August 27, 2009

A year ago today, we said our last goodbyes. We did what every parent hopes to never have to do in the their lifetime. We held a memorial service for our beautiful baby boy. Our day was spent with family and friends, yet we felt so alone. Our child was gone, and life no longer made sense. Life didn't feel worth living anymore. We longed for Heaven then as strongly as we do now because nothing makes sense when your child is taken too soon.

Surprisingly, I remember almost every detail of that day. I remember driving to the funeral home, the steps into the building, sitting down with one of the nicest, most compassionate men I have ever had the priviledge to meet, and then spending time with Ayden. I wasn't scared. I wasn't overly emotional. I was a bit numb, but I remember feeling so strong. I don't know where that strength came from. It was strange because I found myself in "Mommy mode"....still protecting my child by being the strong one.....when he wasn't there anymore. I remember seeing him and not being able to cry. I could never look at him and cry. He had made my life complete and happier than I could have ever imagined. Although I knew he was gone, he still made me smile. I was in awe that I had a part in making someone so beautiful. And although "Ayden" wasn't there in that room, seeing him there made it feel like he was still with us. So, that day wasn't as difficult because we were still able to see him, touch him, and be with him.

I remember Jeremy and I requesting to be alone with him before the rest of the family saw him. We didn't want to be with everyone else when they saw him because we wanted our emotions, reaction, conversation.....all of it....we wanted it kept private....between the 3 of us. Our pain was/is different than everyone else's, and we wanted to keep ours separate. Our grief process has been one that we've shared together and kept very private between us because we knew that our experience was going to be different than everyone else's. No one else could relate to what we were going through. We wanted to be strong for each other, and we didn't want our family and friends to feel the need to try to comfort us or "make things better." Because nothing anyone said or did could help.....we just needed each other. Looking back, I'm sure that over this last year, many have felt like we have pulled/pushed away, but we have had to face everything in the way that worked for us, and finding strength in each other is what has held us together and pulled us through.

I remember going home, looking at the hand molds the hospital made, walking around our back yard and watching the butterflies, crying....a any given point in the day, getting ready...unsure of what to wear but knowing I would not wear black that day - I eventually decided to wear the last thing Ayden saw me in because when I first put it on I remembered thinking, "Well, if no one else thinks I look pretty in this, at least Ayden will." I remember walking into the church to see the beautiful flowers and the pictures of Ayden that a friend of mine so graciouslly had enlarged for us. I remember the sanctuary filling up with people and seeing face after face walking towards us. I greeted people and thanked them for coming as I stroked Ayden's head.....still so proud of my baby boy. I remember looking back at that moment and thinking how difficult it must have been for everyone else to see him there, but how comforting it was for me to be able to reach out and touch him.....I just needed to be connected to my son.

I remember walking up on stage and not knowing how I found the strength to speak. I remember Jeremy's words and how he worked so hard to make them perfect.....and they were. I remember the music....songs chosen with so much care....songs I still can't bring myself to hear or sing to this day without weeping. I remember going to the memorial park and asking to see Ayden one last time. I remember feeling a peace there.....a peace I still feel each time I visit because I know he isn't there. We remember him there, but our Ayden isn't in that place.

I remember going back to the church for a family meal...wondering why it was customary to feed the family who is grieving the loss of a loved one. How did I even find it in myself to be able to swallow any of it? How was I able to smile on that day....or make small talk with friends? How was I able to keep moving?

You would think that after a year, it would be blur.

I remember it all.

