04 April, 2010

happily easter.

Happily, Easter means life.

Happily, Easter means forever.

hope.
love.
mercy.

. . . joy.


eternal.joy.

Happily, Easter represents everything I long for
and everything.that.sustains.me.

Because of Him,
amid the hollowness and horror of my broken soul,
there is hope.

. . . and miraculously, there is peace.

Because of Him,
all will be made whole in the end.

. . .which will actually only be the beginning,
won't it?

OH!
What a beautiful beginning it will be!

_________________________________

It takes an inexplicable amount of courage to post this.

Somehow, showing this here,
well, it makes this horrifying nightmare a reality.

permanent
(except that it's not, of course it's not,
but you understand).

. . .

I have to just say it out loud.
(deep breath)

My son is dead.

He left this Earth in the wee hours of the morning
on January 7th, 2010.

I held him in my arms,
tears falling from my cheeks to his sweet chest.

His chest where his daddy's hand lay,
feeling for the last pulsations of his perfect,
dying heart.

While family looked on,
helplessly.

Their hearts breaking with our own.

All of us already having seen too much sorrow.
Having already said too many goodbyes and too soon.

My son may be dead,
and yet.

AND YET HE LIVES.

Because of Jesus Christ.

He lives.

Because of this sacred day,
that other, terrifying day,
was not full of utter hopelessness and despair.

Sorrow? Absolutely.

AND hope.
AND love.

and little by little as the days go on,
even rejoicing.

and I think you'll see a little of that here.

and Uncle Jon?
we will love you. forever.






Photography by Jonathan Canlas
Music created just for us by Micah Dahl

Oh, and one more thing.
We're walking away from the graveside ceremony and. . .

Richie: Jon, do you know what the best thing about film is?
Jon: What's that?
Richie: It's not dead.

Some of you are laughing really hard right now.
For the rest of you, see here.

161 comments:

LeeYen said...

Natalie how special these are and will always be. Beautiful just beautiful. How grateful we are for our savior, his life and most of all his love. Thank you for sharing this. <3 from us.

Marianna Ah Quin Photography said...

Beautiful slide show. Ours Saviors love is truly magnificent, so grateful that through His life's teachings, atoning sacrifice and resurrection we can all rise someday and be reunited with our loved ones.

Anonymous said...

Just Beautiful xxx

Jodie from Australia

Matty and Lindsay said...

geez nat. matty is sitting next to me, both of us with tears in our eyes after watching that and he just keeps saying "gnarly."
love you.
ps. thanks for sharing your easter afternoon with us:)

Eliza said...

....
You're an amazing women and mommy, with an equally amazing family <3

Ashleigh said...

you are sunshine. thank you for this post. heart you.

Ashley Madsen said...

Words can't even describe. Perfect day for this post.

Happy Easter.

Stacy said...

You are so brave. The way you have reacted to such a tragic event has truly put you on a path straight to heaven.

Happy Easter.

a mermaid said...

so so beautiful and uplifting and just the perfect tribute to that sacred day. one of the most spiritual days of my life for sure.

Rave On Studio said...

Thank you for posting that.

Sarah said...

Thank you. Just thank you.

sharibug said...

Such a loving tribute to your family. It is so perfect for this day. He does live and you can live with him eternally too as a family. How fitting for this day and your lovely video of music and photos to come together.
I love how the Lord has strengthened you so that you might be an example to us all. Your spirit is strong and your foundation firm.
I too am grateful for the Atonement of Christ. He lives and has won the victory over death. It is this gift that we too can experience and to live with our families and Him again.
God bless you Natalie and may you be given all that you stand in need of.
Much love,
Jon's Mom

jess said...

Thank you.


Peace to your beautiful family.

~Camille said...

beautiful.

marlei said...

Thank you for sharing this with us. Your friend Jonathon has done an AMAZING job at capturing the emotion of the day you celebrated the life of your beautiful son. Although I type with blurred vision from my tears..... You are in my thoughts this Easter. Marsha x
P.S. Richie sounds like a good man to have around!

Lainey said...

These pictures and your endless, abyss-like faith, take my breath away.

karen said...

Natalie,
You are an amazing wife, mom, woman ... person. Know that. xoxo

Anonymous said...

