Dear Jakey,

There are times when I just don’t think I can possibly miss you more. I am in the midst of one of those times now. I wonder if I will ever really get used to you being gone. And I don’t think I can. And I have said it before, I am pretty sure that I don’t want to. But sometimes it just seems almost impossible to move forward. Times like this past weekend. Uncle Steve and Auntie Spunky were here for Travers weekend. And Ethan stayed with Abue and G-Pa. And we had a lot of fun – lots of silly, goofy fun. And for some of that time it was really easy to forget. But then it is almost harder because when I remember – which is usually in the middle of the night, it just seems so bad all over again. So devastating and so hard and as I lay in bed I just close my eyes so tight wishing that I could feel you against my skin again. And no matter how long I wait or want, the outcome never changes. You are always still gone.

Last week you got a letter from Miss Briana. She left it at your grave and before I even opened the envelope I knew it was her. On the outside it said “Jake, Jake, Jake”. She knew you from back in the day when you were just a super tiny peanut and I used to sing the Jake song to you. You probably remember it. Anyways,  it isn’t just me that misses you so very much. This is what she wrote:

Dear Jake,

I’ve been meaning to write to you for over 8 months and I am ashamed to say that every time I start my words become a jumbled mess. I want to write to you the way your mommy does. She (and your daddy and Ethan) are incredibly strong – they exhibit a strength that I cannot imagine, and have to deal with a loss that I cannot fathom. I know you are proud of what your mommy and daddy have done in your honor. We all are. I would do anything to be able to take away even a little bit of their pain away.

Jake, I want you to know that you are loved and missed and that you are missed every single day. I’m leaving this cardinal for you. I am always looking for signs of you and would love to see your cardinal again. I have seen it a few times in our lilac bushes and I feel that this is you. I miss seeing you on my couch, little buddy. You are loved, missed and never forgotten.

All our love,

Briana & family

Jakey – it is all so true. I have been thinking a lot about how you have forever impacted so many people. Aunt Cheryl wrote me a note yesterday about you and how she is dedicating her next year of grad school to you. She knows you will make sure she has the strength to persevere through what will surely be a difficult year. You taught us all so much and you taught us all with eloquence and grace. I don’t know how you did it.

With so much love,