Families Are Forever

family in escalante state park instagram
(2nd from right)

Tuesday morning we got a call that Dalen, Woo's nephew had died.

First, we cried for Dalen. Then for his mom. And then for his twin brother, who found him.

Then Woo broke the news to the kids:
... But, we believe in the Plan of Salvation and that families can be together forever ...

Linus (smiling brightly): Jesus!
After awhile, Woo decided to drive down and spend a night or two at his sisters' and do anything he could to help her and her kids. I "helped" by keeping my kids out of everyone's way. They really wanted to be involved, though.
Ruby: I want to help!!

Me: What do you want to do to help, Ruby?

Ruby: The laundry. I want to do the laundry.

Herbie: I want to make the lunch.

Ruby: We can make sandwiches for the kids!

Moses: I can make sandwiches! (He just learned last week.)
We settled on making cards for everyone. Ruby put a lot of thought and effort into each one. Herbie kind of petered out halfway through, and Moses insisted on drawing a picture for Dalen himself.

They all had recently seen Dalen when we'd visited one of Woo's sisters last month, and they all liked him.

The kids kept telling me all day, "I don't feel good today, Mom. Because Dalen died."

brothers and sister southern utah instagram
(2nd from left)

All of Woo's 6 other siblings flew or drove in within 24 hrs. Woo's parents also flew in for a week from their mission in Hong Kong, to give mourn with and give comfort to Dalen's family, and to attend the funeral.

Woo spent many hours during the week working on a video tribute that played at the viewings and was sent to family members afterwards.

My grandma lives close to the church the funeral was at, so Penelope and Linus were able to nap at her house, while the rest of us were in the church.

We heard fun stories about Dalen, about his love of tinkering and building and experimenting, of his fun-loving personality, and love of baseball. Woo also really liked this quote that the Bishop gave in his remarks:
The only way to take sorrow out of death is to take love out of life.
After the family dinner, Dalen's twin brother got out the trebuchet (form of catapult) that Dalen had made, and launched candy at the kids.

trebuchet catapult launching candy instagram

Every family also got to take home some of the candles Dalen had made. Thank you, Dalen. You will be missed!