Thank you. This by far the most beautiful I have ever seen. It is amazing. Thank you. xxxxx Alexandra

Stephanie Greenwell said...

Beautiful, Natalie. I started watching this as my 6 y.o. son came in and started watching with me. I explained to him the Jesus was ready to call Gavin home, and even though we on Earth may not be ready, it's God's will. I've mentioned to you before that I also gave birth to a son in October, so I feel a small connection to you and many times when I look at my growing baby boy, I think of you and your Gavin. You are a wonderful testimony to the Lord and His work. I still pray for you and your family, for peace and comfort. May God be with each of you.

Emily said...

Just beautiful Natalie!! Aren't we so blessed to have the knowledge of the atonement and resurrection? Continued prayers for your family!! :)

sevenalstons said...

What absolutely beautiful pictures ~ I was in tears by the end. Thank you so much for sharing those special moments with us. Lots of hugs from upstate New York.
~Jennifer

Lou Ellen said...

Thanks for posting. I have a son who lives in heaven too. It'll be 21 years on July 14th.

Kelly said...

Beautiful is the word that keeps coming to mind. The authentic sorrow and togetherness that is captured here but also the joy that comes from being together even in the midst of a tragedy like this one.

Thoughts and prayers are with you.

Kim said...

So very precious. Thank you for sharing. And what great hope we have! Easter is indeed the best holiday of them all. I think it is why we can celebrate the rest of them to begin with.

Kelli Nicole said...

Tears streaming down my face. Your family is so beautiful and strong!

Courtney said...

That is seriously the most beautiful tribute to a child I have ever seen. God Bless.

Shaina said...

Natalie, my heart breaks for you when I think of what you've endured. And you have endured. Your courage is amazing and your faith unyielding. I know that you've made Gavin very, very proud of his momma.

Jon's pictures? Incredible, as always.

Happy Easter.

Ashley said...

Nat, I can imagine how much courage it took to share that. Can I tell you I am so glad you did! That was so poetic and so beautiful. It makes me want to reach out and give you a great big hug. Still loving and praying for your lovely family.

stephanie said...

Everything about you and the way you live inspires me. We are the same age but I still hope to be like you when I grow up. Your art, your love, your faith and your strength are immense. Every time you share yourself I am overwhelmed.

Heather said...

I am SO SO SO glad that we were all able to see this! Wow. He captured everything all so well and so beautifully. Thank you Jon, and thank you Nat.

P.S. I'm really looking forward to seeing you guys in July.

Katy said...

Thank you for sharing this! Jon captured the events of the day beautifully. It was very touching, Natalie. I recognized Rick and Shelly, of course, and Eric, I believe. It's so sad to see their familiar faces and to know of the heartbreak you were all experiencing.

Just ME the MOM said...

. . . just beautiful . . . and shared during such a season as this . . .

Kristin

Amy said...

So moving. Thank you for sharing this and for your testimony of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Continually impressed by you and your family beyond words.

Anonymous said...

Hi Natalie,

I'm 26 years old, from Houston, Texas, and have an 11 month baby boy. I started following your blog since mids of December. Found your blog while going through different photographer links on twitter.

Gavin's story has touched me soooo much. I prayed, and I cried, I hugged my child, hugged my husband... Every night when I see my baby boy sleeping, I thank God for another day that He has given the privileged to be with my little angel. Thank you for making me more aware of that.

You are an amazing mother and wife.

–Lily Z.

Tauni said...

That was beautiful. You share the Savior's message perfectly, even through your pain, your terror, thank you. Your words are beautiful, they are piercing to my very soul. Thank you a million times over. I love you.

carriedanna said...

thank you.

http://thekateeffect.typepad.com/the_kate_effect/2010/04/easterdragons.html

Sarah said...

Love to the whole Norton clan.xoxoxoxoxoxo

Watson Family said...

Well, I'm sobbing...But that was beautiful. We're continuing to pray for your comfort daily. Love you all!!!

Denise said...

The video was beautiful! I don't know you personally but thought of your family a lot yesterday with it being Easter & just how wonderful it is that you will see you son again because of what the Son did for us. You're always in my thoughts. :)

Scott & Tami said...

I LOVE you Nat and your sweet family....I know I say that a lot, but I don't know what else to say...and that you are always in my prayers....that video is heart wrenching....reminds me of my nieces funeral...their caskets are too small. FAMILIES ARE FOREVER!!! I LOVE YOU NAT!!!! You are INCREDIBLE!!!!

