It has been four years since Jakin passed. His mother, Sharon, is one of my closest friends. Jakin was like a brother to my two sons, and an employee of my husband’s. Jakin was part of our family. I am devoting December to the horrific topic of loss and grief (see In the Darkness of Grief from last week), not because I care to be a killjoy, but because I know people, who have lost loved ones, hurt deeply this time of year. I want to face this reality of holiday grief with words from those people, starting with Sharon, Jakin’s mother. In the following 30-minute interview, I ask Sharon how she’s doing after four years and how she’s managing holiday grief. Her answers are profound, insightful, and very real.
To any of you hurting due to the loss of a loved one, may you walk through your holiday grief comforted by knowing there’s no right way of walking.
(Correction: At the beginning of the interview, I say October 2007, meaning to say October 7, 2017.)
Run with Perseverance
(from Sharon’s heart)
Jakin was the kind of young man who gave his life away. He was the kind of young man who would call his grandmother to take her out to lunch, to go on walks with his mom, to volunteer to coach track at St. Luke’s, and to teach Sunday school to kids at Action Church. He was the kind of young man who walked beside those who were hurting, who would take his younger sister out to dinner to listen to her and to point her toward the straight and narrow.
He was a rock, he was so so dependable, he was available. He was faithful to his brother and stood by his side through life. He would fiercely defend not only those he loved but those who were hurting, those who were defenseless, those who were wronged.
He was a young man who wasn’t afraid to speak the truth, who didn’t back down from a challenge.
Jakin lived intentionally. He brought courage to those who were struggling, he brought strength to those who were weak.
Jakin made time for those he loved. He told them repeatedly that he loved them and he gave hugs freely to all. He was a fierce protector, a loyal friend, and a devoted, committed man to the young lady that he loved. He emulated his father and became so much like the man I married.
Jakin loved animals, he loved the outdoors, he loved Ford Mustangs, he loved people. He loved.
He was my son, he was my firstborn, and as he had grown into a young man who I was so so proud of, he had become my friend.
Jake is gone home, home to be with his Heavenly Father. What a blessing to know that I will be reunited one day with him. And while that brings me immense peace and joy, his passing has left a chasm in my life, one that will only be filled when I am brought home as well.
I want to end with a verse that Jakin inspired not only in me, but I am sure, in many others as well.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” —Hebrews 12:1