This is the story of our precious baby boy, who was diagnosed prenatally at
17 weeks with a fatal chromosome disorder called Trisomy 13. Although
Jonathan's condition is considered "not compatible with life", we desired to give
him every chance at life. Our prayer is that those who are touched by our story
are drawn to God, who is Life Himself. John 14:6

To start at the beginning of our story, click here.


where joy and sorrow meet

it was dark and pouring down rain when i woke up yesterday morning. my first thought was, "oh no. i hope it doesn't rain during the funeral." i pictured us standing at the gravesite with umbrellas, just as you see in the movies. my heart sank a bit, because i was determined to enjoy the day as much as i possibly could, given the circumstances. rain would interfere with this, i was sure of it.

a couple of hours later, we were solidifying all the funeral arrangements with our pastor over the phone. he mentioned how i probably felt stress over the rain this morning. he went on to say that the day that jonathan was born, october 8th, was the last day of the jewish holiday "feast of the tabernacles", also known as the "day of salvation." after this time, the ancient jews would start praying for rain. rain, he told me, was symbolic of the Holy Spirit. so the rain we experienced in the morning was symbolic of the Lord being present with us on the day we would bury our son.

that brought me much comfort.

"Since in Israel the rains normally stop in March, there is no rain for almost seven months! If God does not provide the "early" rains in October and November, there will be no spring crop, and famine is at the doorstep. This ceremony, then, was intended to invoke God's blessing on the nation by providing life-giving water. It is in connection with the Feast of Tabernacles and this eighth day that the gospel of John records a fascinating event. John wrote: "In the last day (eighth day), that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water" (John 7:37-38). The Son of God was saying in the clearest possible way that He alone was the source of life and blessing; that He could meet every need of the human heart."


this past week has flown by. 7 days ago, i had no idea that we would be here. 7 days ago, i was still hoping we would have another month left with jonathan before being induced. 7 days ago, i would never have guessed what was ahead of us in the coming week. and now, here we are: having already given birth, experiencing 40 wonderful minutes with jonathan, loving on him when he passed so peacefully away, and then yesterday, celebrating his life and mourning our loss with a funeral.

greg and i have been so wrapped up with preparing for the funeral that it seems more like a month has passed, rather than a week. we are tired. we are somewhat just "going through the motions" right now. and we are looking forward to getting back to our "normal" day-to-day life, whatever that may look like now. we are now a family of four, except our newest member just happens to call Heaven his home. so we aren't operating like your typical family of four. but make no mistake, jonathan is very much a part of us.

"What we have once enjoyed we can never lose...all that we love deeply becomes a part of us." ~Helen Keller

yesterday was probably the second-most anticipated day of our journey, next to delivery day. we were very intimidated by it, but again, astonished by the strength and grace the Lord provided to us to make it through.

we were actually OK until we pulled into our church's parking lot and there, front and center, was the hearse. the walk from our car, past the hearse, and into the church was a very long and hard walk. and then, from the foyer of the church, we could see straight down the center aisle of the sanctuary the tiny white casket that held the body of our baby boy. it took several moments to compose ourselves, but eventually we went in alone to spend time together in front of the casket. it was a surreal time. it was hard to believe that we were actually experiencing this. that our baby was actually in there. but then, we reminded ourselves that jonathan was not there. he was in heaven, probably looking down on us, saying, "mommy and daddy, don't cry! heaven is awesome!! i'll see you soon!"


the funeral was absolutely wonderful. i know that you don't typically think of funerals being wonderful, but this one was. yes, it was sad. but it truly was a celebration of a tiny life that has touched so many people and has blessed us in ways that we can't begin to fully describe. we are truly so thankful for our baby boy, and i speak for both greg and myself when i say that meeting jonathan face-to-face was worth every hardship, every teardrop, every physical and emotional burden we experienced throughout this journey. we would make the same decisions again. we have no guilt, no regrets. we have experienced peace and love on an extraordinary level. it has been a blessing.

the "wish frame", where people placed scripture and messages to us and jonathan

a few of my former bosses from the sheriff's office


our wonderful social worker, dawn was there on behalf of some of the nurses who couldn't be

friends, cathy and lindsey

celebrating the day with JOY

our families

with my friend cathy's husband, ken

the ceremony was filled with songs we love, sung by our dear friends who have been right there with us during the journey, lisa, jonathan, and faith. the songs were "enough", "where joy and sorrow meet", "blessed be your name", and "since the world began."

during the song, "blessed be your name", three of my closests friends read scripture in between the stanzas.

we also played a slideshow that greg and i put together, with scripture and pictures of jonathan.

because both greg and i have several friends and family members who were unable to make the funeral and wanted to be there, we plan on posting clips of the songs and message as soon as we get around to uploading them.