Autumn said...

Thank you for sharing. Watching this put everything back into perspective for me today.

Carlita said...

this was stunning, heartbreaking, and so wonderful. you are quite the woman. and what a family.

Sunny said...

Your words are as beautiful as Jon's pictures. How you seem to heave your heart upon a page and allow us all to see it in it's rawness and beauty I will never understand, but I know I cannot walk away unchanged. Thank you for your expressions of faith as well as those of grief. It is the grief which makes the faith all the more stunning, like a light piercing the darkness.

"and the light which did light up his mind, which was the light of the glory of God, which was a marvelous light of his goodness—yea, this light had infused such joy into his soul, the cloud of darkness having been dispelled, and that the light of everlasting life was lit up in his soul, yea, he knew that this had overcome his natural frame, and he was carried away in God—" -Alma 19:6

"I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness."
- John 12:46

shelly said...

What an incredible gift....gorgeous photos -- gorgeous music -- speechless.

Rae said...

First--what a superb job Jonathan did in capturing those sacred moments, recording something that comes with complex webs of emotions. Second, what LOVE is shown! What love, what hope, and also what honesty. Third--Natalie, there must be times when the ache is just too big to hold....and I am so grateful that you know who can carry the rest of it for you. I don't know you, but I love you. I pray for you. I pray for your beautiful boys and your (obviously from the pictures) tender husband.

Rae said...

*I forgot to mention the music--so beautiful.

Kelli Eudis said...

That couldn't be any more beautiful. Thanks for sharing something so personal.

Ryan, Melissa, and Family said...

Thanks for sharing...it is beautiful! You are a special person, your bright example bounces into my thoughts all the time & I am grateful for it:)

Ginna said...

What an amazing and beautiful and hopeful and heartbreaking slideshow. I'm just crying.
Thanks for sharing--everything that you've shared.

Doin' It Digital (Shannon C.) said...

So amazing! I am sitting here crying looking at my kids - crying. Jon did an amazing job! Your family is beautiful! I pray you continue to find peace. So grateful for our Savior this Easter season.

katieo said...

Beautiful. THANK YOU for sharing.

You don't mind if I just save that on my desktop and pull it up whenever I need my faith strengthened, do you? ;)

amazing.

Kate said...

thank you.

Laura Green said...

Natalie,
Thank you for sharing. For inspiring. For rejoicing. Our sweet brother and Savior in heaven lives. We will all be together forever someday. I'm so grateful for this. Beautiful words, beautiful video. Happy Easter to your family!

Laura Green

Michelle said...

When your sadness seems like too much to bear, I hope that you can feel peace knowing how many people have been touched by this video and your story. I don't even know you and my testimony of the Savior has been strengthened today by you and your family. You are such an amazing example of faith. thank you.

Krista Hansen said...

Thank you for sharing something so personal and tender. I was thinking about you alot on Easter and hoped that you were surrounded by love, peace and hope.

sheena said...

beautiful.

Kjrsten said...

OH NATALIE!

Thank you for sharing this initmate day. It's touching, pulling at my heart strings, uplifting and beautiful all at once. It shows what we are here to experience- love. Your strength of spirit is giagantic! I am in awe of you.

TanuvasaCasa said...

oh my goodness. i will never forget that day. thank you for inviting my kids to be a part of it. is it weird saying pictures from a funeral are beautiful? because it was beautiful and gut wrenching. thank you for sharing it nat. thank you for sharing your spirit to all of us. you are remarkable.

steph said...

such a beautiful video! thank you for sharing!

Melanie said...

Tears literally popped out of my eyes and splashed against my glasses. Beautiful, just beautiful.

You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers!

And totally inappropriate for this comment, but I think it's worth saying. My 16 yr. old daughter had Pertussis over this last summer. It's horrific. I didn't know that now you need a booster vaccination after 10 years. I know now.

xoxo

Junior and Marissa Shum said...

Natalie, my heart still breaks for you. My tears were flowing freely while I watched this. Brayden came up while I was watching and quietly watched as well. He sadly said, "Mommy, I'm praying for that baby and his brothers." We're thinking of you!

Jenn said...

Thank-you.

