This morning after I dropped Weston off at school I felt led to watch Hagen’s memorial video. Believe it or not, I hadn’t seen it. I provided the pictures and the music, but I was so busy talking with people at the memorial service that I just didn’t pay attention. There is a lake here in town that I often go to just to be near the water and watch the ducks. It it kinda my secret place. It’s where I went after leaving the police department the day I found out he was gone to gather my thoughts and begin the process of allowing the words “Hagen died” to come out of my mouth. It’s where I prayed for strength, wisdom and words for what was ahead. So this morning, I went back to my secret place to watch my son’s life. It was difficult and yes, I wept.
Memorial videos focus on the happy memories, the achievements and the accomplishments and this morning I needed that. As I watched, I wondered if Hagen was ok with me telling his story so publicly. The Hagen that left us, probably wouldn’t have been. The Hagen that is in glory is all for it. I feel his approval and I see his smile. I believe Jesus has shown him the big picture and given him understanding and I can almost hear him say “don’t stop, momma”. So I won’t.
I’ve posted about Hagen’s struggles and the struggles I had walking through his life with him, but I haven’t shared with you his accomplishments, his ridiculous sense of humor or his infectious smile. I want to do that today. It’s a long video, but not long enough to cover 22 years. What is so special about it is the music playing. The musicians are an extension of my family and my heart, and the music was recorded with me and Hagen standing side by side in worship, with my brother playing the piano. It was a beautiful night with my son, and it memorializes him so well.
Hagen is one of countless faces of this epidemic. These faces belong to beautiful people with beautiful hearts that had accomplishments, dreams, and brought joy, even in the heartache. I hope that our society starts to realize that. That they start to see that people struggling with addiction are the kids next door. They are sons and daughters. They are football stars and honor students. They are prom queens and class presidents. That matters. And so do they.
This is Hagen. ❤️