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My son Christian passed away on Saturday, February 6, 2016 from a tragic accident. He was caught up in some rope while playing and slipped on the ice and was hung. There are no words to describe the pain in this, there is nothing that can fix this or make it better. I don’t know how I’m going to go on in life without him, except that God is carrying me through.

There are so many emotions and thoughts going around through my head, and they are a jumbled mess, things that I cannot make any sense of. But one thing I know…Christian was always proud of my writing, and he wanted me to continue to share the words. He cheered me on, always wanting for me to succeed. So I have decided to honor my son by doing just that, though it may be painful at times, and it may not make any sense to anyone but me.

A gifted writer and friend shared this with me: “I am trying to think of this as a chapter, not an ending. I don’t know what is next for either of us. But I don’t think Christian’s story ends here.”

I think she is absolutely right…his story will not end here. The love and joy he brought to so many hearts will live on and continue to be shared. He told me after his accident in 2010 that God wanted him to tell others to love God with all their heart, to know that He is real, and to love others with God’s love. That was his gift, his legacy. It was how he lived his life. And it is how I will live mine.

I am broken and my heart and life are in pieces right now. But even in the pain, I know I am not alone. God is carrying me through the love, support and prayers of all the hearts that Christian touched in his short time here. As He leads me and guides me through this new journey, I will do my best to share what He puts in my heart, to honor my child in sharing his love and memories.

A Celebration of Life was held for Christian on February 13, at our church. He had told me a few times that he thought loved ones gathered to share good memories and stories, joining each other in love, was far better than sadness and pain. He said there is enough sadness in the world, and he didn’t want to add more to it. So we shared the goodness and joy he brought to our hearts, even through some tears. I knew I did not have the strength to face all the people and speak what was in my heart, so I wrote a letter to Christian instead, and God held me up while I read it out loud. This is what it said:

Dear Christian,

I want to say thank you for the gift you’ve given me. It didn’t cost any money, yet it is of the greatest value. It wasn’t wrapped in sparkling paper with pretty bows, yet it is beautifully presented. It is not completely unique, yet it is one of a kind. I can’t hold it in my hands, but I hold it in my heart.

It is the best gift of all…It is the gift of your love!

When I think of Christ, I am filled with a sense of peace, joy and love. I think about the choice God made, to come into this world to bring us His most precious gift…His love and salvation. The choice He made to suffer on our behalf, because of that great love, to save us from eternal separation from Him. I know you understood that, and you loved Jesus for it! That’s why you chose to be baptized in His name, to give your life and soul to Him.

At the very deepest level, since before you were even born, there was a bond of love between us, and that is what I cherish most! You made my life fuller, richer, and more beautiful for being a part of it.

I am proud of the young man you were! I believe with all my heart that you were a wonderful person! You always had a way of showing that you cared in the things you did and said. Even as a very young child, you taught me about what real faith looks like. You showed me what forgiveness is, and even in spite of all my flaws, you’ve loved me anyway. That is what the Spirit of Christ really is…unconditional love and caring for and about each other.

I always admired the way you lived life to the fullest, taking advantage of every opportunity to express joy, laughter, and friendship, and your love of adventure and new experiences stirred the same spirit in those around you. Your enthusiasm and smiles were contagious, and you loved making people smile. Watching you and your friends always put a smile on my heart, and I am thankful for the friendships and experiences and the good times you had with them.

Your love of your animals was also something I shared and cherished about you. The unspoken bonds, the non-stop energy, the laughter, and yes, even the messes, were a wonderful part of your character. It showed that the passion and concern for others, even other species, was a strong part of who you were.

I was your mother, but you always belonged to God.

I did not know God’s plans for you, other than to love Him and others. But I tried to do my best to love you and guide you in the instructions of God’s word. I know God uses willing vessels to carry out His perfect plans, and I know you were a willing vessel.

You were in the arms of Jesus once before, sitting on his lap for a short time. Through your testimony, you shared a glimpse of heaven with us. I know there will be a day when I will see you there, and we will be rejoicing in His wondrous glory. Until that time comes, I have a comforting in my heart, knowing that you are resting in the arms of Jesus, in the fullness of His glory and love.

I know that God worked through you to help me learn so many things, I can’t even count them all. But the greatest thing is that He used you to show me what love really feels like. And that is the most precious gift anyone could ever have…so I thank you for that! You have held my heart in your hands since before your hands were even developed. And you will continue to hold my heart, forever. I love you so much more than words can ever convey! You are my son, a most cherished gift.

You will be missed by all of us.

With all my heart and love,


Posted by amberlea

This article has 15 comments

  1. Amber Lea,
    I came across this post on FB, and read it. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I am terribly sorry that you and your husband lost your precious child. I cannot even begin to fathom your pain. Thank God I have never had to go thru what you have. Please know that even though we are strangers to each other, I will be praying for you. That our loving father will give you the ability to take the next breath, the next step. With much love, Juliajulia

    • Thank you Julia, for your kind words and your prayers. I began writing 13 years ago, when my oldest son Jason passed away, just before Christian was born. The words came from my heart, and it helped to heal. Now I need that healing again. I believe that through sharing the love, joy, pain, hope, etc. it not only brings me some comforting, but perhaps it will bring hope and encouragement to others that may be going through similar situations, to let them know they are not alone. Thank you again for your kind words. We may have been strangers, but if the writing touched your heart, then a connection has been made. And that’s what it’s all about. God bless you.

