death and life.

death and life came yesterday.
my family lost a man and gained a boy.

My cousin Shannon's husband Ryan, died yesterday. Everyone is still staring at the wall with numbness and blank stares and questions that don't seem to stop. He wasn't supposed to die and life isn't supposed to work like this. He was in the hospital in Colorado. His brother Chad has a liver disease and was dying if he didn't get a transplant. Ryan was a match and offered to be the live donor. There were risks involved and they knew recovery would be a long time, but nothing like this has happened before. During the night Ryan's heart stopped for 45 minutes. They did CPR on him the whole time and his heart re-started. After 24 hours of waiting the doctors pronounced him brain dead. There had been no sign of brain activity since his heart stopped. His wife decided to let him go be with Jesus and embrace his heavenly home. His three little boys are suddenly without a daddy, and his wife has no husband. The pain that courses through my veins for them is unreal, no one can imagine saying goodbye like that. They love Jesus and he will be their rock through an unimaginable journey of loss, but wives aren't supposed to have to tell their little children they won't be talking to their daddy again. That can't be how God wants life to work, so we stand here with questions and there are so many that it seems we can't even stand. We know God is a good and His words are true, so we fall on him. He will carry them through.

No greater love can a man have than this, that he lay down his life for a friend.


My parent's were in Quito, Ecuador yesterday, meeting their new son. They played with him, hugged him, and he called my daddy 'papa'. His four short years he hasn't ever called anyone that before. My sister Sophie said he kissed her. He came home to us and God placed the lonely in a family, ours. I am joyful and grateful to our Lord for saving him and giving him a home with us. I can't wait to love on him.


My dad's words say it best:

I really don't want to post anything. My heart is breaking at this moment for my niece Shannon and her three young boys and the entire Arnold and Strande family. They are going to have to say goodbye to Husband and Dad. The CAT scan showed no brain activity in Ryan. Lord have mercy on this family!
The story was not supposed to end like this. Jesus is Lord of all and he says that nothing can harm our life. Yet this unbelievable sadness and pain have come. Pain that is to deep for words, a groan and a cry is all that ones soul can utter. Abba father hold your people that are dear to me.

Is this what Jesus felt when he was forsaken by the father? I don't know. I know that the sting of death is gone. Ryan is in the presence of God. Yet the pain of saying goodbye and the why's of the injustice of it all echo in our hearts. I have to believe that Jesus knows this as well. Otherwise I have nothing to say.

Spirit pray for us on this day when we only have a broken soul to offer.

At the same time I write this with tears, I am thinking about the fact that I was called papa by a little boy who has never had one just 4 hours ago. I chased him around the play ground. I lifted him to the ceiling and he giggled when I pretended to fall asleep and wake up when Sophie made a loud noise.

So one boy gets a papa, 3 other boys will have to say goodbye to theirs. This is a time for silence and tears and to say
Blessed be the name of the Lord.


  1. ::hugs:: I'll be thinking of your family. This post has me in tears. It's just so sad. :(

  2. -huge hugs- i will be praying for your family, danae. death seriously makes no sense when it happens like this. but wow, what an attitude. God is still on the throne and this is by no means a surprise to Him. i am heartbroken for your cousin and her sons. will be praying.


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