I haven't posted these pictures before, and I debated posting them even now. However, I wanted to share our lives a year ago today to show you how far we have come. Some days, these images seem like yesterday. Other days, it feels like it has been longer. However, the reality of it all remains fresh, and I continue to feel the pain of Ayden's absence every day. I long to see him and hold him again. I pray frequently for Christ's return because I can't seem to imagine another day in this world without Ayden. I miss him every day. I grow more and more in love with him every day. And every day I wish he hadn't been taken from us. I plead for answers still....with no response. Yet, I continue to serve the God who allowed this to happen because I know that His will is good, and although it is beyond my understanding, He will reveal His purposes to me some day. Ayden's short life has touched so many, and I know that his life was not fruitless. He has touched more people than I ever will in my life time. I continue to be so proud of my son, and I know his life was not in vain. I make it my mission to ensure that he is never, ever forgotten. We will never forget, and we will forever treasure the amazing and wonderful blessing that God gave to us in Ayden. We never took a moment for granted, and for that reason, the memories of our time with him remain to be so clear and vivid. I hope that never changes.

This chapter in our lives isn't one that we can just flip through...turning the pages to move forward to the happier side of the story. Our loss will continue to be a part of our story and a part of who we are. It won't define us, but it will shape us and propel us through to the ultimate ending.....where we're with Ayden again. What a happy day that will be....

This is the video that was shown at the Celebration of Life Service. The sound on the video isn't working, but I hope you will watch anyway.

Lord, we will never understand the WHY in all of this. You blessed us with a child we loved and continue to love with every ounce of our being. From the moment of his conception, we gave him to you and trusted you with his life. We accepted your plan for his life before we ever knew what it was. We trust you and believe in your promises despite the tragedy we have endured. You have promised to restore us, comfort us, and be our refuge. You have told us to lean not on our understanding because this is not within our ability to understand. You have promised us rest. And above all, you have given us life after death through the sacrifice of your son. You have given us hope. Comfort us, Lord, and continue to remind us of the hope we find in You. Let us be a light to others enduring trials and suffering so that they may also know You and Your unfailing love.



  1. Lindsay thank you so much for sharing your story today. I will keep you and yours in my thoughts and prayers. The photos bought memories flooding back of the time when my parents buried my baby brother and his tiny white coffin. Those memories of holding his tiny body as we said our final goodbye will be with me always. But so is the love.

  2. lindsay i am just weeping reading this. it is just so monumentally unfair that any of us should ever have to do this for our child. you had a beautiful service for your son. your strong faith is impressive to me, as this is something with which i have struggled greatly since kenny died.

  3. Thank you so much for sharing the celebration of Ayden's life video. I cannot put into adequate words how Ayden's life story has affected my life. Your faith, grace and dignity in dealing with his loss has also taught me so much. Through my tears for your grief I can honestly also say thank you to God for finding you in my life through your blog. xxxx

  4. Praying for you today, Lindsay. I know it must be such a difficult day for you and Jeremy. You have such a positive outlook on life and are a true Christian woman. Jesus and Ayden are looking down with smiles on their faces! :)

  5. WOW! I'm still so sorry he was taken so soon in our world, but I know it was perfect timing in God's world. Something none of us will understand until we hear it from the big man above. Thinking of you and yours again today.

  6. My Dear Sweet Lindsay,
    How my heart aches to read of August 27, 2009. While you were saying your final "earthly" bye bye to Ayden, I was soaking up the sweetness of my Laynee, having no idea that in just 2 short weeks I would be doing the exact same thing you were doing. I didn't know you existed then, I don't really know you now, but there's this thing we share, this aching sadness that nothing can take away. I am so thankful to God that he brough Collen to you. That today, as you ache, you can begin filling another part of your heart with the precious unique love of another son. I know that you will cherish him in a way that you never could have before knowing how fragile life is. Thank you for clinging to our Father, for allowing his love and mercy to flow through you even when you can't always see him.
    Bless you and Jeremy and Collen and my Ayden and Laynee dance in heaven while they wait for us.

  7. thank you for sharing...i know those aren't easy picture to let the "world" see....i thought your words were beautiful and eloquent...

    indeed, we don't move on...we continue you and our loss becomes a part of us.


  8. Thinking of you today and remembering Ayden. I admire you for your strength and courage to share your emotional story. Lots of hug!

    With love,
    Stacey from CA

  9. I am at a loss for words at the moment, just tears....

  10. Thank you for sharing the photos and the beautiful video. Ayden is just beautiful. I wish you peace today. Thinking of you and your family.

