Wednesday, September 5, 2012


For Liam

I cannot look you in the face,
For fear of finding in its place
No darkened dread of soul alone,
But brightened hope at 'turning home.

For if I see such blessed truth,
'Twould tempt me wish away my youth
That I may to my Father come,
And live in sweet, eternal sun.

Up to this point, I have had little experience with death.

When I was young, my Grandma Mead and Grandpa Holmberg passed away. I didn't understand much of what was going on as my Grandma suffered the last few weeks of her life, and, having never met my Grandpa, was mostly just wide-eyed at his funeral due to the amount of relatives I met that I didn't know I had. When Dad's dad passed away, none of us even knew until much later, and, again, I never met him, so his death was disturbingly unmoving to me.

I've been so fortunate to have all my siblings, their children, Mom and Dad, and even their siblings, and Gigi is giving me the impression that she is, in fact, immortal.

Death has touched me little.

A few months ago, my friend Jacqui (who has grappled with death in a very personal way) started posting things on Facebook about a little boy named Liam Lyons.

I don't know what it was that drew me to him, but I read what Jacqui posted, and then looked at Liam's page.

In a nut shell, Liam was born with half a heart, and when he was six-months old had a heart transplant. Things didn't go as planned, and he had to stay in the hospital.

His family created a page for him, "I love Liam Lyons," so that they could enlist the faith of friends and strangers. They not only asked for prayers for him, but for other little children they had met who were suffering in their tiny bodies.

I soon found that Liam was wrapped around my heart, and I loved that little boy whom I had never met.

There was something about him. Some brightness in his countenance that shone out in his pictures, and the incredible faith of his parents was inspiring and touching. Liam's spirit was a great one, and I could tell that he was destined for great things. Jeremy and I added him to our prayers, and fasting, and to the prayer rolls at the temple.

After months of struggling, and searching for a doctor who could perform a needed surgery, Liam was fortunate enough to be accepted to a hospital in Ohio, and preparations were made.

I was so excited, and I could almost see him grow up in my mind.

The surgery was performed, and his family waited with baited breath.

It went well.

But perhaps it was too much.

After all he had gone through, Liam's little body could take no more, indomitable as his spirit was, and he went home to that God who gave him life. He was only a year and a half old.

It broke my heart. I thought of his little light gone out on earth, and I thought of his devastated parents, and his big sister who loved him so, and all the family who surrounded him and loved him so much.

Jeremy found me in the bathroom crying right after I found out.

"Why the red eyes?" He asked gently.

All I could manage was, "He died..."

He knew what I was talking about immediately.

After a while, Jeremy and I came to the conclusion that Liam's death was for some purpose in God.

Liam inspired 70,000 people on Facebook. Think of the effect a soul like that will have in the Spirit World.

And God knew that.

God knew.

So, I am grateful for the short time I knew Liam. And I will miss him.

As I prayed that night, I asked God to pass along my love to Liam.

Because I am sure he was right there with Him.

"And I also beheld that all children who die before they arrive at the years of accountability are saved in the celestial kingdom of heaven." D&C 137:10

Roar and Soar, Liam. 

1 comment:

Amy said...

This just broke my heart. Some people are called to do THE hardest things and I can't even imagine. My thoughts are definitely with this family.

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