Larry Reeves said...

through *tears* i just wanted to say that my heart still aches for you guys. at the same time, it rejoices with yours...thankful for a plan that makes it a little easier to understand...thankful for the Savior. beautiful images, as always, by Jon. thanks for the example of faith and hope that richie and you are to the rest of us.

Laura said...

This Easter has touched my like no other year has. The reality of what Jesus did for us hit me like never before. It is because of HIM that our suffering and sadness is not in vain - death is NOT permanent.

In the wake of one of my husband's fellow Marines being killed in Afghanistan, and my heart breaking for his wife and his family, I felt unbelievably comforted by the message of Easter, and the promise of eternal life.

The same goes for your family - while it breaks your heart into pieces now, there will come a day that you will be reunited with your baby boy, FOREVER. No more goodbyes, no more sadness. The wife who is grieving with empty arms for her husband will one day wrap her arms around him again, never to have to let go.

All because of HIM.

Pretty remarkable.

Thank you for sharing this video with us. Jon gave you an unbelievable gift with these photographs.

My prayers continue for you and your family. God bless you.

Damaris said...

I thought about you and Richie yesterday so much during conference. There are really no words. I'm so thankful for a prophet and leaders that do have words and do care.

Anderson Family said...

What a brave and very intimate thing to share. Thank you! Love you!
Shelly Nydegger Anderson

Babs said...

Thank you for sharing......

Hannahlee said...

Ah, no laughing here... more liking crying; thank for sharing your words and the beautiful video of pictures. God is indeed good - prayers going your way.

rachel thurston said...

I sit here. and. cry.

Thank you for sharing that special day with us. When heaven and earth are so close.

Brady and Rachel said...

You are amazingly courageous for sharing. Thank you! xoxo

mickisha caye photography said...

Natalie, even having watched Jon's slideshow before I still cried as I sat and watched. Thank you for being so fearless through out this experience. Fearless enough to express your beliefs, your pain, and your joy that keeps you hanging on. You really do inspire me to be a better, more open person. Your words, I KNOW, have touched so many lives. They continue to touch mine. THANK YOU!

StacyD said...

achingly beautiful.

Ryan Armstrong said...

Loss comes in the deepest forms, but so does love. He will forever be a part of your family. Thank you for sharing.

Katie said...

I could barely see that beautiful video through my tears. Again, I am so sorry for your devastating loss. Thank goodness for the knowledge of the Savior and the Resurrection. That was one of the most beautiful posts I've ever read

kimsueellen said...

<3 you guys.

forever.

Jenny B said...

So beautiful....

Marg said...

What a priceless treasure...

algreig said...

after watching this and taking a few moments to grab my kids and hold them tight, i want to thank you for sharing all that you do natalie, it is such encouragement for so many--jonathan did an amazing job capturing SO much emotion, watching the video made it all so real and all the LOVE amongst family and friends, especially between you, richie and the boys really came through. so thankful for our Lord who remains constant in His comfort to His children--may God continue to watch over your family and hold you close--continuing to pray-- aloha, alisa

Heather said...

So well said, this is achingly beautiful. I am sobbing as I try and type. Thank you for being so brave and sharing this intimate, spiritual time. I don't even have the right words to describe what I feel after watching the love between your family and seeing the incredible spirit you have.

Truly, I think you are amazing. I don't even know you and I just love you. Jon's images are amazing. I thought so much of you during Conference and though my heart absolutely breaks for you still, I am SO thankful for the Gospel and our Savior and what he did for us that we might live again and be eternal families. It brings me to my knees.

Much love and prayers from Draper, UT :)

Shanae said...

Thank you for sharing that. It was beautiful. Thank you for your strength and for sharing this part of your life with others. You are a missionary, helping so many people in this world understand the truth and life and life after death. Thank you. I LOVE YOU!

Mary said...

An amazing woman you are Natalie. Your boys and your husband have been given such a tremendous gift. And for the short time Gavin was here, he too was given your eternal gift. Thank you for sharing this with us. Even though I'm 5,000 miles away, I feel like I know you.
God Bless
Mary
(former bride of Joanna's in Maui).

Kimbur said...

thank you! thank you for your strength, your courage, and your faith!

tammie billey said...

xoxo

Kristen said...

Easter is the BEST.

