It is Christmas Eve. Usually we are headed out to the Christmas Eve service at our old church in Parker, SD. The church Isaac grew up in. The church Isaac was baptized in.

Tonight we are getting ready for a meal with Dominic’s parents and will open some gifts and it all seems wrong. Every new (should be routine) thing we do is HARD.

This morning we went to the funeral home and picked out a casket and an urn. We planned the details of his service and cried with the funeral home director David and his wife Elly Sprik. They have been phenomenal in walking us through this.

Our pastor James Allen was there too and is helping us coordinate all of the details of the funeral. He has managed so much from our church and we are so grateful that we don’t have to think about these things when we are hurting so much.

We have friends who are helping to organize the decorating and the worship and it all feels so humbling and holy….and wrong. So desperately wrong. I knew our church community was incredible but I never wanted it validated because of something like this.

Dominic had to make calls to people to ask if they would be pallbearers. There are so many people we would like to ask it was hard to settle on just 6.

We stopped at Isaac’s apartment to gather a few things that we could maybe display at the funeral home and it all seems so stupid. When we had his graduation I wanted all the ribbons and awards displayed. Now it just hurts and feels stupid.

And then after what was a long and hard hard day we got a letter from Isaac’s boss Joshua Nunn. He wrote the most incredible tribute for our boy. Oh my sweet son was so caring and kind and incredible and so many people saw that in him. I just wish he could have seen it in himself. But his letter was a gift that we will cherish and read again and again.

Our living kids want and deserve a Merry Christmas and my heart wants to explode with sadness that this is our new normal. I cling to the cross and the hope of the manger and the baby that came to save us all…..even Isaac.