A Mother’s Heart

Isaac’s Eulogy from his mom:

It was important for me to share today, to tell you a little bit about our Isaac. There are some things that I need you to know and some things that I need you to hear and not forget. In the coming days and months especially there are going to be moments when these truths will be so necessary so I am sharing them with you as much as I wrote them for myself.

For those of you that knew Isaac, you may have known that he was funny and insightful. He was a hard worker and in many ways much like his mother. He was sensitive and introverted and struggled to see the man that God made him to be. Moving to Marshall, MN in his freshman year of high school was incredibly difficult for Isaac and while he made a few friends, he never really felt like he belonged here.

It was in college where the depths of his struggles with depression and anxiety became evident to us. Until then he had kept it hidden. He didn’t talk about it and even as close as I was to him during that time…I didn’t know how bad it really was.

We spent a lot of time the last few years praying for him, encouraging him, and desperately trying to get him the help he needed. There were many days I spent in the shower thinking about the words I would say to honor my son because saving him felt hopeless.

It is easy as a parent, or as someone who loved or even knew Isaac, to question in moments like these if there was something more that we could have or should have done that would have changed this outcome.

I need you to hear me – this is not your fault, it is no one’s fault. On the evening that Dominic and I got the news we prayed against attacks that would come that would try and make us feel guilty. Trust me when I say that this outcome feels like the world’s biggest parenting failure. But I believe that is a lie.

We loved Isaac so much. We would have done anything for him.

Back in November I spoke at a women’s conference and I shared these words having no idea that God had given them to me, for me….

But Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “to give thanks in ALL circumstances… Not just the easy times. Not just when your bank account is full or when our children are behaving just perfectly, or our spouses are doing what we want them to do. But in ALL times. ALL times. At the times we get that cancer diagnosis, or we are dealing with addiction, or we have a wayward son. Those times too.”

Today I would add to that and say even in the face of suicide. Yes Lord I will give thanks.

I am grateful that I got a year of seeing Isaac doing well at his new job, I am grateful that he came on another family vacation with us this past summer. I am grateful that he was calling me again and texting me again. I am grateful that he said he loved me on the phone the week before he died.

It felt like God was restoring all that had been broken so that is why this, now, comes at such an even greater shock. And I will be honest, I am devastated and angry and absolutely broken but I am turning to the only One that can carry me right now, and that is God.

We don’t want Isaac’s end of life choice to be his legacy. I believe God has a bigger story planned than that. God will use what the enemy intended for harm and purpose it for good. I am standing on that promise today and I want you to as well.

In the coming days and weeks ahead, in those moments when you find yourself struggling, turn to God. Cry out to Him. He will be your redeemer. He will be your rock. I am claiming this promise for myself and for my family.

And if you are here and you are struggling with depression or anxiety and you are feeling hopeless please, please reach out to someone. You can call me. I don’t want another parent and family to walk through what we are. There is help available, and your life matters.

I am going to end with this. Dominic and I are not without hope. We serve a mighty God. We have seen Him redeem some of the darkest places of our lives in the course of 23 years and we are trusting that God is and will walk us through this valley. Our lives are deeply and profoundly changed forever, we will walk with a limp going forward, but we do not walk alone.

We are so grateful for everyone that is here and has prayed for us. There was an inexplicable peace in those early moments, and I believe prayer is what carried us through. We are going to play a song (Scars by I Am They) and I want you to hear the words. This song was an anthem for me as we battled for Isaac these last few years. In more ways than one we are profoundly scarred as a family. And yet we are reminded that there is One that was scarred on our behalf, on Isaac’s behalf. It is our faith and gratitude for all Christ has done for us that helps us move forward despite this terrible tragedy.