I didn't cry for my baby this year, I think for the first time. But now I've cried for yours. Crying is good.

Hold on, I lied. Last night I cried while watching August Rush. If you haven't seen it, you should. It will mean more this time.

Happy Easter! (ps - I never cry during movies. Ever.)

lilia said...

Your courage, your faith, your openness, your sorrow, your heartache, your laughter, your testimony allow those who suffer to know it is ok to feel this way and those who have not suffered in this way to begin to understand the depth of where one's heart goes at times like these and how to help. I pray that you know the peace and lessons you teach everyone just by being you. Mahalo Lilia

dandee said...

your strength, goodness, testimony, power and class are an inspiration.

may you continue to feel His love.

shari berry bo-berry said...

I'd like to think that my words can offer some comfort, but I'm sure they don't. While I sit trying to catch my breath after watching that slideshow and trying to wipe the snot and tears off my face, I know that I cannot even come close to imagining your pain or sorrow...but I want you to know that I too know that because of Him all will be made whole and be joined together again.

As I sat watching the last session of conference yesterday i couldn't help but feel like so much of it was for YOU.

Love to you and your dear family...always.

Can't wait to finally give you a hug in July.

xoxo from HB,

shari

Kara Simmons. said...

This was absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing and being such an example of faith in the Lord. I can only hope to be as half as strong as you when I have trials in my life!

Adhis said...

Cool.

nicole said...

Natalie,

The strength that you have and the honest emotions that you write is so inspiring. The lives that you and your family lead represent so much of the good that most people dream of having. Thank you for sharing and offering insight. It has helped me.

Hopefully we will meet again.

Nicole

A Baird's Eye View said...

Thank you! Your testimony strengthened mine. Thank you.

My dad pasted away last month. I know that death took only his body but not his Spirit. Even though I can't see him anymore, sometimes I can feel his presence near me.
Gavin Happy Spirit IS with you because of our Savior Jesus Christ.
Aloha! Iulia

Orrin and Shari Baker said...

Thanks for that. You amaze me!...and so does Jon! and yes, I am laughing.

Dari said...

Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I can't imagine how hard that must have been for you. But I can tell you that you have been such a great example to me and you have helped my testimony of our Savior grow. Your journey has touched me so deeply. I also made the mistake of watching this video at work. So I am crying in my cubicle. I hope no one catches me. :) Again, thank you and may God be with you and your sweet family.

Wendy Laurel said...

Wow. wow. wow. thanks for sharing that. Very touching.

Katie said...

I cannot even imagine. What a beautiful way to commemorate his beautiful little life. An absolute treasure.

Krystal said...

I feel like I know you because you've shared such a personal, painful story, so openly. Your story has touched my life and inspired me to be a better mother and enjoy my 4 boys as much as I can. You're beautiful, your spirit shines through your words. Your family is beautiful, and I am so thankful to know that families are forever.

Amanda said...

Air. I need air. Very touching. Absolutely precious. I too, am moved by your honesty and beautiful way of expressing it.

Crystal Henderson said...

That is the most beautiful, saddest thing I have seen, thank you for sharing, it really touched my heart. I pray for you.

Kristi said...

Keep writing... you are so inspiring and remind me about important things. Love Jonathan Canlas, too. What a treasure for you guys.

Kerri said...

Natalie,

All I can say is thank you for your courage, for sharing your faith and your grief. I can't tell you how many times I've thought of you over the last few months, and how many times I've been more tender to my children because of your story and your example.

Wish the lesson stuck all the time. I'll keep working on the tenderness, especially when the two-year-old poops in the tub.

Here's hoping you have lots of joy and laughter and healing.

shawnandfarrah said...

Natalie...i dont know if you check my blog, but please do. just a little thank you from me. i love you!

Denise said...

that was so hard to watch I can't imagine how hard it was to be present. God Bless Your Family Natalie. All of you are amazingly blessed.

LisaS said...

I was having such a bad day...a pity party, because of things....things that will eventually be resolved...until I read this post...and I cried....really big tears... for your loss...thank you for sharing the slide show....and your words....you are an inspiration.

Anonymous said...

So moving. I'm wiping tears from my face as I thank you for sharing this.

Betsy
http://www.betsykingphoto.com

Lali Johnson said...

Oh Natalie, your words were beautiful and just what I needed to hear right now.

