For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord.

It is about six weeks until graduation. The graduates are excited, very ready to be out of school and on to their new life journey. Friends and families are preparing to celebrate a great accomplishment of their high school seniors. The food has been picked, cake ordered and graduation announcements mailed. Classmates are picking out class colors, flowers, quotes, clothes they plan to wear and making plans for graduation day. I sit here very excited for Tyler’s graduating class, but very sad he will not be joining in the celebration.

On August 23, 2013 my son, Tyler died in a car accident. He was 15 years old. If he was alive, he would be graduating this May. It’s another one of those humps in the road of grief I am working on. I have put those emotions far out of my mind until these last few months. It is now sinking in how real my life is. I am sad be a parent who is not preparing for a graduation, but happy for his classmates who are.

Not only am I working on getting over another hump in the road but so is Tyler’s class. It has been a little less than four years since his accident, but the loss, hurt, sadness and change has been with them since August 2013. They have had to walk back into that school after the day of the accident until the day they graduate and not see him. They have had to walk down the hall and not see his smile or hear his voice. Weather they realize it or not they have carried that loss with them. It’s like being trapped in a dream you can’t get out of. For some, they will move on easily but for others it will be a part of them forever.

I hope and pray that graduating and leaving that building will help them heal and wake up from that long dream. That it will help them get over the hill they have all been climbing.

The hill of loss.

I know it will still be in the back of their mind now and then. Especially on the anniversary date. Maybe certain numbers, words or phrases will draw them back to Tyler. But hopefully all those things will bring them back to a happy time. Maybe they will remember his smile, laugh or some fun memory they had. I hope this loss of a friend will remind them that life is precious and that we are only given one. I hope they are reminded of his positive, fun, happy, personality and try to be a little more like that each day. I hope they know that he believed in God and prayed because he knew with God he could get over any obstacle. I hope they know that losing a friend was part of their plan. Tyler was a true friend. He never wanted to hurt or be mean to anyone but only help and be there for the people who had no one. I would encourage his class to look for the positive and find the good in life. Give a smile when you don’t really feel like doing it, because 9 times out of 10 that person needed it. Know that God has some big plans in store for them because he reminds us here:

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

To his graduating class – please remember that Tyler is an angel who is with you always. But more than that know that God will walk with you to help guide you and protect you for the rest of your life. You just need to ask him into your heart. Please take a minute to pray this scripture and put your trust in God, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

Missy Hillmer

Missy Hillmer is a writer, photographer, wife, mother, creative lady whose mind is constantly on the go. She loves coffee, dark chocolate especially with nuts, music soothes her soul and being outside in the sun recharges her body. She has an angel in Heaven. Her faith is what gets her through each day. Since her son Tyler’s accident she is passionate about telling her story with the hope that it will help or inspire at least one person who has lost a child.