Life Events


The other day I tried to change the background image on my laptop. Currently displayed is a picture of Trek. When I try to change it I am fixated with a notion that if I change the image it will be like making it so Trek never existed. I know it’s not true. But it’s hard that someone who was so much a part of my life, so relevant to every action that I took, one day just isn’t there.

To say that the loss of our child is something my family and I will ever get over would be a fallacy on an immense scale. There is not one point of our day when one of the five  four of us doesn’t think about Trek and miss him. The tough thing about it is that no matter how wonderful or sad the memory, it always leads to the exact same reality: Trek isn’t here anymore, he’s gone.

I talk with Chelsea often and she always wants to know where he is or where he has gone. I don’t know where he is. Anyone who says they do is guessing or believing what someone else has told them. I’m envious of those who can do that but I cannot. No matter how you slice it my son is gone and there is no getting him back.

The other day we watched videos of Trek. I forgot that once he was a strong and healthy baby. That he laughed and babbled as if he was speaking. He shouldn’t of had to die. The fact that he did makes everything seem synthetic. Like the world around is a gigantic illusion that you can participate in as long as you don’t lose someone close to you. When you do, you know that most of the concerns or worry that burdened you were useless and did nothing to prevent or prepare you for the most difficult of things.

If you have lost someone you know what I am talking about and if you haven’t than you don’t. I am happy most of the time but aware that there is a block that will prevent me from ever being gushingly happy ever again. Without Trek how can I pretend that the sun shines as brightly or that a joke sounds as funny? The truth is I can’t and I don’t think I’m supposed to.

I feel good about every decision we made for him but saddened that we didn’t have a say in the most important decisions: For him to live or to die, to be healthy or to be sick.  These decisions weren’t made by anyone, they were determined by random lines of genetic code triggered by random protein communication passed down for generations until they combined unfavorably between Chelsea and I.

Many will try to give meaning to the loss or significance to why he has passed. Please don’t. If you can do that for yourself that is wonderful, but as I said above I cannot.  My son is gone and there was nothing I could do to prevent it. No amount of thought or worry would have helped in the slightest.

There is freedom in knowing that. In knowing that no matter what happens there is nothing you do can prepare you for the catastrophic experiences in life.  My wife and I often listen to the Three Little Birds song by Bob Marley. When we hear it sometimes we can’t help but feel that Bob was just full of shit. But I now know that he wasn’t. The things that matter about life no measure of worry or preparation will change the outcome. Life and death, sickness and health, the things that really matter, these things are left to randomness beyond control.

In a sense I already knew that freedom and experienced a taste of it at Trek’s birth. That moment has taught me much over the past seventeen months of my life and I suspect that it will continue teaching me for the rest of my life. Right now what it teaches me is that life will be alright inasmuch as you can control, but the things that you can’t will either bring you incredible joy like Trek’s birth or unbearable sadness like his death.

Even though I know that freedom I am now burdened by something more painful and that is the absence of my son. I watch my wife and children miss him and have nothing profound to say or tangible to do that will make any of us feel better. Chelsea wants to know where he is, but I can’t conceive a way to know an answer to that question that I can believe. There is so much pain that I cannot hope to express in a blog post. Hoping that my son’s spirit is somewhere, even believing its somewhere else, even though there is a spectacular lack of evidence. It leaves me feeling hollow.

Only I do believe it. I believe that Trek is somewhere and I hope that it is better than here. I will know one day when I die, but until then I will be left in imaginative limbo and it pains me almost more than I can bear. For now, the only place for sure where I know that Trek exists is in my memories, on my computer screen, in Chelsea’s blog posts, on video’s in my hard drive, and in the minds of all who knew him. So for today, my background will stay the same because until I find otherwise I want to keep every scrap of Trek I can visceral in my mind to keep him with me as long as I can.

55 thoughts on “Background

  1. Hi. We’ve never met in person, but I think of you and your family often. I’ve been reading Chelsea’s blog since last December. I have cried for your loss and pain. Trek was so beautiful and soulful.
    Thank you for sharing your lives. I wish you safe travels and peaceful healing. With love.