Jill said...

Natalie you are simply a beautiful godly woman...thank you for sharing your strength.

Camille said...

Natalie! You are a rock! I know the same things you know, but I think it's a much different thing to have to live it the way you are right now. My heart hurts for your sadness. I'm so happy for you and your family that you can feel sad and hopeful at the same time. It's seems way too sad but even with the slightest piece of hope it also seems like the sadness won't always be so throbbing and emotionally draining and make us cry so much. I have cried for you and your son and your family.

Thank goodness for Hope and thank goodness for your hope in Hope.

Jane Cato said...

Thank you.

Andrea said...

thank you for sharing so much of you, it gives strength to those that need it and serves as a reminder that tomorrow is never guaranteed. I live my day to day better because of you.

Kristin said...

Thank you for sharing that Natalie. I thought of you this weekend as our dear prophet spoke. Beautiful pictures, beautiful place that you live and beautiful music. Wow.

May God continue to bless you all.

Hugs from Kristin in a place A LOT colder than Hawaii . . . :-)

kristenkalani said...

Thank you for sharing such a personal moment in your life. That video was heartbreaking yet inspiring at the same time. You have so much strength and I don't know how you do it. You have a beautiful family who us lucky to have such a courageous mommy. Thanks for letting me read your blog.
Kristen Walker
San Clemente, CA

Michelle Jones said...

thank you for sharing

Wendy said...

Natalie...I have spent many nights tearful and finding hope through reading your blog, words. No one has ever said so perfectly what was in my heart. Thank you for being so willing to share...I can only imagine how many more lives you've touched. Thanks for touching mine. Wendy

Anonymous said...

Wow...wow. Thank you for sharing. My faith in Jesus Christ grew today. God is real and loves us so much this I know without a doubt. "Never" doubting. Thank you, thank you.

Maly-Central Coast

stef j. said...

oh nat... my heart aches for you. gosh, i love you. you, your life, your experiences have stirred within me a change. a longing and desire to live a life worthy of witnessing the reuniting of your beautiful family. to really really live with my family eternally...

i guess what i mean is you've brought it all home. the gospel is that much more real to me now.

your baby gavin has enriched and blessed the lives of so many. i am just one.

what a joy it is the He lives!

Alicia Nelson said...

this was beautiful and touching, thanks for sharing

Sam and Melissa said...

Thank you for your thoughts. I was told about your blog from a friend and have been drawn to it since. I have been going through the struggles of not being able to have children, and what you say truly inspires me to remember that He is there. Always.

Fran said...

Oh Natalie, How beautiful! I still think of you and your boys often, all four of them. You and your family continue to be in my prayers. Your amazing strength and grace during this terrible loss is so inspiring. I hope that you and your family continue you to have peace and healing. Love and Hugs fron NC.

The Laidlaws said...

Oh, did your video make me cry. I'm so sorry, I could never say it enough, I'm so sorry. Your son must have been a special kind of angel to be called home so quickly, but no doubt during his short sojourn on earth he was SO loved. And is still. Glory be to our Father in Heaven for his love and for the knowledge that families really are forever.

Brooke Ringdahl ~ LifeStyle Photographer said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I too find comfort in the fact that we all live on. I will hold Gavin in my heart and his family too. Thanks again for sharing.

Marie Rose said...

You never cease to amaze me. While listening to conference this weekend I thought of you often. I couldn,t help but notice most of the talks where on the signs of the time and Jesus' second coming. It's so close...I can feel it. It's just around the corner. Unlike most, I do not fear because it will bring so much happiness to so many, and you my friend, are one of them. I long for the day for you to be reunited with your sweet baby. One of the speakers talked about how you will leave everything on earth behind but you will alway keep your title as mother and father and although my heart constantly breaks for you this statement brings me so much joy for you. You will get your time back with your baby. Oh Happy Easter. Always sending my love!

This Is Our Heaven.... said...

I just wanted to thank you for that beautiful slideshow. I had an adopted baby brother who passed away in my arms 7 years ago from a heart attack. He was 11 months old, and he was sealed to our family 3 weeks before he died. I've been stuffing in the grief for 7 years now, and I, for some reason, keep pretending like it didn't happen. Its my way of protecting myself. And its starting to boil up now, 7 years later. The picture of the little tiny casket made the flood gates open up. And I needed to cry. I needed to let some of it out. I can remember how tiny those caskets are. I remember seeing him inside of it. Its not right, tiny babies shouldn't have to be in those.

