Rowan Sage's graveside service was yesterday. It was so beautiful and we felt so much love. There are enormous holes in our hearts and there always will be. But being able to express some thoughts from the depths of our souls helped make the holes in our hearts not quite so big.
|The beautiful program that Dennen's brother Derek made|
I'd like to share a part from the service. Dennen's letter to his baby girl.
Dear Baby Rowan,
I wish I didn’t have to write this letter. When you first entered this world, I held your little body and kept imagining that any second you would take a big breath of air, your cheeks would turn rosy pink, you would start crying, and we would have to swaddle and rock you to calm you down. But of course that was a fantasy. Instead, we cried over you and fought back the thoughts of “What if?” I thought about what you would look like, and if you would have the spunky personality of your mom. I wondered if you would like sports or be artistic or have other interests. I wondered if you would be a graceful skier like your mom or a reckless, goofy skier like your dad. I thought about you and Finn playing together and imagined Finn being a protective older brother. I wondered what thoughts would go through my head when you went on your first date and grew from a little girl into a young woman. Everything I had imagined about our future as a family had you in a starring role. When that future abruptly changed, it hurt worse than anything I have ever felt before. And it hurt because we love you deeply. It was shocking how much love we felt for you when your delicate little body arrived. We weren’t sure how we would feel, but the affection was instant.
For the few hours we were able to spend with your precious body, the veil was so thin. Although there was heartache, sobbing, tears, and pain, we were comforted in the knowledge that your precious spirit was too pure for this world. I found myself thinking about eternal families and the sealing ordinance. I found myself praying with more intent. I found myself thinking about the Savior and his suffering. I found myself pondering the fragility and shortness of our time on Earth. I felt comfort and gratitude knowing that I will someday know you and have an opportunity to be your dad and knowing that I’ll be greeted by your beautiful face on the other side. In knowing that I can meet you again, you’ve blessed me with a more eternal perspective. I can say that this experience, however painful, has motivated me to be a better person. It has stripped away all the superficialities of life and made plain what is important. I feel a need to be kinder, to empathize with those who are suffering, to spend less time thinking about myself and more time serving others, to keep loved ones close and express how much I care for them every opportunity I get, and to be more like Christ. I feel more compelled to seek out all that is virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy. And for that, I thank you, baby Rowan.
Rowan, it is hard to explain the outpouring of love that has occurred because of your passing. There are so many people that love you, so many people that gave of their time and went out of their way to comfort our family. They have all been a reminder that there is so much good in this world and that kind words and deeds have more power than we think.
You are loved, my sweet baby girl. Your memory will remain with us as we pass through this existence. Knowing that you are waiting for our arrival on the other side will be a blessing and a motivation to your family throughout their lives. We love you Rowan.