Friday, March 15, 2013

Jonathan's Candlelight Memorial

We feel so honored to be Jonathan's parents.  He was our ninth child and will always hold that position. 

Last night we said goodbye.  It was beautiful and it feels like part of me forever will be missing.  The void doesn't go away.

Our hearts are so fragile right now that we kept it small, our family, my mom and brother, and another family we are close to.  I know many would have liked to stand with us, but it's all a little too fresh right now.  I didn't know how bad I needed to say goodbye, but I did.  Even writing that brings fresh tears.

As we formed a circle around the room, children snuggled to us and spoke about their love for their brother. 

Bekah (at only seven) sharing words of wisdom, how her brother is with Jesus...healthy...loved.

Tom (18) picked up his guitar and played a song that he heard the night we received the news.

"Sleep tight, I'm not afraid.
The ones I love are here with me.
Lay away a place for me.
'Cause as soon as I'm done, I'll be on my way.
To live eternally."

Anna (12)...Anna sat on the floor behind me in tears.  She handed me what she had written and asked me to read it.

"Even though we never met Jonathan, he is in our hearts and minds.  I love him because he's my little brother.  Just because he had Down Syndrome, he wasn't different from me.  I thought he would come through all that and he would be able to talk and walk, but God had other plans.  The day we found out that Jonathan passed away I was heart broken.  I didn't know what to do except for saying, 'Why God? Why? What are you doing?' I basically didn't know that He had a bigger plan.

Jonathan, I love you.  I won't be the same...ever again. You changed my life in more ways than one.

Daniel 4:1-4
'How great are his signs.  How mighty are his wonders.  His kingdom is an eternal kingdom and his dominion endures from generation to generation.' "

You can guess the tears flowed.  It was hard to get a breath to move forward in the reading.  I would have to stop, gather my thoughts, and take a deep breath.

Max (10) struggled, but couldn't say anything.  He broke after the service...the hole in our hearts so ever present.

As I put my thoughts into words, breathing became almost impossible.  The feeling of rawness, mixed with God's peace and love.....

"His body’s whole, he stands with honor. 
Jonathan is not just our child, but first and foremost God’s child.
A body bent on this earth
Now bows at the feet of our Savior.

 He runs and never gets tired
through meadows and streets of gold.
He feels a love we could only give at a distance...
So distinctly, in such realness as we could never imagine.

I’m a little jealous.  I’m jealous of my son who gets to stand with my Savior.  I’m jealous of my Savior who holds our son.  I’m so thankful that Jesus loves him more than we can wrap our human brains around.  Heaven…with God…is where Jonathan is supposed to be. 

Because he joined God, he may not lay in our arms, but he doesn’t have to go for years and years of often painful therapy and hospital stays, no frail bones, or pain in moving.  He doesn’t have to fear or struggle to make himself understood.  He is not trapped inside a body that doesn’t have the perfection of Heaven. 

 He is free.  Free to walk with our Savior…free to laugh (oh how I long to hear him laugh)…free to love with abandon, knowing he’s forever protected by God….

Jonathan, sweetheart, your mommy and daddy love you.  Your family here adores you.  Help Jesus prepare a place for us son.  We’re slow, but we’re coming….."

 As my husband poured out his heart, sharing the first steps in realizing Jonathan was our son.  His father's heart is pain filled, yet also mesmerized by God's goodness in this.
Words of blessing, love for Jonathan, encouragement poured from my mom, brother, friends.  I can't reproduce the beauty of their words. 
As we lit the candles, symbolizing his life here on earth, we sung the truth to him..."Jesus Love You".

We blew out the candles, knowing his life here is through and his light is now in Heaven.
 It's hard to know what to say right now, but I know so many of you love and loved Jonathan.  He knows, I'm confident in that.  I've had painful things in my life before, but none as hard as saying goodbye to my son.  I would not wish him back from my Savior.  He lives in joy we can't even imagine.  God's purpose is bigger than we can imagine.  It's an honor to serve Him and we would do it all over again...even in the heartbreak and tears...we absolutely would.
I think Sarah said it best.  She said, "Mom, our journey to Jonathan isn't over, it's just begun."

"Jesus said, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.' ”  Matthew 19:14
Welcome into the arms of Jesus dear son.


  1. I am so sorry for your loss! I hope Jesus comes back soon so we can all meet Jonathan!

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this! Thank you, also, for your family's example of submission to God's higher ways... which can be so foreign to us!
    I am continuing to pray for your family. May He keep his arms around you all!

  3. You all will have a joyous reunion some day in heaven, but meanwhile, in the interim, I'm very sorry for your loss of time on the earth with him.

  4. LOVE & Prayers for tender mercy:'(

  5. Journey on....journey on.

  6. Hi Kat, I have been meaning to get in touch with you. My sister, Kathy Junk, forwarded your email to me with your video of your son Jonathon. I am so sorry for your loss. I, too, have a son who passed away before we were able to bring him home from his country of birth. It was 8 years ago. I still feel very close to him and know that we will one day be together. Good bless you and your family. You are in my thoughts and prayers! -Shannon Cox

  7. Absolutely! Your journey has just begun! As a mom with 3 precious daughters in Heaven, I can tell you that you will never get over the loss, but God will carry you through the loss until you are ALL re-united in Him! Praise God!! (((HUGS)))


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