Saturday, September 5, 2009

Rest in Peace Lucas

Last night was Lucas' viewing and although there was some confusion on map quest, there was a great turnout. Lucas looked like an angel and I want to thank our friend and funeral director Brian for doing such a great job. It was so great to see so many friends both old and new. This morning was the funeral and Aaron and I decided to speak. It couldn't have gone better. I definitely felt Lucas there. I hope we made him proud as he has made us both so proud. When we left this morning to go to the church house it was slightly raining and I remember thinking, "Oh no, not today. It can't rain today!!" Well, after the funeral service we were riding in a limo with Lucas' casket and I decided to check my cell phone. My good friend Whitney had sent me a picture of a beautiful rainbow she saw while driving to the funeral. This was only 20 min. before the service started. I'd like to think that Lucas was sending a little sign that he was smiling down on us. During the viewing this morning I felt so much comfort and kept my composure that is until the closing of the casket. Knowing that it would be the last time I would kiss his forehead and see his sweet face was so difficult. But, I know that I will be with my son again someday and that brings me much comfort. Aaron's Uncle Curtis did a wonderful job on a digital slide show of Lucas that played outside in the hall of the church. I couldn't watch it until tonight because we were visiting with family and friends. It was probably a good thing because I watched it tonight and cried through the whole thing. However, there were some laughs as well especially when a picture would pop up of Lucas making a funny face. What a character!! There were two musical numbers one of which my mother wrote the music and lyrics to. It was so incredible and I could feel Lucas' presence. After the services we went to the cemetery and the flowers were so beautiful. After the dedication of the grave there was a balloon release in which all of the children participated. Then we went back to the church for a family luncheon. I think today went really well and I'm so grateful for all of those who came to support us. We love you all so much!!! So many people were telling us how strong we were. Um....we were only strong because of all of the prayers being offered on our behalf. That and the comforter was embracing us and holding us up. I ask that you continue to pray for us as I know that once the dust has settled and things start to quite down, that's when it's going to be the hardest. At least, that's what I've heard. It's after the first couple of weeks that it becomes very difficult. I'm going to miss Lucas so much. Personally, I'm going to allow myself to have bad days when I just want to stay inside and cry. I think crying is so therapeutic and I always feel better afterwards. There is no weakness in tears, only healing. I also think it would be good for me to stay busy. I plan on volunteering in Kaden's first grade class and being more involved with his education. My house has been so neglected this summer mostly because I just didn't care. I had to many other things to worry about and so I look forward to cleaning and organizing once again. I miss my friends and having play dates and girls nights. I was at the hospital most of the summer and when I was home, I didn't dare take Lucas outside of the house for fear of him getting an infection. His battle was only 3 months and yet it seemed like a lot longer. I must say, I am not looking forward to going through his things. I plan on putting his swing, crib, stroller, high chair, etc. in storage this week. It's just to hard to walk by it all everyday now that there is no need for them. I hope to use it all again someday, just not anytime soon. We would love to have more children but we need some time to mourn. I don't know if we posted this earlier but on the day that we were discharged from the hospital we received the news that the genetic testing was back. It showed that the genetic mutation was found only in his tumor and not in his blood or DNA. This means that Lucas did not inherit ATRT from either of us. It was a spontaneous tumor. We don't have to worry about Kaden or Jonas or any future kids having it. This was some good news amidst the bad news. Anyway, we will continue to update the blog as this has been a great way to keep a journal and I have never been one to write in a journal. I'm realizing how important it is to keep a history of events because being human, we have a tendency to forget things. Thank you all for your sweet gestures, cards, donations, support, and love.



  1. Shannon,
    I lost a baby in 2005. He was a premature baby born at 24 weeks. He spent his whole life in the NICU. Carson was born December 6 and died December 24. It was a horrible time in my life but I made it. Here are some things that helped me. Counseling was a wonderful outlet. I was really able to release some of my pent up feelings. My OB docter gave a name of a lady who lost a child herself and becaome a conselor. She knew exactly what I was talking about. She gave me a wonderful book. It is called Empty Cradle Broken Heart by Deborah L. Davis. Check ir out on Amazon. While it is not written exactly for parents who lost a child to cancer, it really has some areas in it I think you and Aaron would still relate to. I still refer to it every now and then. While your blog is a great outlet and you can share what is going on in your daily life, I would highly consider making another one that is private or get a journal. Use it to write your uncensored thought. Swear, be angry. I wrote some heavy entries. One day, I was having a horrivle day. Nothing was going my way. I could not hang a curtain rod for the life of me and it upset me terribly. I could not understand why I could hang it up. I felt like I was losing control. Sometimes, in my journal, I would write letters to my baby. That journal was really important to my healing process. I would put it in my purse and write in it if I was out and about and needed to jot my feelings down, then and there.
    On Carson's birthday each year, I always serve angel food cake with whip cream. It is really the only time of year I eat it. Carson was still alive when his daddy bought me a Willow Tree ornament. (I collect those). It resides in my curio cabinet all year, However, I get the ornament out and hang it near the top of my Christmas Tree in honor of him. Almost immediately after, I lost Carson I bought a very nice small trunk. I put things in it like his baby blanket, a lock of his hair, a stuffed animal, a scrapbook the nuses made me, baby clothes. I placed it on my dresser. When I am having bad days, I can go to it and open it up. The inside of the trunk still smells like him. Lastly, music really helped me. Find a song that you can relate to. Mine was the Hawaiian Verson of Somewhere Over the Rainbow. The part that really spoke to me was, "I hear babies cry and I watch them grow,
    They'll learn much more Than we'll know
    And I think to myself What a wonderful world." I would play that soneg religiously... in car at the cemetary. before I went to sleep...It really provided me with a lot of comfort. Anyway, those are several suggestions that might help you when the dust settles. Take care of youself.
    Much love, Caroline (Suber) Lee

  2. Shannon,
    I heard the funeral service was wonderful and that you and Aaron did a great job! I was so sad that I couldn't stay for it, but I was glad that I was able to go to the viewing for a few minutes. Lucas did look like an angel! So sweet & beautiful! Your other little fellas looked so handsome too. Kaden has always been one of my little buddies, from the time that I spent with him in Primary. He is just awesome! If you EVER need anything, please let me know! You guys are great examples to everyone around you!

