Friday, November 1, 2013

DEAR ISAAC: A Letter to Heaven, and the World - PART I - Eternal Answers

*About this post: 
The contents of this entry are broken up into 4 parts- posted over the course of 4 days.  Each describes tender moments very close to my heart and are of great worth and significance to me. I share them out of gratitude for my angel son, Isaac, my Savior Jesus Christ, and my Father in Heaven for the priceless wisdom and insights this experience has and will provide me for the rest of my life, and so to others. I wrote these things (and much more besides) with much struggle, dedication and tears over the course of nearly three months. As the most sacred and most beautiful experience of my life, it is my great privilege and honor to share these things with any and all who read it.
Please Note: I will continue (where applicable) typing a small paragraph at the top about our recent, day-to-day interactions or stories regarding Isaac. The "real" posts will begin immediately after, starting with the title of the blog post. 

How we are really doing:
-Sydney- is great. Her faith is pure like a child's faith should be. She has never shed a tear about Isaac, though she has watched me shed many and has comforted me more times than I have needed to comfort her. She knows that "Baby Isaac is not a baby anymore- he's a big boy now in Heaven." "His body is hiding in the box but he is with Heavenly Father," and "When Jesus comes again, he's going to take Isaac's body out of the box and hand him to me and I can hold him and he will smile at me!" To her, it's completely normal, and she is completely happy with it. That is how it should be for us all- because like God's plan for us, it is perfect!

-Scott- is busy. He is also a very soft spoken soul, so I do check in with him about "how he's doing." I can detect his "moments" every now and again. I know he lets himself stay focused elsewhere because when he thinks about Isaac he thinks of "what could have been." He really wanted to get to spend some time with Isaac, but we both know it's not really "what could have been," but "what WILL BE." We just have to be patient. For the most part, he is fantastic at making the best of "what we've been dealt" and moving forward all the while. Serving others has always been a good way for him to know he's "in a good place," in life, and I would say that he is in a very good place.

-I- am grateful. I know it is all worth it. However, I would be lying if I said Isaac's separation hasn't been the most difficult on me, and the most life-changing, physically, emotionally and spiritually. It was several weeks before a single day passed that I didn't shed a tear. Most days are happy, but there are definitely moments that no matter how hard I try to make the choice not to, the tears just come anyway. Other times, I welcome the tears--occasionally it feels good to cry it out.

Overall, I can finally feel the jagged edges of the lifelong scar left on my heart smoothing out with the passage of time-but don't believe it is the passage of time since his death that makes the difference, but rather the dwindling of time remaining with each passing day until I am with him againFor that reason alone, every day is more promising than the last, even if it's a tearful one. 

Isaac's story: Post 7

DEAR ISAAC: A Letter to Heaven, and the World
Hopeful Truths Gained From a Most Scared, Eternal Experience

Published 3 months postpartum

Part I of IV- Eternal Answers

When I was in grade school, I wrote a poem for which I received an award. The topic was centered around these three all-encompassing questions: 

"Where did I come from? 
Why am I here? 
Where am I going after I die?" 

Through the fullness of the Gospel, I was taught the answers to these at a young age, but in reality, experience has proved more valuable in determining the level at which I believe them.

Our incredible journey with Isaac has forever engrained into my soul the truthfulness of the answers to these three questions. Not only do I believe, but through Isaac, I have experienced bits and pieces of their absolute truth.

I cannot describe the feelings that overpowered my being, as I held Isaac's lifeless body in my arms for the first time. The peculiar, yet peaceful silence we encountered just after delivery was broken by the only words that so powerfully overwhelmed my emotions. Staring down at those closed eyes and drooping jaw, which Isaac had so recently occupied, I proclaimed through streaming tears, "I am so happy for him!"  

All avenues of communication prove unworthy to describe that sacred moment, but when that light entered my own soul and overwhelming comfort was bursting within and around me as I peered down at my precious baby's body, I knew Isaac himself was right beside me.  I cannot adequately explain, but I had never experienced anything more sure in my life. It was realThough I could not see him, his spirit was so tangible that I felt for a time like I myself was out of this world, like I had entered his new one. It seemed to me distantly familiar and was the most beautiful experience of my life. I do not dare try and describe it further, for all forms of human communication are completely and utterly insufficient to do so. 

The immense happiness, peace, and comfort I experienced was overwhelming--too much so for my mortal shell to contain for long. So, both fortunately and unfortunately, those sacred and powerful moments eased up over the next several hours as we kept Isaac and his body with us in that sacred room at the end of the hall. 

When we finally gave them permission to take his body, I believe Isaac himself stuck around for a bit. His presence kept me from crying as I stepped in to help the nurse who was struggling to wrap up his body before they wheeled it away. From his spirit to mine, I felt proof and have felt it since, that he did not go off down the hall with that cart, nor did he go four feet under with that tiny, white casket three days later.

Instead, he now occupies a greater, more glorious sphere, anxiously engaged in a good cause, unseen and unheard.

I have struggled incredibly over the past few months to write the contents of my soul,  which have matured to ever-greater heights since Isaac's existence here on earth "reached its climax." But it has not. That moment has not yet come. This experience has been merely a jumpstart for the incomprehensible faith I will need later in my own existence; Faith necessary to one day witness for myself not only the eventual climax of Isaac's continuing existence, but something much bigger than Isaac and our little family, and something much, much greater.

Part II will be posted on November 2, 2013


  1. Oh Stephanie... what a sweet experience. I am touched. Your experience strengthens my faith. Thank you for sharing.

    1. It is so worth sharing. :) Thank you for letting it touch you too, Chandra!

  2. Beautifully written Steph. I am so happy you were able to get all of your feelings, emotions and thoughts written down! It's one the most important things you could and should do after something so significant. I am anxiously waiting to read the rest.

  3. We love your beautiful family Steph! As always, missing you and wishing you were closer.

  4. Thank you for sharing, I really love reading and learning from you.

  5. Such a beautiful experience and so beautifully written. I can only try to understand how difficult writing this all down has been… You have done an incredible job and I love thinking back on all the beautiful things I experienced during those sacred few days. Love ya girl.

  6. Oh my... our paths so different and yet in many ways so the same. I have found that writing has given me purpose, and also a place to go when I am broken inside. I actually heard about your story early this summer and my heart went out to you then, so incredibly hard. There is nothing I have experienced that has touched losing a child. It has so many different sides. What a sweet boy you have, and your daughter is precious. Keep writing, it has been my Balm of Gilead when I can't find the strength to see through the moment. <3 love to you as you journey down this path...


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