Charges have been filed against the Kansas water park where 10-year-old Caleb Schwab died on the facility’s tallest slide in 2016. Court documents allege park owners and its director rushed the attraction into use without proper engineering or compliance with safety standards, and are now facing involuntary manslaughter charges in the case.

I wrote this letter to Caleb’s parents after his death and I was so grateful that it was able to encourage and speak to so many hearts that were hurting. May we continue to pray for the Schwab family and those who knew and loved Caleb.


Dear Representative and Mrs. Schwab,

I have no words to properly express the sorrow in my heart for your family and for the loss of your precious son, Caleb. I can not fathom the ache in your souls and the emptiness you must feel; I am just so sorry.

I’m not sure why I have felt such a strong connection to your son’s death. Perhaps it’s because I drove past Schlitterbahn Sunday evening after the accident. Maybe it’s because Olathe is my hometown. Or the fact that you attend the same church that my parents do. It could even be because I voted for you some years ago. But I think it has to do with something even deeper than that. You are my brother and sister in Christ. And it’s a moment of asking, “But Lord, why my child?”

I know we don’t know each other from Sam, but I have felt the Spirit laying something on my heart the past couple of days that I wanted to share with you. I know that as a fellow parent, the most earthly thing that I desire is to be able to keep my children safe and to be there with them when things aren’t. If anything, I don’t want my children to ever feel alone. And while you weren’t in that raft with your sweet boy when he met the Lord, I wanted to remind you that he was not alone. And neither are you now.

In the moment that Caleb had his accident, he saw the face of Jesus and it took his breath away. As he was sliding over that hill, he slid into the arms of the Lord. Even when he was at the top of the Verruckt waiting his turn, God had already seen this moment; He had already been there. Your son did not die alone.

And while your son was not alone in his death, you are not alone in your living. The same God who gently held your son as he entered into eternity now gently holds you as you ache, as you mourn, and as you weep. And as God gazes upon the new, redeemed body of your precious son, He turns to look at His own son seated next to Him, remembering his death on the cross so many years ago; the Father knows your sorrow. And that very same God, the one who lived in Caleb’s heart, has already overcome the world. So take heart so that you may have peace, my friends. And as you are walking through this valley, this dark, unfathomable valley, know that you are not alone and neither was he.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which our selves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

Photo via NBC News


Lauren Eberspacher

I'm Lauren and I'm a work-in-progress farmer's wife, coffee addict, follower of Jesus and a recovering perfectionist. When I don't have my three kids attached at my hip, you can find me bringing meals into the fields, dancing in my kitchen, making our house a home, and chatting over a piece of pie with my girl friends. I'm doing my best to live my life intentionally seeking all that God has for me and my family. Follow me at: www.fromblacktoptodirtroad.com From Blacktop to Dirt Road on Facebook laurenspach on Instagram