  3. I appreciate how real you are about your testimony and your sorrow. I know the Lord helps us handle things that seem impossible and that Lucas is still blessing lives everywhere!
    Love you and your family-

  4. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, it really puts life in perspective. I hope that the up coming days, weeks, and even years to come, that you will continue to have peace that Lucas is watching over you. We will continue to pray for your family. Lucas will always be remembered.

  5. The funeral was beautiful. The Spirit was felt so strongly. You and Aaron did an amazing job. What a beautiful tribute to your son.

  6. Dear Nelson Family,

    We were so saddened to hear of the passing of little Lucas. We admire your strength and our prayers have been and will continue to be with your family. May you continue to rely on the mercies of a loving Heavenly Father and find comfort in knowing that our Savior Jesus Christ made it possible for you to be with Lucas again. We too lost someone very close to us a couple of years ago. The journey to healing is never easy, but we are so blessed to have the gospel and fortunate to have spent what precious time, although too short, with loved ones. May the Lord continue to bless you and your family!

    With love,
    The Butcher Family

  7. Shannon,

    Thank you so much for sharing all of this with us! I am grateful I was able to be at the funeral yesterday. Everything was wonderful. The song your mom wrote was beautiful. I've learned so much from you guys. I will continue to pray for you, everyday.


  8. Dear Nelson Family,

    My heart goes out to you. My cousin and his wife recently lost their son unexpectedly to SIDS. Maybe you can become friends. Crystal and Spencer Eldredge on facebook from Arizona. I'm all the way out east in NC but I will say a prayer for all of you. May the Lord's truth and light continue to keep you all warm and comforted through the days to come.


    Danelle Toner

  9. Dearest Nelson Family,

    No words can describe the sorrow or the admiration I feel for all of you as you pass through this ineffably difficult time. That you are all choice spirits of our Heavenly Father is so evident, felt almost tangibly. My sister, Valeri Stoddart, related that from the very beginning she has felt such a bond with you, Shannon, And the family of our daughter Valeri (named for her Aunt Valeri), as she told you in a message, has continued praying fervently for your family and will continue to do so, as will I. Throughout your expressions of sorrow have come bright rays of hope as you have so sweetly comforted us by your strong faith and knowledge of Heavenly Father's continual care.

    You are so wise, Shannon, to allow yourself bad days - time to cry, to feel, to mourn the passing of your little one. Your words remind me of a quote from Morton T. Kelsey's book, The Other Side of Silence, in which he says:

    "If you have ever lost someone you really loved you know what grief is. The current idea that we should not give way to emotion, but that we should be heroic and not burden God or the world with our grief, is both bad psychology and bad religion. I am so glad for that shortest verse in the Bible..."Jesus wept." It sanctifies human sorrow and agony. Jesus knew that He would raise Lazarus from death, but in that moment of pain and hurt and loss His own humanity joined the two sisters whom He loved, and He wept.

    "The emotion of sorrow is never outgrown. We may know that the dead whom we love are not totally lost, but they are lost to our present ordinary conversation and touch, and it is right to weep. There is nothing worse psychologically than to bury the pains deep and let them lie unnoticed in hidden recesses of heart and mind so that they fester and poison the whole of us. Weeping is even physically therapeutic since tears carry a bacteria-destroying enzyme...(p. 265)"

    May you continue to feel the Savior's loving arms around you is our wish and prayer.

    With love,
    Jill Halliday and family

  10. You're in our Prayers.
    The Gunderson Famly
    Tigh, Jacque and Charlotte

  11. Love you, Shannon. Still praying for you! So wish I could have been there to support you.

    We'll keep supporting you from Portland, though.

  12. I wanted to tell you that the funeral was incredible. Logan and I sat in the chapel for awhile just watching people come in and hug and quietly reflect. When we stood up for your family to walk in, a huge wave of emotion and spirit came in with you. I know from feeling that that Lucas with there as well as other angels. Its so hard to describe. The program was also amazing. Your letter touched my heart and made me want to write a special letter to both my boys. The song your mom wrote was so powerful. Will you share the lyrics with us? Logan and I wanted to give you hugs again before we left, but didn't want to interrupt the family gathering. Please know you will always be in our thoughts, prayers, and hearts. We are keeping the program for the funeral as a reminder. Hopefully we will see you again soon and not let time keep us apart. Much love-

  13. I'm sure you've gotten a lot of suggestions about counseling, I just wanted to remind you that Aimee Francom down the street does grief counseling. I know i never met sweet Lucas but he has still affected our lives in a very big way. Thank you.

  14. Shannon and Aaron,
    Thank you for sharing a bit of what the funeral was like with us who were to far away to be there. Know that you have been in our thoughts every minute, especially on that day. We hesitated to call because we wanted to give you space with your little family and the arrangements and all that had to be made. But we will give you a call soon.
    Shannon, your comments about having days to just cry reminds me of a Hillary Weeks CD that I'll send to you if you don't already have it. Luv Always

  15. Lucas's funeral was so beautiful. I loved your letter that you wrote to him; it was the sweetest, most heart-felt, full of love, faith, and acceptance I've ever heard. Thank you again.