In loving memory of Jake
~August 5, 1999 – January 19, 2018
It’s been five months since we lost Jake, since Jake passed away, since Jake’s accident…..How do you say it? When people ask, I stumble over my words; nothing sounds right because it isn’t right. The fact that Jake was here one minute and gone the next is so not right it’s breathtaking and at times feels like my heart is genuinely, physically broken. To say Jake was my best friend’s son doesn’t begin to describe my relationship with this wonderful 18-year-old boy/man I’ve loved since I watched my best friend’s belly swell with his first kicks. I couldn’t have loved him more had I carried him myself. Whenever I’ve heard of people experiencing a tragic loss of this kind in the past, I’ve felt my heart ache with bewilderment of how they could possibly recover… how they could survive. Just the mere thought of a loss of that magnitude would flood my emotions with the inability to even imagine navigating life. When someone is a part of the fabric of your life and the love is a part of who you are, how do you go on without him?
Well, I now know. The love is what makes it possible to survive. The only way this type of tragedy could possibly be made worse is if family and friends let their sorrow overtake their ability to experience the joy of life. We owe it to lost loved ones to be the people they knew and loved.
So our smiles are for you, Jacob Bridges Acker. May we honor you and express our love for you by living our lives the way you did. We will cherish each other and our friends. We will make time for fun and laughter and silly times together while always striving to be the best versions of ourselves we can possibly be. We know you deserve this. I’m afraid the sky will never be as blue and the world will always be spinning at a different speed than it was, but you can rest in peace knowing that we are all going to be okay. It’s not an easy road getting there, but Mom, Dad, and your sisters are going to be okay; we are all helping them stand up and honor you. We will be an inspiration for others in the future who have fallen into the darkest place by showing them that there is light on the other side… and the reason we can do this is because of just how amazing you were and loved you always will be.
I imagine telling you that I’ve wanted to start a blog for a long time. I can just see you saying matter of factly… so start one. So thank you Jake for the courage, and I’m sure I’ll be hearing your advice through your spirit for the rest of my life. The only way to recover from not having you here physically will be to listen to it and to smile. I love you, kid