Thank you for the opportunity to share my experience with the IPPC (Initiative for Pediatric Palliative Care) retreat led by Deborah Dokken, your guest on Thursday.
I am the parent of Dakota, an adorable “old soul” who was diagnosed with cancer at two and died one week before he turned five. That was ten years ago. In those ten years, our family has turned our pain into a passion to help others who also find themselves suffering the loss of a loved one.
When Dakota died, my husband wanted to buy our two year old son, Dylan, a gift to remember his older brother. Not sure what he was looking for, Alan came upon a wind chime with a gargoyle. Dakota loved anything ugly. Alan brought it home and explained to Dylan that when the chimes rang it was Dakota talking to us. Dylan could talk to Dakota by ringing the chimes. From that day on, the winds began to blow and the chimes were ringing. We had such strong winds during his memorial service, some folks left thinking we were having a twister. The minister shared an ancient saying, “When a sould dies, the winds will blow. The greater the soul, the greater the winds.” We knew Dakota was a magnificent soul and the winds were just proof of his undying spirit. Since his death, the wind has brought us peace as the chimes remind us that Dakota’s spirit is always present.
Because of the peace and comfort we have found in the chimes, Alan designed our own wind chime in Dakota’s memory. The sunflower design symbolizes the continuation of life as we plant seeds of hope for brighter tomorrows. I designed a Kota Bear from the original bears I made for each family member from Dakota’s clothes. Each bear comes with a pattern, an apron or overalls, so it can be personalized. Each gift comes with a heart engraved with a loved one’s name to remind us that love lives on even after death.
Folks have shared their own stories of the wind since they have received the chimes. If you would like to hear more, please feel free to check out our website or email me for our free newsletter. Or contact me so we can talk, parent to parent, about our children – those on earth and in heaven.
With hope, health, and happiness,