  2. Jarrett, what a beautiful expression of your pain. I wish I could have expressed my pain so eloquently when we lost our daughter. I think it is especially tough for men. Society expects us to be so strong. Society expects us to forget and move on. But there is always a reminder. Thank you for sharing your feelings with the world and with me. Know that your family is loved during this tough time and into the future as well.

    • Thanks Don, I’ve read many of your comments on Chelsea’s blog. Thanks for your kindness.

      I don’t know the story of your daughter. If you ever feel interested in sharing I would like to know.

      • I won’t share much, but Jamie Lynne had Trisomy 18. She was born at about 23 weeks and was already gone. She fit in the palm of my hand. I had to be strong for my wife. I was able to stay that way for about a year. This was all 13 years ago. I broke down when I heard song at a concert. The word were “Jesus never fails” and I felt like he had. I expected a miracle from the moment I found out there was a problem. But that miracle never came. Here I am 13 years later and God & I are still working through my anger. It is a slow, long process.

  3. Nothing I could say would mean anything and wouldn’t change how you feel.
    I do want you to know a few things:
    1- I truly appreciate your honesty.
    2- You and Chelsea are great parents! Your boys are super lucky to have parents that would give up “normal” to spend the most precious time with them!
    3- I have American friends in Thailand if you need anything. Just let me know if you’d like their contact info.
    4- I think of your family often.

    Thank you & Chelsea for taking us on your adventure. Your honesty and openness has given me an incredible respect for you both.

    • Thanks for taking the time to comment. RIght now we live in the jungle in the middle of nowhere and that feels right. I’m sure we will want to be around people again one day. Right now it feels nice to be alone together as a family.

  4. I just lost my husband 3 weeks ago (he was 50 years old) and it was completely unexpected. Thank you for sharing your thoughts…I can totally relate. It gives me some comfort to read that somebody else feels like I do and that you understand. I have never met you, but feel so close to you and your family; and you are always in my thoughts and
    prayers. Take care of yourselves! Love & prayers, Jannette

  5. Think of you all the time, I have no idea what it feels like to have lost such a beautiful baby boy to the extent that you all feel. I wish it would all go away. Love you Jarrett and am just sorry. Just does not make sense.

  6. I cannot imagine the pain you are going through. I have been following Chelsea’s blogs and I’ve always wondered how you are coping. I appreciate the honesty of this blog. Jarrett, I know no words or gesture will ever make the pain go away. But I still want you to know that you all are loved even by those who have not met you. Your life as a family has been a true inspiration.

  7. when I read your words (or Chelsea’s for that matter) I hear you and I love it. Always thinking about you guys and wishing time could re-wind and somehow it could have been different.
    PS. Can not wait until your new books 🙂

  8. I can’t understand how you are feeling, I have not experienced the kind of grief your family has. I do know exactly what you are saying about not having any answers and how that feels though, I feel the same about my Nanna who left us 4 years ago. Your honesty and rawness is astounding, thankyou for sharing, i hope that by writing it it helps you, even in the smallest way. 🙂

    • Thanks. I see you comment on my wife’s blog often. Thanks for the support you continually give to our family. Writing does help. My first novel is has been a huge part of my grieving process.

  9. Pingback: a daddy’s love « Our Sonny Life

  10. We never have met in person but I think of you all, and most importantly Trek everyday. I love you all and cannot imagine how this all feels but I do know that you are an incredibly brave and strong family!

    The world learned so much through Trek!

  11. Jarrett, I can say that I do truly understand, and that I know the emotions and pain and feelings…but finding the right words are a gift – a gift that you have. It’s been 15 mo since we got our son’s NPC diagnosis, and 10 since we lost him. So I am traveling the same path. Please know that you are not alone.

  12. “I believe that Trek is somewhere and I hope that it is better than here.” HOPE…. everything rides on hope. Without it there is no meaning to life, not even in the things you still tangibly have. I prayed for you and Chelsea and your family the instant I read that Trex had died and of all the things I prayed for, I most fervently prayed that you would still have hope in the darkest times. It is so obvious that your family has love and I sincerely believe that our creator does not intend for us feel alone. I pray for you Jarrett and I will continue to do so. Your family is precious and I am thankful for your blogs that share your journey with us.

