A New Life

2:21 AM

This past week has been surreal. Parker is now gone. He has moved onto a new and better life. 

The funeral service was beautiful. I am working on getting the audio file so that I can post it here and everyone will be able to listen to it. Our family has been surrounded by your support, and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Some of you may be wondering why I am writing another post, since Parker is gone.

Well, I know that I have had a few comments on here or the Facebook page asking for me to continue writing, and several people also asked me to do the same at the viewings. At first, I honestly could not think of what I could write about. I did not think that my situation was unique. As I go through this, I keep noticing how many other people are going through similar experiences. But then I thought of those who have not experienced loss. It will happen eventually since it is a part of life, but maybe if I share my findings and feelings, others may be prepared if the same happens to them. I have decided that I will share my experience of dealing with Parker's loss and how the Lord has helped strengthen me.

Some of you may not know this about me, but I have always wanted to serve a mission for the LDS Church. I have a very distinct memory of when I realized that girls could serve in this capacity.  I felt such a strong witness, even at such a young age, that I was meant to go. To my surprise, last year there was an announcement about lowering the age that young adults are eligible to go. Here is a link to the official press release: http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/church-lowers-age-requirement-for-missionary-service . When I heard this announcement, my heart was overjoyed! Suddenly my timeline of serving went from three years in the future, to six months! There was so much to do and prepare, so I wanted to start my papers as soon as I could.

In January I met with my bishop, 'opened' my papers (began the application process) and had all that I could filled out in the first two days. I was a bit excited. I made appointments for a dental and health exam, and it was a waiting game. There was a small hitch at the doctor's office, so I was planning on finishing everything up by the first Sunday of February.

I remember having a talk with my Bishop as he warned me that oftentimes when a missionary 'opens' up their papers, the Adversary seems to place obstacles in their path. He told me this so that I could be prepared and not caught off guard. My Bishop also told me that sometimes this is when Sisters meet someone and then have to decide between marriage or the mission. As he told this to me, I kind of chuckled and said, "Don't worry, I will be fine". My personal feelings towards potential relationships were dismissive because I knew that it would not keep me from serving, and I felt like yelling, "Bring it on!!" to any potential hurdles in my way. I was filled with such enthusiasm and I would go to any length to turn in my application as soon as I could.

Then, my world was turned upside down.

It is hard to grasp that Parker is gone. It has become hard to sleep and as a result my sleep schedule is way off. This certainly does not help my mental capacity to cope with this tragedy, and also the attention (while it is deeply appreciated) can be a bit exhausting. Adding to the mix is worrying about school since I took last week off, and then of course the biggest drain is missing Parker. 

I felt that I still wanted to go on a mission. I just was not sure about how it would affect my family. I didn't know if it would be too much for my parents to handle right now, or even if it was the right time. In my mind, the time frame for turning in my application rapidly changed from days to months. It seemed so overwhelming, and I did not know if I was emotionally ready. I always had the mindset of being happy wherever I get called, but suddenly I was debating on whether I would be comfortable being called outside of the country.

I then had the thought cross my mind of, "You know, I just should not even go at all".

That was a wake-up call. Within a month I have gone from an effervescent and social future missionary to a doubtful college student who just feels like staying home and sleeping all of the time. I did not know what was going on with me!

I then realized that this is it. This is my breaking point. Some future missionaries feel held back by potential relationships or their schooling; for me it is self-doubt. Now I am not suggesting that Parker's passing happened just because I was interested in serving a mission- I believe that the Lord took him at this time for reasons I do not know or understand. However while Parker's loss was orchestrated by the Lord, the Adversary was influencing my thoughts. He was trying to plant seeds of doubt in my mind of my ability to serve the Lord, and that I was not strong enough to grow from this. This is my weakness. The Adversary knew that I can overcome any other obstruction in my path as long as I was confident that this was the right thing, but what if my foundation was shaken? What if my faith in myself was lost, and I thought I could not handle it?

I have decided to fight back. This is my defining moment. I will not turn away from my Heavenly Father. I will power through this situation with an unshakable faith in Jesus Christ. I will try to emulate Christ's service towards others by serving an 18-month mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. My primary motivation for serving has always been to bring others to Christ so that they may be with their families for eternity. Now more than ever, I commit myself to that goal so that others can experience the joy and peace that I find in the truth that the gospel teaches me. I will take this trial and make it into an experience that will allow me to empathize others, and I will not let Satan come into my mind and plant seeds of doubt.

I know that my Heavenly Father lives. I know that his son Jesus Christ also lives. He came to this earth to suffer for our sins that we may return to our Heavenly Father, and for that I am eternally grateful. Through his gospel I know that I am sealed to my younger brother for eternity. The next time I see him will be such a happy day. I can almost feel myself wrapping my arms around him, grasping him tightly and wanting to never let go.

Here is to you bud.

You Might Also Like


  1. You're doing great Madison! And your feelings and attitude's are all normal, and your Heavenly Father totally understands. He understands our need to go through the grieving process; to be angry, bitter, sad, apathetic, unfeeling and then feeling everything so intensely and going through it all over and over again. You were probably too young to remember when my Ryan died 12 yrs ago, but I remember going through some of the same emotions you describe. My greatest blessing at that time was becoming more familiar with God and his patience, wisdom and gentle loving guidance, and it may sound strange to some to call it a blessing, but those of us who have gone through this understand.
    Russell M Nelson wrote a book called, "The Gateway We call Death" and in it he says that "grief is one of the greatest expressions of love we can show someone who has passed on." And in D&C 42:45 we are commanded, "Thou shalt live together in love, insomuch that thou shalt weep for the loss of them that die." So whenever you feel like crying, remember, you are keeping a commandment. :) But remember to drink lots of water to replenish the tears.
    I wish I could be there to give you a hug. I wish I could be there to give your Mom a hug. She was such a support when Ryan died, and I intend to call her soon. Burying my son was the most unnatural thing I've ever or will ever do, but how grateful I am for the knowledge of the plan of salvation, and cheers to you for choosing to go ahead and teach people of the joy we can feel even in death, (ultimately).
    Hugs, Pene Wendell. p.s. can you message me your Mom's phone number? thnx

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Madison, your words are more than inspiring, they are celestial and beyond this world. Your faith is so strong and I am amazed by your determination to share the gospel with people around the world. So so inspiring! We are always praying for you and your family. And I'm sure on the other side, Parker is shouting "Awesome!! We'll be serving at the exact same time! Love you sis!!!" Thank you for your faith, example, and light that you have shared with all of us. Love and blessings <3



Like us on Facebook