and being able to bless you. I will never forget it; it was truly being present with you and God and your family in a way that is indescribable. Here I was blessing your life when indeed, you were a blessing to me and I knew to so many others. Blessings of love we give and receive is an extension of how God’s love must be-that is why you came into this world. To bless us. Thank you. You have taught me so much about life, love, and strength and I cannot say that without saying thank you to your mom and dad too. I look at your handprints hanging on my wall nearly every day and I think of you, smile, and continue on- but in that moment, I think of you and I am grateful for your life. We miss you down here Jake. Hope the sailing is nice up there and the winds are fair. XOXO