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After the loss of a loved one everyone has a talk, a book or an article that they feel is perfect for those that are grieving. The gesture does not go unnoticed and is very appreciated. We were so grateful to know people were thinking of us as they tried to make sense of the loss of Tate as well. There simply is not enough time, nor energy, to read through everything we received at the time. We did our best to take notes of suggested material that would help us and we have tried through the years to go back and include them in our study. However, there were a few things that were recommended that you could see how passionate the people sharing them were that we had to study it immediately.

This talk by Elder Holland was one of those things that after it was recommended I immediately studied it that night. I wish I could remember who recommended it so I could give them their proper thanks. It hit me hard at the time and continues to have significant meaning for me. You can read the whole article if you would like here. I love the story that Elder Holland shares in his talk and this video does a great job of illustrating it.

As I listen I can’t help but put myself in the Father’s shoes. I can relate to how Elder Holland describes the Father.

I thought perhaps I saw on that side road an old car with a devoted young wife and two little children making the best of a bad situation there. Just ahead of them I imagined that I saw a young fellow walking toward Kanarraville, with plenty of distance still ahead of him. His shoulders seemed to be slumping a little, the weight of a young father’s fear evident in his pace.

I am so grateful for Brandi, Lexi, and Hunter. The bond between the four of us is very strong as we endured the pain of losing Tate together. I am grateful that they have all tried to make the best of a bad situation. I look at Lexi and Hunter and I am amazed at their power. I think back to when I was their age and I can’t imagine how I would have handled the grief they have experienced. They are young and they have had to navigate very mature situations and emotions.

Unfortunately, I am not always in the best place to support them and help them. This past weekend I was just angry. Holidays like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are difficult when you have lost a child. It is a painful reminder of everything you are missing out on. I wasn’t handling anything very well and I didn’t know how to change my attitude. I wanted to get away and just have some alone time as that is how I have learned to process my feelings. For some reason, I feel like I have to be the tough Dad that doesn’t show his emotion around the family. I know this is wrong and they need to see that I am hurting so they feel okay that they are hurting as well. I don’t know how to change this aspect of my grieving.

In the middle of my anger and frustration, I went into our office to be alone. After a minute I could hear Hunter ask Mom where I was. She told him and he came right up to me and hugged me. Not just a passing hug to ask if he can steal a sip of Mt Dew, or go play at a friends house. He really hugged me and I just began to cry. I could feel the anger leave me. I was able to relax and know that in my weakest moments I am not alone. Without saying anything I could feel Hunter telling me “Don’t give up. Don’t you quit. You keep walking. You keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead”.

My heart goes out to anyone that has lost a child. With Father’s day so near, I especially feel for the Dad’s that are trying to mask their own fear while trying to make the best of a bad situation. Don’t you give up. Don’t you quit.

JeffreyHolland_LiveStrongerToday