Saying goodbye…for now

I want to finish what I started.  This will be my hardest post but I need to do this.  I started this blog to share information with family and friends.  Then I realized that it would be a great history to keep for Stephen.   Then it became therapeutic for me.  I had no idea how many people had begun following it and were praying, hoping, and pulling for Stephen.  Now it is a way for me to pay tribute to Stephen and to share the truth of Eternal Life.

Wednesday the doctors placed a catheter in Stephen’s neck that they could use for dialysis.  In order to do this they use a drug that paralyzes your body for 20 minutes or so.  It is very important that the patient doesn’t move at all because of the proximity to vital pathways in the neck.  After this was placed he slept peacefully.  They finally started dialysis about 3 in the afternoon.  During the dialysis the nurse continue to observe his unresponsiveness.  He wouldn’t open his eyes when asked and wouldn’t squeeze her hand.  The doctor had the dialysis machine stopped and they took him down for a CAT scan of his brain to make sure everything looked normal.  We were so relieved that all was OK.  That night I left the hospital for the first time in several days.  I went home and slept and Jeff stayed with Stephen.  Around midnight he became more alert and Jeff was able to talk with him a little.  After that he seemed to be in a heavy sleep.

Thursday morning they started dialysis again.  The doctors were hoping that removing  the overload of drugs and waste from his blood would help the kidneys and wake him up.  There was a freezing rain that morning and parts of the freeway were closed.  Because of this I didn’t leave for the hospital until 11 am.  While I was driving to the hospital with Jared, Maria  Jose, and Josh,  Stephen’s heart stopped.  They were able to revive him somewhat stabilize his vital signs.  I got to Stephen’s room as soon as possible.  Jeff was so calm and peaceful.  Many of the staff of ICU and East 8 helped us to understand what was happening and to help us and comfort us in any way.  My sister and parents picked up Sarah, Jennie, and Nathan and brought them to the hospital.   While they were en-route  the doctor met with us and explained that the tests they just performed show that his liver was also failing and that there was little hope left that he could recover.  When our children arrived we met with them in a room and explained what had happened.  The director if ICU came in and told us that they couldn’t sustain Stephen’s life for much longer.  We went into his room and we were all able to give him a kiss and tell him good bye.  He passed away a few minutes later.

It was a very sacred and personal experience for our family.  While it was a very difficult day, there were definitely many tender mercies from the Lord.  It was a tender mercy that I went home and wasn’t there to witness his cardiac arrest.  It would have been too difficult for me.  Jeff was blessed to be calm and peaceful through the experience.  It was a great blessing that Stephen was able to hold on long enough for his brothers and sisters to all say goodbye and be present with him.  There are other sacred experiences as well but these I wanted to share.

I want to thank all of you who have become so close to us through this experience.  Your faith and prayers have truly sustained us.  Your faith, fasting and prayers that brought about our Christmas miracle gave our family the most beautiful time together.  It was a time of happiness, peace and hope that we will treasure forever.  While Stephen’s body lost the fight with cancer, he came out the victor because he endured to the end with complete faith and trust in God.   He truly fought a great fight.  As parents, we couldn’t be prouder of him.  All of our children have been so valiant and have stood by his side and fought the fight with him.  I pray that I can be strong enough to follow his great example and endure to the end in righteousness.  We have no doubt that he is safe, happy,  out of pain and with loved ones.  We will see him soon and he will always be our son.  I can’t wait to hug him again!

Visiting will be held on Monday, January 28th from 6-8 pm at the Warenski Funeral Home (1776 N 900 E AF, UT 84003) and Tuesday, January 29th from 9:30-10:30 am with Funeral Services to follow at 11:00 am at the Fort Canyon LDS Chapel (890 N Heritage Hills Dr, Alpine, UT 84004).

The Griener Family,  February 2012

The Griener Family, February 2012

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About Jane Griener

I am from SLC, UT. I grew up in a wonderful family in the south part of the Salt Lake valley. I have 4 sisters and 2 brothers. I married my best friend, Jeff Griener when we were 21 years old. We have 6 children. 4 boys and 2 girls. I've had many adventures in business and life. Too many to tell about in a simple 'about you' spot. My life is centered around my family and they are the most important factor in my life. I like gardening, photography, cooking, knitting, graphic design and lots of other things. I speak a little spanish. Fall is my favorite season of the year, but I think having all 4 seasons is what makes me love fall so much. Religion plays a big roll in my life. I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Striving to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and become a better person each day is my goal. Well, that is a bit 'about me!'
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29 Responses to Saying goodbye…for now

  1. Our hearts have been so heavy and we truly appreciate you sharing these last moments of Stephens life. His whole ordeal has touched our souls to the deepest level. He is now at peace and with our Lord and Savior. We are so grateful for the privilege PRIVILEGE of knowing him in this life. We will treasure his memory. And we are so grateful for coming to know and love you and your wonderful family. Our prayers are still with you and for you at this most difficult time.

