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Wyatt Zane Shook

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Wyatt Zane Shook

Place of birth: Topeka Kansas

I want to tell you about a warrior.A warrior named Wyatt Zane.My mentor, hero, cuddle and battle buddy, my son, my king.Like many men, when I learned I’d be a father,I believed I’d be the best Dad in the world.When my wife was 7 months along, our doctors gave us a grave diagnosis…Our baby had one Multicystic dysplastic kidney, they could not see the other.We were given the option to abort.My own father told me that when I was born, he was also told I would not make it.That I was covered in more tubes than Wyatt after his heart surgery.My wife and I decided we would not throw in the towel before the bell rings.We would let nature have a say.Five weeks later, Wyatt Zane was born.Wyatt means small courageous fighter, and courageous in battle.He lived up to that name.We won many battles, but sadly, we lost our war.Wyatt had many surgeries, throughout his life.A few were,Open Heart surgery for ASD and VSD repair.Gastric Fundoplication – Initial and revised.Tracheostomy tube placement.Mic Key Button – for direct liquid feeding.We were told he had C.H.A.R.G.E Syndrome when he was two.Wyatt was misdiagnosed all those years, in 2009 DR’S ran a genetics test called FISH on all three of us.Wyatt had Chromosome 16p13.3 duplication. Mom is fine.I have a Chromosome 14/16 Translocation.I was horrified and felt I caused all of his issues.There were many bad days, but he was mostly happy, his spirit never wavered.He was a warrior through and through.Valor coursed through his veins.I was a stay at home Dad.We had night nursing, until one poisoned him.There were many times I stayed awake for 5 to 6 days at a time.If I slept, he died, it was as simple as that.Senses acute, ever heightened, for sound, silence, the sudden.I was also battling Hashimoto thyroid diseaseand PTSD from being shot with a sawed off 20 gauge shotgun point blank,Three days before Sweet SixteenThere were so many beautiful moments.The first time he sat up was a magnificent moment.His first step was HUGE, since we were told he may never walk.He was 15 when he learned to turn on a light by himself, what a great day that was.his smile and laugh could crack steel.How I longed to hear the words Ma Ma and Da Da.This was never to be.Though he could never speak, he could always communicate with us.I call this Wyatt’s Way.I found comfort in watching he and his Mother sleep,it was a harmony of medical machines and a symphony of breaths.On January 19 of 2016, that all changed…Wyatt’s kidney was horseshoe shaped, and failing.Neither his Mom or I were viable donors.He was struggling with a bad Pseudomonas Aeruginosa infection.It was the final blow.I called for help that afternoon when I saw he was not breathing.His CNA and I did all we could.The Officers and medics that responded did their best to save him.The second I realized that that time was different, I broke, and fell to the floor.I saved him twice before, there would be no third.Time stood still.Numb, shaking in shock,I saw the light fade from his beautiful eyes, felt his skin cool and grey.I held his precious hand, a hand that could no longer hold back.It is true that there are many fates worse than death.I prayed for death in that moment.I wanted to crawl into that bag so he may lie upon my chest one last time.I stayed with him that night, rubbed his cold chest for thirty minutes,trying desperately to warm my baby. I washed his little face and body,begging him to wake and saying I am sorry I failed you.One hand in his, the other running through his hair,this time my head upon his chest.My everything,cold, lifeless on some damned tableShattered and scattered, much of me died that day.I felt I had failed him and his Mom.To have a life I was responsible for end before my eyes, in my hands…This guilt would be my undoing.I had learned to steel myself while forgetting how to still myself.Now, a new enemy I face.Complicated Grief DisorderIt is absolute in it’s decimation.A bottle of pain pills in one hand and sleep meds in the other, I thought of ending it all, but in that moment,hope was reborn, epiphany came calling, is this guilt merely cloaked self pity?I DID NOT fail you in life my son but I am dishonoring your memory.Allowing such darkness to take hold.I tried to hate the world away, thankfully this is something I truly failed in.I still have love in my heart and am still worthy of being loved.Moving forward does not mean moving on, it certainly does not mean leaving behind.Wyatt, my love you are always with me, not only in my heart but in our special necklace.A star named after you in the heavens.I’ll always be your Daddy, with a new mission, that of helping others.We ship medical supplies to those in need when we can.I am vexed that others find solace in my words,so I have embraced my fears and am learning to find my voice.Baby love, I miss you, your infectious laugh, your smile, your own precious smell.I want so badly to hold you, give you kisses on your forehead.Life is hard without you, there are no easy days.You taught me patience, to pay attention,that there is a difference between what you are looking at and what you see.To accept life for what it is, not what I wished it to be.I could only hope to know your kind of courage and honor.Nothing severs my spirit more than the mournful cries of Mommy.Tight as I hold her, it cannot sway the grip of this grief.My Dad said to me, “Being a parent is hard” I wished I had remained silentbut I replied, it is harder to no longer be.The highest honor bestowed upon a man, is to be a Dad.It is the most beautiful battle we will ever face, as men.We, as Dads, have a responsibility, a duty to fulfill.Mine included, writing my son’s Obituary, writing and reading his eulogy.After one last kiss on his forehead.Watching them roll him into the fire in a cardboard box.The only thing harder than losing a child is learning to live again.You have to find a way to forgive yourself.When we are shattered, we get to choose how we put ourselves back together.From pain comes power.In grief, can greatness be born.it is beautifully tragic.Whoever, where ever you are, if you can hear my voice.I believe in YOU!!For all the fathers fighting their own battles, big and small,KNOW THIS…You are stronger than you realize.Sleep is overrated, you will endure.If you can learn to still yourself when you are tired, confused and afraid,you will not only find a special beauty in that moment, but in yourself.For this is the fire in which we are truly forged.Trust your instincts, live, laugh, and love with ferocity.Wyatt Zane ShookMy Lil Warrior and KingMy greatest love5/18/1998 – 1/19/2016

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