  11. I have never left a comment but wanted to let you know that you are one strong mama. Ayden I am sure is looking down on you is oh so proud of you! What a BEAUTIFUL tribute to your sweet ababy boy!

  12. Tears this's so fresh, yet seems so long ago, too.

    Praying for you guys today.

  13. What a beautiful memorial to your son.

  14. Your strength is so amazing. I appreciate you sharing this story with me. I have not read a more moving story. I cried so hard. So many people remember those days as a blur but you and your husband took hold of it with such grace. How proud Ayden must of been. I admire the control you took of the situation and not letting others in. You and your husband are blessed to have each other, holding each other up during the storm. Looks like it was a beautiful service and the video is so precious. ((HUGS))

  15. Oh Lindsay.....your strength truly amazes me. I know you probably dont believe you are strong....but you are still HERE. You are still making it through each day. I truly dont know how you do it. My neice passed away of SIDS in Nov and I still think of her every day. I know its not the same though.....I hope Ill never know that pain :( Thank you so much for sharing those intimate pictures. The ones with you kissing his coffin really choked me up :'(

    Congrats on your new sweet boy. I pray he brings your life some of the joy and peace you've had to miss out on this past year.

  16. Thank you for sharing your moments with us. I will forever remember Ayden as the special baby who touched my life. I know this was not easy to share but you left me with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes you wrote it all so beautiful. Your love for Ayden is in every word, thinking of you and Jeremy.

  17. Your pictures made me cry and I can't even begin to imagine what it took to get thru that day. Thank you for posting the pics. Ayden is so adorable. Hugs to you!!

  18. Praying for you all today. Your story and your faith have deeply touch me. Because of Ayden and because of you sharing your story I have become a devoted christian. Ayden will never be forgotten! I truly hope you feel our prayers.

  19. My heart goes out to you and Jeremy. Ayden brought you so much joy and I can't imagine how much he is missed and the pain you feel. I am thankful you have little Collen to hold and love.

  20. Thank you for sharing your heart today. You are a strong woman of God. I am excited to see how your story and Ayden's unfolds and touches others.

  21. Could make one wonder if there is a God at all.
    What kind of God let's babies dies?
    What kind of God allows this kind of suffering?

    And then we are to give thanks in all things.....Really???!

    So, I give thanks for Ayden's life.
    I give thanks for your courage to share your story and his sweet life with us. I give thanks for Collen, his life and his purpose already blessed and fulfilled through birth. I give thanks for the community of people who love and care for you and their lifting of prayers in your names. I give thanks for the garden and butterflies that are living reminders of your Ayden.

  22. You are amazing! Thank you so very much for sharing your most intimate thoughts and pictures of beautiful Ayden! As always, ya'll are in my thoughts and prayers! :)

  23. You have been in my thoughts and prayers.
    Watching Ayden's video brought tears to my eyes. He is such a precious and handsome Angel.

    Sending you big HUGS...From one Angel Mommy to another.

    Happy 1 Year Angelversary Little Guy.


  24. Many prayers and many many hugs from faraway India.

    I read your blog often and you guys are in my thoughts and prayers always

  25. Thinking of sweet Ayden and praying for y'all.

    Love you, Kelley

  26. Lindsay and Jeremy,

    I have been thinking of and praying for you both and your family this entire week. I am sorry that I didn't get to send you a card in the mail, but I was unsure of your current address. Please know that your family is continually in my thoughts and prayers, and I read your blog every day. I love you both, and am praying for you all.

    Amanda M.

  27. Wow.....thank you so much for sharing that part of your life with us. Tears are falling on my keyboard as I type this. May Collen fill your heart with some joy!

  28. Lindsay, you don't know me, but I am a mom who has followed your blog for over a year. I have learned so much about life through your blog. You and your husband are very strong and have so much faith. I want to thank you for sharing that with myself and others. Even though I don't know you, I think about you often. Stay strong and sweet! Thanks for sharing the celebration of Ayden's life video.