Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tears of Sadness

Today we officially say good-bye to Matt. On Saturday, Matt was killed in a car accident, on his way to take his ACT's. He was 17. He attended our church. He was one of my mother's seminary students (an early-morning scripture study class held before school).

Matt was cute. And charismatic. And fun-loving. He was the kind of boy you hope your daughter brings home. He was one of the good ones.

When I last saw Matt (Sunday, October 19th), I took special notice of him. He was blessing the sacrament and had just gotten his hair cut short. But there was something else about him. Something different.

As I watched him I thought, "Matt has grown up so much lately. He is a good role model for the youth. A good example. He's kind. I'm so happy that Taylor will be turning 12 soon and joining the Young Men's program with boys like him."

Since the accident, I have learned from other people at church, including my brother, that they also had taken special notice of Matt at that same moment and had similar thoughts. I have heard this over and over again. There was something different in his countenance. His spirit was different or something, maybe somehow aware of things to come.

Unfortunately, Matt wasn't alone in the car. His younger sister, Caitlin (15), was his passenger. She survived the accident, but is in Shock Trauma. She has been in a medically-induced coma since the accident. She has swelling in her brain, a bruised brain stem, and a broken pelvis. She had surgery on Monday to remove part of her skull to allow for the swelling. The doctors are hoping for a complete recovery, but said it should take 6-12 months.

Our church has fasted and prayed on behalf of Caitlin and her grieving family. She is in my constant prayers. She is one of the girls in the Young Women's program in which I serve. We are together twice a week, Sundays and Wednesdays.

I plead with you to please keep Caitlin and her family in your prayers, thoughts, and hearts. To my faithful LDS readers, please keep Caitlin in your prayers on Fast Sunday. She needs all the prayers she can get.

Tonight is the funeral. I know it's going to be sad. Although, I suspect there will be a fair amount of laughing, too, as they share stories of Matt. I know there will be many tears. Every fiber of my being aches for this family. It's so tragic. It hits home for me and my family. I have lost my sibling.

But, we know Matt is okay. His last entry on Facebook reads, "Matt has this store-bought way of saying he's okay." (Wed., Oct. 22)

34 comments:

The P*dunc's said...

That makes my heart ache. Even knowing and believing in the Plan of Salvation it is still so hard to lose someone (even for "but a moment"). Our prayers and fast are definitely with this family.

Michelle said...

I will keep his family and everyone who loves him in my prayers. I pray that his sister makes a full recovery. I'm glad that you had that moment that you were able to take in what a beautiful person he had become.

Erika said...

It is sad to have such an expirience in our lives, We wish that Our Heavenly Father could find a way we all can die in a nicer way, I do not know why things happen in the way it hapenned. What I know is that our Heavenly Father has a Plan, The influence of this tragedy will change lives in ways we had otherways never expected. We will pray for you guys and mostly their parents. Our Ward expirience a similar tragedy when two Aprils ago our HT lost his wife and his three kids in a car accident. it is horrible and everyday is a challenge. but we still here and he is still strong.
our prays are with you guys
Erika

christy said...

caitlin's most recent facebook entry says she feels overwhelmed. i guess she's getting some rest now. i pray she wakes up soon and starts that hard road of recovery. give the family my love. they are in my thoughts and prayers always.

miss chris said...

This is heartbreaking. Sending up my thoughts and prayers for Matt, Caitlin and their family. And you, too, Lera. I know this is hard on you as well. xoxo

Katie Jean said...

oh Lera, that is so sad. I'll be keeping everyone involved in my thoughts and prayers.

Karyn said...

Such a tragedy. It sounds like Matt will be remembered very fondly as a wonderful young man. Now it's time to think about Caitlin and the difficult road ahead of her.

I'm so sad and sorry Lera.

Anonymous said...

you always have such a wonderful way of saying things. thanks for making me cry, i think i really needed that! ME!

Machelle said...

I have been reading your blog for a month now. I am grateful to find good blogs out there. Your story reminds my of my cousin serving a mission in Brazil and was killed when their car was struck by a train. He was so full of life and I know is is full of life now in Heaven. I will pray for this family,for their loss, and for their daughter.

