I’ve tried to write a piece to share Jake’s story for a month now. Anything I write doesn’t seem to capture Jake, the love between Bret and Lisa, or the feelings on my heart. When it comes to expressing oneself, I have always struggled with coming up with the right words. I think that is why I paint instead. I know Lisa understands, seeing as how she stayed up late into the wee hours of the night, multiple times, to help me with my english literature essays in high school and college. Some people have a gift with words. I am not one of them, however, Lisa is.
I’m so proud of my best friend for sharing this difficult journey with complete strangers. Her bravery and openness about infertility, miscarriage, and still birth have helped numerous people out there to not feel so alone in their grief. I’m also thankful for all of those people who reached back to her with their own stories. They can truly understand her and Bret. I will always be here to hold their hands and listen. I think society doesn’t talk about it because when it comes to the death of a child, I think there aren’t a whole lot of words that can comfort. It’s horrible. There are just broken hearts, tears, shock, anger, and lots of “I’m so sorry”s. Jake left behind many ripples in his wake. It is pretty amazing. I’m heartbroken, forever changed and thankful at the same time to be a tiny part of Jake’s story.
Lisa and Bret, I am so thankful that you allowed me to meet your beautiful son, Jake. Don’t worry- I could NEVER forget him. I literally witnessed an angel that day. If that isn’t life changing- I don’t know what is. I love you ALL.
For Jake Edward Hand
My Dearest Jake,
Sail away, Beautiful Angel.
Meet thy Maker and join your
family members that have passed.
I know you are up in heaven.
Your sail at full mast.
You have the heart of a selfless woman.
The flesh of a Navy Chief
You were made in perfect creation.
This is my deepest belief.
They have been waiting for your arrival.
I’m so sorry you couldn’t stay.
But I am most certain we will all be reunited again one day.
Where hearts are not broken.
And tears do not fall.
And the emptiness inside us- isn’t empty at all.
Where love is all that matters.
And time doesn’t exist.
Where you can spend eternity.
And not have one more wish.
Where God is all around you.
You can’t tell up from down.
Where none of that even matters
Because you have simply found-
Found the two people-
The ones who helped create you.
The ones who loved you first
When they heard that your heart stopped beating, their heart’s burst.
Where you can play patty-cake with your Mother
The way she always dreamed.
Woodworking, golf, and fishing together
A Daddy’s daydream.
This wasn’t supposed to happen.
Not like this.
But in Heaven, love is eternal.
And time doesn’t tick.
So in these few moments that I get to look upon your face.
Each little angel finger tip, your lips, I will trace.
It all seems so unfair from one whose faith may waiver.
But in all of this Jake-
You taught us this lesson-each life must be savored.
I will make a promise to you, Jake.
One that I will keep.
A hug for your Mom and Dad, always.
And a prayer for peace.
How do you know you love someone before they are even born?
You just do. It’s guaranteed.
It’s like the calm after the storm.
Sorry we missed each other here.
We are coming for you soon.
Sail away, Beautiful Angel.
Use your compass and the moon.
All my love,