To my Beloved Son, Roman Xavi Arévalo 11-27-2017
Yesterday was the hardest day of my entire life on this Earth. Yesterday I lost my son. His name was Roman Xavi Arévalo and I loved him so much. He was the spitting image of his older brother Fynn. Today as I attempt to pick up the pieces of my heart I write this while tears well up in my eyes. I write this knowing that when we leave today we won't be taking home my boy, my little prince. Instead, I've made difficult decisions about funeral arrangements. Where will we give you your final resting place my prince? What sort of casket and headstone will we need? These are the questions I have wrestled with today. Today I am filled with unanswered questions. "Why do bad things happen to good people?" Theological reasoning will tell me that there are no "good people". Romans 3:10-12 reads:
As it is written: "None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.
Though this may sound cold and callous it is the truth. We live in a world marred by sin and death. Death which has taken away my boy. Death which I have deeply feared for so many years. Death which came knocking at your door Roman. But the good news is that there is more to this truth. Paul goes on to say in Romans 5:6-8
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person-though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die-but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Christ died for my son. Roman is now seated at the right hand of the Father. Therein lies the good news of the Gospel! That while it is true that there are no good people Christ was still willing to give up his life for me, for you dear reader, and most of all for my son. Please do not misconstrue what I'm writing. I am deeply grieved. I have never known pain or sorrow like this and I hope and pray that no one will ever have to feel how I feel today. I have shed an ocean of tears for dear baby boy Roman. And while I have moments of clarity like this I know that the days and weeks and months will come when deep sorrow afflict and paralyze me to my core. I am not a naive child believing in fairy tales, anyone who knows me will tell you I am a realist. At the moment I have found peace in knowing that my son is in heaven with God. He is not, as society likes to deem, my angel, he is Roman, fully redeemed from the curse of sin and waiting for us at the final resurrection where, as Revelation 21:4 puts it
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.
I leave you all with a letter to my son.
My Dear Roman,
It's Papi little man. I'm writing to you on what is the hardest moment in my life. It's 3:13am. I find myself weeping. I miss you Roman. Selfishly I wish you were here with me keeping me awake because you're hungry or need your diaper changed. Yesterday Mami and I rushed to the hospital fully expecting to be holding you after you've made your grand entrance into this world. A world outside of Mami's womb. As we rushed to the hospital I was full of joy and excitement. We took the elevator up to the 12th floor and made our way to the triage. You were our third child so we knew the routine. Once there Mami was quickly whisked away and I took a seat, eagerly awaiting to be called back to see you. Another man sat across from me, as they called him back I wished him luck. A few minutes later a nurse came to get me. I picked up our things and made my way into the back to meet up with Mami. Once I entered the room I was met with your Mami crying and the doctors telling us that you no longer had a heartbeat. Roman, my prince, to say that I was heartbroken is putting it lightly. I felt, in that moment, that I was ripped violently from this world. A piece of my heart and soul were taken when I heard that we would no longer be hearing your cries later that day. I immediately didn't want to believe what the doctors were saying. I was hoping they were wrong. That she was wrong. That the attending would come in and find your heartbeat and tell us that you were okay and that sometimes these ultrasound machines can be fickle. But the reality is that you were gone my sweet boy. My 30th birthday is in a few weeks. You made me a father for the third time and for that I am thankful. I am thankful for the time we got to spend with you after your birth. As both Mami and I washed you in our tears we also cherished the sweet time holding you. I was able to hold your first like I wanted to do all along. We spent four hours with you, and while I'll never get to spend a lifetime with you I am thankful we had even that short time we had to kiss and hold you and even wash your beautiful hair. I will never forget your sweet face and your full head of hair. I counted your ten toes and ten fingers. I took as much if you in as I could. Going over every single detail of your tiny body. I will carry your memory both in my mind and heart until the day that God deems it my time to leave this Earth and be with you. Until then, goodnight my sweet, handsome boy. Papi loves you with all his heart.