Brenda said...

Oh, Lera, We will be praying for his family. Praying that his sister will make a full recovery.

Tonya said...

This is so sad : ( I can't imagine what his family is going through. They will all be in my thoughts and prayers, especially his sister.

What a handsome young man he was.

nikko said...

Oh, Lera! This is so sad and so tragic. I will keep Matt and Caitlin and their family in my prayers!

laeroport said...

Oh, heartbreaking. You and his family are all in my prayers.

When I was a sophomore one of my senior friends, who had been in girl scouts and on drill team with me, was hit by a drunk driver ( who was a prominent doctor at that!) while riding her bike. She was much like your description of Matt. One of the good ones.

::sigh:: and (((hugs)))

beki said...

How very tragic. My heart is hurting for that family. I'll be praying for everyone.

amandajean said...

hugs to you Lera. I'll keep praying.

petersons said...

Thanks for the message you left on my blog. I will keep the family in our prayers. Very tragic.

Mam said...

May God and the angels wrap their arms around you and bring you comfort at this sad time. My thoughts and prayers are with you, your church family and the family of Matt and Caitlin.

another amy said...

Heart-wrenching. I have faith in the Plan because I have faith in the Planner, but it still always makes it hard to understand when some of "the good ones" have to go at such a young age.

Prayers are with you all.

Suzanne said...

I lost a friend today, too, Lera. Today has been filled with reminders that our time here counts, that what we do matters. Big hugs to you. Such a shame. Such sadness.

Sonja said...

What a horrible thing for this family to go through!
You, Caitlin, and her family will be in my prayers.

V and Co. said...

oh that just makes you want to turn around and hug your kids every single moment you can! i most defitnitly will be fasting for caitlin!

Cindy Is Crafty said...

Absolutely, I will keep them in my prayers.

cici said...

This is so sad. I'll say a prayer for this boy and his family.

Diane said...

I'm very sorry to hear about this boy and his sister. My heart aches for the family. My prayers go out for much healing.

Stacey said...

I am so sorry to hear this Lera. He is with Heavenly Father and that is most comforting. I know he is watching his sister, I will keep her in my prayers. Stay strong tonight.

Melanie said...

So sorry to hear about this loss. I hope Caitlin recovers. Have you read about Stephanie Nielsen also LDS? She is just coming out of a chem coma after a plane crash.
http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2008/10/26/20081026sisters1026a1.html

and

http://www.azcentral.com/community/mesa/articles/2008/10/27/20081027liv-stephanie1027.html

her sister updates via her blog too:http://blog.cjanerun.com/

God does work miracles. I'm praying that Caitlin is held in his hand and comes through this. her family have enough loss. I hope the right words reach them.

Barbara at Oodles and Oodles said...

Hi, Lera - I was catching up on my blog reading today and was so sad to read this. My son is 17, and it's such an age of possibility and discovery. I'm so sorry for his family, and for you. This kind of loss hits too close to home.

randi said...

This is so terribly sad. I will definitely be praying for this family and for their daughter. I know that God will strengthen you to be an encouragement to them.

txmommy said...

I'm so sorry. Two years ago my daughter's dearest friend was in a car crash with her brother, a recently returned missionary, she died, he lived. It's been sad and hard. The gospel has given them the strengh to carry on, but the loss is still felt in their family and in our ward. I will pray for Caitlin and her family.

jessi said...

I'm so sorry to hear about this loss. I will pray for his family. And thank you for your inspiring expressions of faith.

A little bit of crazy.... said...

So young. I'll be thinking of Caitlin and her family. That was a really touching tribute to Matt.

melissa said...

Oh that is so heartbreaking. I'm always so saddened to hear of young people dying.

dig this chick said...

Oh Lera that is terrible. I will have you his family and your community in my thoughts.

Aunt LoLo said...

My heart is with you..and the whole ward. We lost my grandmother last weekend, and had her funeral Wednesday morning. The funeral made me think...I want to try harder to tell people I appreciate them while they're still here to reap the benefits!