  13. I admire you for being real….you know how much I love you, Chelsea, Peyton, Conner & Trek. I know you will never feel total peace from the loss of Trek, but I pray your days of sorrow get just a little bit better as time goes on. My heart aches for all of you and I’m so proud of how you have chosen to lead your family into living out your dreams.

  14. Thanks for sharing Jarrett i know sens my little man Dan went away I’ve been looking for a per pose in life but i just haven’t been able to find one from what every one says your sup post to help your fellow man but every day i see people that would give you there house if you need it die young but the people that live for nothing but greed and money live a more then needed life so i feel like i am just going through the motions in life until maybe some day i will find a reason but until then Dan mans pics are my screen savers and back ground on my computer and on my phone best of wishes to your family and Trek is or was a cute little man. Faron

  15. You’re honesty is heart warming. I never met Trek, but his memory lives with me everyday. I am so sorry you had to go through this. I cannot imagine what you and Chelsea and the boys are going through. You are loved and thought of often!

  16. I can’t even imagine what you have been through. Trek was such a beautiful baby and I wish so much he was still with you. You and Chelsea both have such a gift with words. And I think you are right, the world seems so different after you lose someone. It think until it happens to you there is an innocence that then gets shattered and makes you reexamine everything. Thanks for sharing. Your family is often in my thoughts.

  17. Jarrett, just as much as I put my emotions and thoughts into words for Chelsea on her blog, they are for you too. I have re-read your words now many times between last night and today. I am stricken by your sadness and pain, I wish it didn’t have to be this way. Thank you for sharing your vulnerability, for sharing you entire family with the world. You are a spectacular example of how to love one another. Hold on to your hope and love, keep your heart open. I believe Trek is out there too and I truly look forward to meeting him!

  18. Hello Jarrett and Chelsea,I don’t know you IRL,I came across Chelsea’s blog through another homeschoolers blog.I have not experienced the same grief and loss as you both,but I feel compelled to share my Christain belief with you as it may bring you some comfort.My belief is that our loved ones who have passed away are in a state of inactivity similar to a deep sleep and they are safe in our loving Creators memory awaiting a time when our Creator is going to ressurect them to life in a paradise earth,and then all loved ones will be united again.I did not come to this belief overnight,it came about after taking in knowledge of our Creator through his Word.

  19. I do believe that we are living in a “giant illusion” and I also believe in a better place than here…call it heaven, if you will. The pain is hard to explain, but my bearable nature leads me to believe I will see my Angel again, just as you will see your dear Trek.

    Blessing to you on your continued journey.

  20. Jarrett, just wanted to let you know I just read your blog…i CANNOT even imagine how you feel, or what Chelsea is feeling or the boys…life just isn’t fair. I have written on Chelsea’s blog often, but never on yours until now. My heart goes out to all 4 of you. You and Chelsea are the best parents…sharing your entire lives (since Trek became sick and since he passed away) with total strangers. I pray for your family daily. I am glad that you all are getting to do what your doing…travel the world…only if I had the guts to do that…the pictures Chelsea shares are just BEAUTIFUL…the boys, Peyton & Conner…precious, and Amanda for doing all the benefits for the INGRAM’s…just grand to have her as your sister-n-law…just hold on to the family you have. and someday you all will be with TREK ATLAS again…until then enjoy each and every day and every moment and every memory as much as you can. I have come to LOVE the INGRAM family as mine.
    My prayers are with the you and the family.
    PS give the boys and Chelsea a HUG for me
    God Bless you all

  21. Dear Jarrett,
    I understand, too. It’s a horrible sort of fraternity for those who have endured the deep and the most painful losses. It’s only the passage of time that helps to ease the pain some and also to give us the answers. Keeping you all in my prayers and thoughts.
    Your friend/follower in Ohio,

  22. I often come to your wife’s blog to take a peek at your precious family.

    I have never commented because I haven’t a clue what to say. I think its easy to expires words of comfort, but if it were my child, nothing would matter.

    I guess all I can say is Trek is loved all over the world and so is the rest of your family.

  23. I met your wife briefly (who was holding Trek) in a party store in Waco in early April. I just wanted you to know I just pledged to get your book , and I look forward to reading it. I agree with those that say your son and family has touched so many around the world…even in Waco, Tx. Best of luck to you guys in your adventure and your new teaching gig.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s