So thank you, your video touched me more than you will ever know. And i'm so so sorry that you baby passed away. Even though he was my adopted brother and it sucked more than I can express, I think it would be 150 x's harder if it was one of my own children. You are in my prayers.

Kristine from Canada said...

Thankyou so much for sharing Natalie,it captures so much,so many emotions
Thankyou
Huge hugs xo

Bri!!! said...

Once again your post brought tears to my eyes. What a beautiful person you are.

I was home for a week and the last night there I was up talking with my sister, mom, and dad. I started talking about a blog that has inspired me more than any other and how I wish I knew the woman behind the words. That blog is yours.

My sister whom I was talking to was Megan Phillips (used to be Hirokawa but divorced some years ago). She knows you, the woman I wished I knew and confirmed all the things I thought you would be...amazing.

Even though I have never met you, you have become that much more real to me. Megan sends her love and so do I. You truly are a gift from God to this earth.

Misty said...

I'm LDS, too. My baby's funeral was in the relief society room just like yours. My non-mormon friend sent me this link today. On Thursday it will now be a year since our newborn boy died..... what a hell of a ride. God bless you.

Tana H said...

I have no words to comfort you, or to even make sense of this all. But your strength, courage, faith and love is inspiring and humbling to those of us who feel we should be comforting you instead. Though we've never met, your family is in my prayers and my heart is full of love for you all.

Kristen said...

Misty - You don't know me either but I'll be thinking of you on Thursday. Such a rough day. Treat yourself to something special. It does get better with each year. Lots of love.

Stephanie said...

Thanks so much for sharing!

Sabrina said...

Praise God that you will meet again, and that your family will be together, united in perfection. :-) Beautiful!

Sara said...

What a beautiful tribute to your precious boy. My son is in Heaven as well. It has been 2 1/2 years. Many prayers for you and your beautiful family.

Corissa said...

I came across your page & Jonathan's video today and have no clue how to put into words the emotions I feel.

You and your family are so strong and your story is very inspiring.

Thank you for sharing.

Ashley said...

Wow. Beautiful pictures and beautiful music. You are so brave Natalie.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for having the courage and strength to share this video with us. It is one of the most beautiful,faith inspiring things I have seen in a long time. Thank you.

Christi said...

I have never known anyone who can bring to life the power and love of Jesus Christ as you have!!! Thank you!

Da Denninghoff's said...

You have a tender testimony of the HOPE that the Savior brings to us all! I'm so grateful to know you. I thought about you & your family a ton on Easter. Happy Easter Natalie:)

Camille said...

You and your sweet family/testimony/hope/sorrow were on my mind all throughout General Conference and Easter. Yes, I know Christ lives, but I don't know it like you do. And I'm not sure I want my testimony to strengthen through experiencing such sorrow and agony! I am in tears after this post. I just can't imagine the pain you have suffered for the past 3 months now. Yet, you're so full of hope, faith, and endurance. God loves you Natalie!

the swope family said...

My heart just broke all over again for you and your family. Such a touching and beautiful way to document such a sad day. I'm just a stranger sending hugs and prayers to you. God bless.

Joanna said...

Wow Natalie, these images are so touching! It's wonderful how you can be so present and so very supportive to one another in a sorrowful time. Though these images, you can see how much strength and love your family has for one another and this is so inspiring and amazing. Love, Joanna

Sallyseashell said...

Your blog is inspiring. I have been grateful to have stumbled upon this, and share with others who need it. Your photography is breathtaking. I grew up on the N. Shore but live in Utah, now. Thanks for sharing your life, your beliefs, and your expereinces with the world. People need to hear more truth.

Allison said...

Wow. Incredible. I am speechless. What a beautiful family you are. There is so much reverence felt in this video, from you & your husband and from the video it's self. I'm so sorry for your journey. So thankful to hear your testimony. Thank you for sharing such sacred events and feelings.

alliehoopes said...

the whole thing is horrible and wonderful all at the same time. much love.

Leah Remillet said...

This slideshow had me and the rest of the room crying with you at WPPI and once again (for me) tonight. Jonathan, truly is amazing. Film is not dead. Christ lives and families truly are forever!

