My dad's journal about losing his son 2 and half years ago at
18 years old. My older brother, my hero.
BOYS MADE OF CLAY.
The night before Tegan passed away we sensed time was running out.
As the sky quickly darkened the air grew eerily cold... and with
each breath we felt a heavy, somber feeling grow within our hearts.
That abyss that was inching to devour our son has its mouth
stretched wide and was beginning to swallow him up.
We were preparing to cuddle with Tegan in his room to comfort him
when we recieved a call from his best friend and next-door neighbor
who wanted to see Tegan. Unaware that Tegan was already slipping
away and was coming in and out of consciousness, we asked this
young boy if we could speak to his mother. We told her Tegan
didn't have much time and that perhaps her son would want to
come over one last time. Within a few minutes of that call, this
young boy came over to say goodbye to our baby, his best
Tegan absolutely loved Luke. Tegan was always excited to spend time
with him... So this last visit would mean more to Tegan than I
think Luke realizes to this day.
What I witnessed in the quite of Tegan's room was the most
tender interaction between two teenage boys I have ever seen. It
was a sacred exchange between two boys made of clay - each being
shaped by experience, hardship, sacrifice and love.
Lying on the bed was our young boy much too young to die. Standing
next to him, another young boy holding his hand, bearing his young
soul... much too young to say goodbye. It was not my place to ask
God why such heavy things were required by hands of these two
innocent souls. Instead, I began to ponder deeply and pray in my
heart to understand what we were meant to learn from this
These aren't the only two teenagers to experience this, and
they won't be the last. But they were our kids.. and we loved
them so. It hurt so very much to see.
Luke, who had loved Tegan like a brother and faithfully served him
with all his heart told Tegan how much he meant to him, that
because of Tegan he learned what it meant to be a true friend and
that he would never forget him. Luke struggled to hold back tears,
his voice was broken with emotion, as Tegan lay unable to move or
speak. His eye barely open, my little son listened to tender words
of affection and friendship. My wife and I wept as we witnessed
love and friendship in its purest form. I knew that Luke,
Tegan's faithful friend, was breaking inside.
Afterward I hugged him and told him how much my wife and I loved
and appreciated him. I told him I was sure if Tegan were able to
speak he would tell Luke that he loved him like a brother and that
he appreciated how he was always there to help him, and how much it
meant to him that he always cheered him up when he was sad. I told
Luke that he taught Tegan and his parents what it meant to be
"your brother's keeper" and that we were so grateful
Later that evening I couldn't help but think of that tender
experience between these two boys who were forced to grow up much
I admit the burden of losing my presious son has my knees
trembling, hands shaking and my soul in tremendous pain. There
exist no words in human language to describe the depths of this
sorrow. It is simply, utterly, bewildering heavy. But, like all
suffering, the sting of that pain can make way to a deeper
compassion towards others, a greater capacity to love, a stronger
desire to reach toward God and understand His purposes.
The truth is, we are [all of us] no different than these two boys.
We are all made of clay. And with each choice we make, each
reaction to events in our life, we carve out something beautiful or
something hideous - something that loves or hates. We need only
look at our own life experience to know this is true... We have all
seen some let the clay in their hearts harden and become brittle or
unmovable. Others allow the tears of suffering to keep their clay
soft and pliable.
It has been an agonizing 1 year and 7 months since I have seen
my precious son. My clay is still drenced with tears and soggy. One
day the tears will eventually dry and I will do all that I can to