A Story of Child Loss by Terry Brock

Jerry's sister's sonPictured here is Terry’s son K.W. and his girl friend Shawna who both died in an auto accident.

 “What is the one thing that you could never lose?

I heard a sermon on the radio that asked the question, ‘What is the one thing you could never lose?’

As a mother, the first thing that popped into my head of course was my kids. I really didn’t understand the true impact of this question until many years later.

I grew up believing in God.  It wasn’t until I moved to Alaska in 1991, and watched a Jesus film that I made a decision to make my faith my own. I recognized what Jesus did on the cross for me and received him as my Lord and Savior. My life has not been the same since. I used to be afraid and had no compass to guide my life decisions. Since then, God directs my steps, comforts me, and, sometimes, corrects me.

My husband, Craig, and I divorced in 1996, so my boys lived with me until Kenneth was around 13-14 years old. Since boys need their daddy more in their teen years they went to live with their dad. They moved to San Angelo, since Craig retired from the military and became a ROTC teacher. They lived in Texas and I lived in Alaska.

March 5, 2008 changed my life forever. My oldest son, Kenneth Savage, died in a terrible auto accident. Kenneth’s senior year he was going home after school with his girlfriend, Shawna Ralph, when a distracted driver ran into their car on a dangerous curve. It killed them both instantly.

Here’s the new story as reported by The Standard-Times March 6, 2008,

”Shortly before 1p.m., Central Seniors Shawna Ralph, 17, and Kenneth Savage,18, were southbound along South Chadbourne Street when a vehicle crossed a center lane and crashed head-on into their vehicle, San Angelo police said.
Ralph was driving a 1987 Ford Crown Victoria along the 2000 block of South Chadbourne street when a 1998 Chevrolet pickup truck driven by Jared Elkins, 26, crossed the center line, said Lt. Curtis Milbourn, public information officer for San Angelo police.
Both vehicles were heavily damaged in the crash, and the teens likely died instantly, police said.
“It appears to be simply a tragedy where the driver was distracted,” Milbourn said. “

I remember the pain of hearing that my baby boy had died. Thankfully someone told me in person. Craig had the presence of mind to not just call me. Someone close to me found me and told me in person.

The loss of my son K.W. seared my soul! No words can adequately describe the pain, hurt loss! I was angry that others were alive and he would never be again!

I argued with God for approximately a year and a half about His decision to take K.W. from my life! I remembered that sermon from the Radio about what I could not afford to lose and I was so very mad! I even bought a punching bag to take it out on! I was so sad and depressed! My baby boy was gone!

 My Sunday school teacher Tana bought me a devotional “Streams in the Desert” which taught me how God uses the hard things in our lives to bring us hope and beauty.

I also was introduced to a song by Third Day “Tunnel” that states,

‘I won’t pretend to know what you’re thinking
I can’t begin to know what you’re going through
I won’t deny the pain that you’re feeling
But I’m gonna try and give a little hope to you

Just remember what I’ve told you
There’s so much you’re living for

There’s a light at the end of this tunnel
There’s a light at the end of this tunnel
For you, for you
There’s a light at the end of this tunnel
Shinin’ bright at the end of this tunnel
For you, for you
So keep holdin’ on

You’ve got your disappointments and sorrows
You ought to share the weight of that load with me
Then you will find that the light of tomorrow
Brings a new life for your eyes to see

So remember what I’ve told you
There’s so much you’re living for’

I began to realize that it was my relationship with God that I could not afford to lose.

I also went through Greif Share a couple of times. Grief Share is an organization that provides small groups that help people with similar grief to process their grief.

Here are some things I learned: As Parents, we naturally expect to outlive our children.  Loss of a child can bring feelings of denial and desperation.  Drawing near to God can help. Life moves on but the pain remains.  There is hope in being reunited.

If you have gone through the loss of I child, as I did, remind yourself daily of who God is- gracious, full of compassion and of great mercy. I remember the first hour after I heard of my son’s death God brought to me a gift from my K.W.  I had organized a folder with papers and drawings from Kenneth’s elementary years.  I found in his writing a scripture from the book of Matthew.  It spoke to my heart about how God knew that K.W. was going to die that day. It did not surprise Him. He was and is in control.  I also remembered a conversation K.W. and I had about heaven.  He watched Creation DVD’s from Kent Hovind.  Kenneth said “Mom, in heaven there will be more colors and each will have a smell. When we’re in heaven we will smell the colors together.” The word picture he gave me warms my heart and I have so much to look forward to in heaven. In heaven there is no time so I think I’m already there with him.  Through my relationship with God, I have hope of a future forever with K.W. Without that relationship there is no hope!

Therefore, God is the only thing we can’t afford to lose.”

He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” Revelation 21:4 NLT

Thanks Terry for being so vulnerable and to Jerry for helping share this story.


Resource:  Grief Share is a friendly, caring group of people who will walk alongside you through one of life’s most difficult experiences. You don’t have to go through the grieving process alone.   http://www.griefshare.org/


About dkoop

Lead Pastor of Upwards Church: Leander & Jarrell, TX
This entry was posted in What's Your Story? and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A Story of Child Loss by Terry Brock

  1. You are right. No words can adequately describe the pain of losing a child. It really was like something seared my soul. You have the added pain of those many wonderful years of memories; mine were much more brief. Wonderful words of wisdom…thanks for sharing.

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