Thank you for always sharing your heart!

Debbie said...

Dignified, respectful, full of sadness and beauty and love, what a wonderful memorial to a very special little soul.

Hillary said...

my goodness Natalie - you take my breath away - i am sitting here in tears - my heart breaking for you and your family - again. . .and yet amazed at your strength and belief - you are an inspiration. The urge to hug my babies is overwhelming right now.

Thank you so much for sharing your everything.

Hillary

{lindy baker cakes} said...

Wow Natalie. This is indescribably beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing this.

OMI said...

beautiful beyond words. Love you -the masinas

Angie Price said...

Wish the video was longer ... I am sure you wish the time was longer. Absolutely beautiful ... thank you so much for sharing, Natalie! xoxoxo

Angie in California

wendi solari said...

thank you for sharing something so intimate and personal and joyful and sad and sweet and bitter and lovely and hard.
can't remember who said this (Thomas Moore maybe and I/m paraphrasing):
"there is nothing earth gives that Heaven can't heal."
always praying for you guys. always.

Mary said...

This is the first post I have read on your blog and I am just stunned. I have never read something so heartfelt and genuine! My heart aches for you and the loss of your son, but I rejoice that you will be with him again in Heaven. I will be squeezing my son extra tight today. Thank you for your honest candor.

Lindsey said...

Like many of your readers, you don't know me. My friend told me to watch this video and I have now been reading your blog for over an hour in tears. You truly are amazing to me. Your testimony and unwavering faith are incredible to me! I will hold my kids just a little longer tomorrow and enjoy the time I have with them. Thank you so much for opening up your heart and sharing your story to strengthen so many people. You really will be in my prayers.

Ashley & Donnie said...

I stumbled across your blog tonight, before I saw it I was feeling sorry for myself. But wow.... You are an amazing woman. That video touched me so deeply. You little boy must have done something amazing in the life before in order to go live with his Heavenly Father a little sooner. What a comfort it is that families can be together forever.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your loved ones.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say this touched me too the core.. I will send prayers to you and your family, may you all continue to be strong, healthy and keep the faith. Thank you for sharing this..gives us all something to think about and be thankful for all that God provides to us. I came across your site through DPS.

Jennifer Richards

Ally said...

thank you for reminding me of what is important. for being courageous enough to share.

Audra said...

I lost my 2nd born son Feb 8th, 2010. A piece of myself died that day. I love to see that you're still going on (in the best way you know how) in spite. I love that. I admire your strength.

Rachael said...

Wow, that was so beautiful, thank you so much for sharing x

Kyla Stevens said...

I am so sorry for your loss. You are an amazing woman. And I am grateful for your eternal family and that you will be reunited. I know Heavenly Father is taking care of your little guy.

Danielle Bright said...

Aloha Baby Gavin. It is the perfect word, goodby and hello.

You must be a very special woman to have given birth to such a perfect child that all he needed was a body. You gave him that gift.

I came to know you through DPS.

Babies hold a very tender spot in my heart. Even thought I am in Arizona, I am sending you a hug.

I am so happy that you know the plan of salvation. I am happy you have an eternal companion and best friend to comfort you. I imagine he is quite affected too.

Again I send a long distance hug, I hope you can feel it.

Eva and Joey said...

Around two months ago I was blog hopping and found your blog. At the time my baby was 10 weeks old. You have made me cuddle longer, kiss more often, and just love better.
Not one single day goes by that I don't think about a girl in Hawaii that has a hole in her heart. You cease to amaze with your beautiful words. Thank you for sharing them. Just know there is a girl in Florida whose heart aches for you and has you and your sweet family in her prayers!

Kelly said...

*Simply touching! So real and so beautiful. Praying for you tonight, sweet Natalie!

Brad Huebert said...

Such courage, the kind that can't be faked. I love your heart.

Anonymous said...

Natalie,
Thank you for sharing your heart, soul and guts with us. Your honesty is refreshing, and also gut-wrenching, but it's REAL. Thank you for daring to fling out all those emotions for us so we can grieve with you. But, we do not grieve as people without hope.
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13

I'm praying that the hope we have in Jesus of seeing our loved ones again will sustain you and give you peace until the day you are reunited with your precious Gavin.

Andrea in Africa