I Can Only Imagine

A friend sang that Mercy Me song at our son's funeral. Zac was 17, and died in a freak automobile accident ten years ago today.

"I can only imagine...what it will be like..."
The song, of course, is about Heaven, but it seems strangely appropriate to life these last ten years. Eleven years ago, I couldn't have imagined at all what our life would look like without Zac in it. But now, it's just a fact. So I let my imagination go to picture him through the last 10 years:
  • He was getting really good on the guitar, and he loved it. I imagine he'd still be doing something with music.

  • He would LOVE Rock Band/Guitar Hero. Seriously. I think of him every time I play.
  • Napoleon Dynamite came out a couple of years after his death. Not only would he have loved it then, I think it would be a regular viewing event, like most of us with A Christmas Story. "I told you! I spent it with my uncle in Alaska hunting wolverines!"
  • Kids flocked to him. Kiley, Juliana, Michael, Gabe -- He would have been the favorite "uncle" to all of them.
  • He knew he had found the love of his life. It breaks my heart that both of them lost that future. And they probably would have had a very interesting life, playing in the rain with their kids.
  • Eventually, the hair would have been brought under control and eventually he would quit dying it just to see what happens. I just have to believe that.

  • We moved into a new house, and I imagine he would love the media room, watching movies with his dad.
  • His baby sister isn't a baby anymore. He would be so proud of her. And probably take credit.
  • I think he would have loved seeing his brother happy and settled in his life.
In all of my imaginings, Zac is happy. That's the one thing I know for sure is true, even though he's not here with us.

"Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel
Will I dance for you, Jesus, or in awe of you be still
Will I stand in your presence or to my knees will I fall
Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all
I can only imagine."

  1. No way he was still.
  2. Knowing Zac, he was jumping around, falling on his knees, AND singing hallelujah. Why pick just one?
And finally, I imagine that, if he'd had the chance, Zac would have been the first one to state:
The most important thing in life is to be yourself.
Unless you can be Batman. Always be Batman.


In 10 years, a child can go from Kindergarten to within sight of that cap and gown.

In 10 years, the country will have at least two presidents, and maybe three.

In 10 years, "Real Housewives" and Kardashians can be created, for better or worse.

And in 10 years, a family can try to find the new "normal" that is their life.





  1. My sweet friend....I don't really know what to say. I had wondered about your son (from looking at your previous posts), but I hesitated in asking you. I will be praying for you tonight. Big hugs Traci. Love you.

  2. Ok so I wrote this long passage and the stupid computer did not publish it!!! And did not copy it so I hope I don't leave anything out. But I believe Zacs death affected me more then any other classmates and I am not sure why. I was unable to attend his funeral bc my grandfather passed away the same day as Zacs funeral so I believe I never got closure. I don't understand but every year on this day I still cry and not sure if that will ever change. It's not like Zac and I were really close but I did grow up with him at school. Im not sure if we would be great friends now if he were still here but I believe that we would keep up on Fb and here and there. I believe he would have had some musicianal part in my wedding and I do believe Michael and him would have played some sort or practical jokes on me prior to and even the day of our wedding. Michael has told me that Zacs last day on earth he was going around telling people he loved them. He said that Zac came up to him and gave Michael a hug and said I love you man and michael response was saying stop playing around man I love you too. And that was it. Zac was such an outgoing happy go lucky spirit who was on fire for God and a great example of how to live. I can't believe ten years have passed and can remember exactly where I was when I heard the news just like it was yesterday. Traci you are an awesome mom and a strong woman and I know your other two see it greatly. I pray God can make me as strong as you. Love you sister!

  3. What a wonderful message, and I think your predictions would have been right. I'm so sorry you guys have had to live without Zac all this time but I believe you'll see him again someday. We love you!! -Tracy, Robert & kids


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