since the cemetery in which jonathan was buried was directly next door to our church, greg, our pastor, and i rode in a golf cart behind the hearse in the short drive to the gravesite. it was ominously overcast and windy, and the thunder was already rolling in the distance. it reminded me of the day we came to the cemetery to make the funeral arrangements. the birds were still chirping in spite of the coming storm. by the time we reached the gravesite, it had begun to sprinkle, and then steadily rain harder as we walked to the tent over our son's grave. greg and i had decided that it would just be the two of us attending the burial, with our pastor. we wanted to spend that final time alone with our son.

after our pastor prayed with us, greg and i had a few moments alone with jonathan. by then, the weather had really deteriorated, and we were ushered to the safety of a waiting van. the lightning was too bad for us to stay out there under a metal and canvas tent. so unfortunately, our time spent with jonathan before his burial was cut short. my mind really wanted to go to those places where i question God, saying, "why would you let it happen this way," etc. but those thoughts were overpowered by the reminder, again, that jonathan was not there in that box. that would not be him in the ground. the time had come to say "good-bye, for now" and "i'll see you again soon."

even today, i like to think of the symbolism of rain being the Holy Spirit. we were definitely covered by it at the gravesite.


after the time spent at jonathan's grave, our families and close friends all went out and celebrated again at a mexican restaurant. this is fitting, because 1. jonathan had lots of chips and salsa while i was pregnant, and 2. who doesn't enjoy eating chips and salsa, surrounded by lots and lots of loved ones? it was the perfect meal for this day. i wonder if there is chips and salsa in heaven? jonathan would probably like that.

afterwards, it had finally stopped raining, so we went back to jonathan's grave with our families and stayed there until it was completely dark. i had another fleeting moment of guilt, leaving jonathan behind under cold, wet soil, but that thought was immediately conquered again. please continue to pray that we will stay strong in our moments of weakness and the Lord would continue to show us that jonathan is very much at peace with Him.


  1. Lauren, Thank you, thank you, thank you, for sharing your heart in such an intimate way. God has reigned down His Holy Spirit upon you all. Yesterday was a difficult day for us too. Without going into details, (you can read them on Kim Shedd's blog), our precious baby Grace passed away, and Kim was supposed to be induced yesterday. Throughout the day, I though about your family and the funeral, and how neither you nor I thought we would be in this place at this time, when we emailed several weeks ago. We are hoping to induce and deliver today or tomorrow. You will definitely be in our thoughts and prayers, and if you think about it, please remember Kim right now. We may never meet this side of heaven, but you have touched our hearts in ways you will never know. God bless you now, and in the coming days.

    Linda Robinson
    Kim Shedd's mom
    Grace Shedd's grandma

  2. By the end of this post, with tears in my eyes, I've whispered "God you are so good" more times than I can count. Thank you.

  3. Greg,Lauren & Kate,
    This poem reminded me of Jonathan David and I pray it may bring you comfort,
    Dominic & Linda Guadagnoli

    The Butterfly
    They had him there, resting on the palms of their hands for awhile.
    He was all they ever wanted.
    Sometimes his wings were closed.
    At other times, he spread his wings open in the bright sunshine, displaying his colorful patterns.
    They truly loved him.
    He knew that.
    They told him he was special and beautiful, they saw the beauty.
    They appreciated his true colors.
    But they couldn't keep him.
    He was born to fly.
    He had been beautiful in their hands, but in flight he soared. In the garden amongst the colorful, sweet-fragranced flowers.
    His habitat.
    In letting him go, they made him happy.
    But he was always to remember their warmth and their love.
    Always and forever.
    For all of eternity.

  4. Didn't know that about the rain - very awesome! Just a reminder that God is big and even rain fits into his plan. Now I will wipe my eyes, again, and think of Jonathan in heaven playing and running and laughing with Jesus!

  5. As I am wiping the tears away I am at a loss for words after reading this. I praise God once again for his Goodness and Mercy!! Continuing to pray for your family daily; God Bless each of you in this moment and always!
    Darlene Jones

  6. An amazing account of a very emotional day. Praying for your aching heart and for comfort for your aching arms.

    Well done sweet mama....

  7. Jonathan's life will never be forgotten. We have all been changed by him and brought closer to the heart of Jesus. We love you guys so much.
    ~S & J Ochs

  8. Greg, Lauren & Kate,
    You have helped more people than you will ever know. I have followed your blog ever since it came out in the paper and it has taken my mind off of, what I thought, were my "problems" which is nothing compared to what you guys have gone through.
    Your faith is so strong and I PRAISE God for giving you guys the courage to allow us to follow you the past few months. It has made my faith stronger just reading Jonathan's blog so please know that God is using you in a mighty and powerful way even though you might not see it yet.
    Will continue to pray for you and Love you very much.
    Sandra Armstrong

  9. I have been following your story since a friend told me about it. You have handled all of this with such grace and faith. I admire your strength and determination to have this baby and hold and love him for however long God gave you.
    Your son has touched so many lives.
    Please know that I'm praying for you and your family.
    Beth C.