    Much Much love our precious friends,

    Nancy and Val Judd

  2. Dina Leavitt says:

    Dear Jane, My dear sweet friend, even though I know we were not that close when we were younger because of out age I don’t think you can even begin to realize how special you are to me and what a tremendous example you have been to me all these years, your kind spirit and sweet face have always rested in my mind as a perfect example of a daughter of our Heavenly Father. When I was young and living in our home ward I really looked up to you, today I look up to you even more. You have elevated your status even higher as a person I would love to call friend. I started following your blog when you started it and I have read it faithfully, I watched as your whole family has endured this trial, but that is all it is…a trial…it is a part of Heavenly Father’s plan for us…to experience first hand the exquisite agony that I am sure you are feeling at this time is part of the burnishing of our souls that we must endure to become more like our Heavenly Father..,,During this time of mourning and sadness, remember how great your joy shall be….Stephen was joy personified, and unearthly creature meant for greater things than this life could afford him, may he rest in the peace of our Father in Heaven and may you and your family have the peace and comfort the spirit has to give….Remember the Atonement….When He suffered and died for us it was not just for our sins that he suffered he suffered for all our pains and sorrows….the Atonement is the healing balm of the Lord, let it bathe your soul in peace, may peace be with you and your loved ones at this time, I will continue to keep you and your family in my prayers, May God bless you and keep you, your friend in spirit, Dina McKinney Leavitt.

    • Jane Griener says:

      Dina, Your words of comfort are beautiful. It really helped me to read your comment. Thank you so much for sharing with me. I have memories of you being a happy and enthusiastic person. I remember when you came into young women’s. Happy memories.
      Perhaps our paths will cross in person again. Until then, we can be facebook friends!
      Love Jane

  3. Dana says:

    May heaven always bless your family. Thank you for sharing your life through this blog. Your strength strengthens others.

  4. Joesf Patterson says:

    Thank you Griener family for sharing Stephen with us. I so thankful for the plan of salvation and the ability to be with loved ones once more. It’s sad that Stephens journey ended so soon, but am so happy that he was called on high. I am confident that he is serving a higher purpose for our father in heaven and we will see him soon enough. My heart breaks for your family and know these last two years have been very hard, but have made you stronger. We love you Griener family, and continue to pray for you. We will never forget Stephen, how could we? He was a special spirit that we always live in our hearts. Thank you for sharing.

    • Jane Griener says:

      Joesf – You and Courtney have been such great supporters of Stephen during the past 2 years. I have really been touched by your kindness and help. We love you both and your family with you. You are right – we will never forget him. If our memories become dim, we can always watch one of the ridiculous videos he and Jerom made.
      Love you!
      Jane

      • Terry Patterson says:

        You all have been on my mind today. I drove by your home earlier today and felt lonely. It is hard to believe that he is gone. But really he is not….he is just busy somewhere else. I will always love that kid!! If I could I would have taken his pain. He did endure it well, but I am so sad that he had so much.
        You all have been in my prayers and will be for a long time. Some time soon I want to share my experience I had the day Stephen passed away.
        Thanks for letting him come into our home when he was a young man. He brought so much laughter and fun!! He and Jerom and all the gang did crazy things that made me smile. What oh what would we do without our FRIENDS!
        God bless you in the days, week, months and years to come. We are here if you need anything.

        Love, Terry

  5. leo says:

    Dear Jane & Jeff
    Los amo mucho. I want to express my love and gratitude for you and your beautiful family. Your testimonies, faith, hope, trust in eternity, family, and Christ has been an example to me and my family. I want to share something I read in a book by Elder Lund about hope:

    Hope is saying, “I do not ask to see The distant scene-one step enough for me”
    Hope is a beckoning light when “despair distills upon us the dews from heaven”
    Hope can “stabilize our lives regardless of the rough or un-even surfaces we might encounter at the time”
    At times, hope can lighten the load; other times, it strengthens the bridges”.

    I pray that during this difficult time that the love of Christ our Savior may serve as refuge to you and that his tender mercies may continue descending upon your family.
    Los amo mucho.

    • Jane Griener says:

      Thank you Leo. You have been so kind and understanding during this difficult time for us. I’m so glad we became friends. Thank you for your words of comfort and love.
      Jane

  6. Leonor Oñate says:

    Querida familia Griener que difícil es éste momento para ustedes la saparación física de su hijo Stephan….cuentan con la bella promesa que….familias son eternas y podrán algún día reencontrarse con él. Gracias infinitas por la generosidad de compartir parte importante de sus vidas. Mis pensamientos y amor les acompañan a la distancia.