  2. Hi Amber,

    Thank you for being a great neighbor to us and sharing Christian with us. Thank you also for loving Bo and making him the most “Awesome” oatmeal ever. Yes, Bo and Christian a similar tragedy, and often after Bo would talk to Christian, Bo would tell me he wishes he would have died when the car hit him, and then come back to earth. The story that the newspaper ran regarding the accident brought back memories of my time riding to the hospital with the police officer, just praying that God would strengthen me which ever way God chose. If Bo lived I need God’s strength to do what I need for him, and then if God chose to take Bo to heaven, I needed to have God’s help. I look forward to reading your book when it is done. I see Christian just waiting for us to come see him in glory land. I loved him and his smile, and want to say I was glad he had the manners he had. You did good. I remember most the comment he made after one of the community meetings. Everyone was angry and yelling, Christian asked Jimmy something like,’why can’t they get along, Kids get in trouble for fighting why are the adults.” Wise beyond his years and so so truthful. Love you Amber

    • Xonia, I am so thankful for the time that our children spent together. I know Christian found a real friend in Bo, and I know he carried that love with him to heaven. You are all in my prayers daily, and I hope we get to see each other again. Thank you for your kind words, and God bless you all.

  3. I know the pain you are experiencing. My 22 year old son was murdered 4 years ago. He touched a lot of people of all ages and races which was evident at his funeral. God is the only reason I am still here along with my church family and Christian friends. I have been called brave and courageous but I am not. I make a special effort to visit and offer my support to families who have lost children to murder, health, and other accidents. I tell my story of how God brought me and my family through the darkest days of our lives. My prayers are with you and your family,Amber.

    • Thank you Thomas for sharing this with me, and for your prayers. I know God uses us and our stories to reach out to others and give our help and support, and His hope. That is how His love is shared, through us. Thank you for the effort you give to helping others in this painful process. Anytime you feel like sharing, please feel free to do so. God bless you and your family.

  4. Amber, we have been friends online for many years and during this time your endearing qualities have shone brightly. Young Christian will live on through you, my dear friend.

    • Thank you Ross. Your friendship and support has meant so much to me, and your kind words have always lifted my spirits. I hope to honor Christian in my writing, though for now it may only be memories and feelings. I truly appreciate you my friend.

  5. Dearest Amber, day after day we are both hit by the reality of an empty house. Christian was the reason we adjusted our lives the way we did. Now, which direction do we take? I know you have been searching yourself as much as I have myself. So much of our time was taken up by home schooling and activities surrounding Christian we lost some of our own identity. I know we both are struggling with this right now and it will take us quite some time to put things into perspective. I would like to share with you just how proud of you I am. The time you spent with Christian staying home taking care of his schooling and all of the other crafts, subjects and activities along with multiple trips around our state and the lower 48 was very appreciated by him and myself. Thank you so much for being a stay at home mom.

    • Jimmy, thank you for the kind words. I know neither of us ever considered or wanted to be walking on this journey we are on now, one without our son. For the past 13 years almost every aspect of life involved Christian, and I know it was beautiful and cherished. I honestly have no idea where to go from here, only that I have to let God guide me. As I said in the post, Christian’s story is not over, and we will carry it along. The love and joy and the lessons he shared with us will live on in us and through us, and will continue to be shared. I want you to know Christian was proud to call you his Dad, and he enjoyed the time he spent with you and the things you taught him. You gave him opportunities to learn about things he could never learn in school, and you showed him places and things that he took great pleasure and pride in. I thank you for that. I have learned that we touch many hearts throughout our lives, and the impact can be far reaching even through to other lives we never even know. Christian is a part of who we are because of the influence he had on our spirits, and so as we go along, his influence and love will still be shared through us. I am here for you, as I know you are for me.

  6. Amber:
    I shut down my Facebook account for a season and I just learned about Christian. I am so very truly sorry! I would’ve been at his service if I learned this earlier.
    I am praying for peace, strength, and comfort for you and the family during this difficult time.
    There is no doubt that he is with Jesus and we will see him again!
    God has used his testimony in my life for refreshing my relationship with the Lord.

    • Thank you Jim. I know Christian touched many hearts, and for that I am thankful. I miss him so much! I don’t know where to go from here, but for now, it’s one step, one breath at a time. I know his story is not over yet, and God will continue to use it for His glory through our memories and testimonies. Thank you for your friendship, and God bless you and your family.

  7. Beautifully written Amber, you are such a strong, courageous person and I’m so happy God is obviously walking right by your side through all this. Love you sis

    • Thank you Valerie. Only because God is with me am I able to go through this. I am neither strong nor courageous, it is only God and the loving support and prayers of the wonderful family and friends He has put in my life that I can do anything. Love to you and your family.


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