  7. Steve Jorgensen says:

    Griener Family,
    We mourn for your loss, but feel great joy in the knowledge of The Plan of Happiness. What a great missionary he was and is today to those who haven’t known the truth. My fondest and fun memories of Stephen were in the scouting program. Those were fun times. God’s blessings and peace to all of your family. You all are a great example of true gospel living.
    Steve Jorgensen

  8. Robert Warren says:

    I am married to Aidan and Gabe Griener”s mother, Rebecca. Aidan and Gabe are Stephen’s cousins. Thank you for sharing this tender experience. God bless.

  9. I couldn’t say anything better than what your friends have already said. Amen! I was with my father when he passed away ten years ago.It was the most sacred experience of my life. I have no doubt whatsoever that we live beyond this Earthly existence. You are so right that Stephen is happy and pain-free, and with loved ones. That knowledge will comfort you in the coming days and weeks. Please know that we will continue to pray for you and will do anything for you to help!
    With much love! ~Mairanne

  10. liz says:

    We love you Griener family! You were here with us in Chile for such a short time but our acquaintance has had an important impact on me and my family in many ways. We are so impressed with your grace and faith. The children who were here with you two years ago were so smart and fun and we can see from the blog that sweet Stephen was a gem as well. We are in the middle of our summer break right now — strange right? — and the days have gotten a bit long for me with everyone home all day! But your sad loss has given me tons of perspective in some of my children’s not-so-charming moments. Thanks for reminding me to squeeze them a little tighter. Grateful to know you.

    • Jane Griener says:

      Thanks so much. We wish we could have enjoyed more time with you in Chile. Maybe our paths will cross again. Hug those kids tight and love them! You and your husband have been such a help to us when we really needed some help. Thank you!

  11. Sandy Arnoldsen says:

    Thank you Jane for sharing this sweet, tender experience. Our family has followed Stephen’s struggle with much hope and many prayers for a miracle! Though things did not end the way we had hoped, victory is Stephen’s as he stayed true to the faith and is ready now to carry out the rest of his mission beyond the veil. Your family’s faith and gratitude for the tender mercies along the way have strengthened our testimonies, taught us the importance of family unity, and brought peace to our aching hearts.

    May you and your family continue to be blessed. May you be buoyed up by the love we, and so many others, have for you. May Stephen’s love also be felt in your hearts each time you yearn to hold him, and may Stephen know that his example has inspired us all!

  12. Michael Thomas says:

    I am so sorry to hear about Stephen. I hope your family can find comfort in this difficult time. Jared and Sarah were extremely supportive when my Dad died and if there is anything I can do please let me know, even if it’s bringing over cookies or pizza. My thoughts and prayers are with your family.

    Michael Thomas
    801-879-0788

  13. Tamara L. says:

    I didn’t know Stephen, but I have been inspired and touched by reading his story. So glad that you shared it. Thank you, and may the Lord bless you and comfort you at this tender time, as you remember your dear boy and wait for the joyful day when you are together again.

  14. Marianne says:

    I’m the oldest of the David and Kathy King children, living in Pennsylvania. I have followed your story since Stephen’s diagnosis. I feel as though I know Stephen mostly through his association with my siblings; although he and I did coach together one summer for HAST. He was my favorite “co-coach.” So easy to get along with and full of personality! I am so sorry for your family’s loss. Having a child now I can more fully understand the despair that I’m sure you feel from losing one of your most prized possessions. I have prayed for your family throughout the course of Stephen’s illness and will continue to pray for your family to be comforted and to feel him with you frequently.

  15. Lynette Simpson says:

    Dear Jane,
    I was so sad to hear about Stephen. He, and your family have been in my prayers often over the past many months. Thanks for sharing his challenges and triumphs, and especially the great faith you have. Still praying for peace and comfort for your family. Sending hugs your way with Shelley and Jim!

  16. Brett says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I work with Sarah and it’s apparent that she comes from a strong, close family who loves each other. I don’t know Stephen, but have been reading this blog and he seems like a truly exceptional person and the world would have benefitted from having him here. We could use more like him, but I’m sure he has more important business to take care of elsewhere. My family’s prayers are with you at this time.

  17. Kelsey Webb says:

    I never knew Stephen very personally, he was the friend of many of my friends in high school. But I always thought he was a kind and thoughtful person with a certain charm of making others around him feel comfortable and making them laugh. We probably only had a handful of conversations in mutual classes or at social gatherings, but I feel impressed to share that even those brief moments had an impact on me. While his time was short on this earth, he made the most of it, and I’m sure he continues to touch the souls of those on the other side.

  18. Amanda says:

    Hi, I was one of Elder Griener’s MTC teachers and found out today that he passed away earlier this year. I am so sorry to hear about this. Elder Griener was so sweet and such a great missionary. It was very fun having him in our district and he will be greatly missed.

    All the best to your family,

    Amanda Glenn
    (Hermana Johnson)

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