Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Life After Life

My sister called me today and we began to talk about the mother and her two children that were killed over the weekend from crashing into a river. My sister knew the family and she shed some details about the story that made it even more heart breaking.

Here is a copy of the story from the Deseret News

EAGLE MOUNTAIN — Thomas Powell wasn't sure how to break the news to his 7-year-old son that the boy's mother and two younger brothers won't be home when he's released from the hospital.

"I haven't told him," he said Sunday afternoon. "I don't know how to tell him."

Since Wednesday night, Anthony Powell has been at University Hospital's burn center, recovering from third-degree burns to his right foot. The boy had been playing with a lighter at the family's Eagle Mountain home, and his pant leg caught fire.

Thomas Powell was at the burn center with Anthony on Saturday afternoon when a Utah Highway Patrol trooper broke the news to him that his wife, Inndia, and their other two boys, 3-year-old Alexander and 1-year-old Ashton, were killed in an auto accident.

"She was a great mother, a hard worker and a good friend," Thomas Powell said from his home in Eagle Mountain. "She was my best friend. She was loved by everybody. Everybody who knew her loved her."

Inndia Cherie Powell, 26, was on her way to visit a friend in Evanston, Wyo., when the Dodge Caravan she was driving slid off a slick, snow-covered freeway and into a river. The woman was caught in a snowstorm, with limited visibility, police said.

Inndia Powell was traveling east on I-80 about 10 miles northeast of Coalville about 2:30 p.m. when she lost control of the minivan. The vehicle slid off the east side of the freeway, hit a fence, rolled down an embankment and ended up upside-down in the river.

Police said the tread on the minivan's rear tires was worn, and that contributed to the accident. Inndia Powell and the two boys all were wearing safety restraints.

Alexander and Ashton were flown to a Wyoming hospital but were not able to be resuscitated.

The boys, their father said, "liked to be rowdy and wrestle." Alexander was a fan of Star Wars and Transformers, and both he and Ashton loved trucks and airplanes.

Thomas and Inndia Powell would have been married eight years on New Year's Day. The couple hugged and kissed for the final time Saturday morning at the burn center. Inndia had planned to return to the hospital Saturday evening and spend the night with Anthony.

Thomas Powell said Anthony got out of bed late Wednesday night when he couldn't sleep and had gone downstairs to eat some of his Halloween candy. Alexander later joined his older brother, who had found a barbecue igniter and was burning candy wrappers.

At some point, Anthony's pants caught on fire, Thomas Powell said. The fire spread up the boy's right pant leg and to his shirt, though he was only injured on his right foot.

"Alex … ran upstairs and told Inndia, 'Anthony's on fire.' She sprang out of bed, came (downstairs) and found him just sitting here burning," he said.

Anthony is recovering from a skin-graft surgery and is expected to be released from the hospital this week, by Wednesday at the latest, Thomas Powell said. The boy will have to undergo physical therapy and relearn how to walk.

And together, father and son will have to learn to adjust to life without Inndia, Alexander and Ashton. But they won't have to do it alone.

"We have a lot of support in our family," Thomas Powell said. Friends and neighbors also have been very supportive, he said.

People can donate to the Inndia Powell Famly Memorial at any America First Credit Union.

When my sister talked about this story with me, she said, "Lindsey this is why I called you today. I felt that I really needed to tell you this." The hairs on my arm stood up. I also felt that what she was about to tell me , I needed to hear and that I needed to write about it on my blog.

My sister has been reading a book called The Message by Lance Richardson. We love books about Near Death Experiences and I own so many. Earlier this year a friend had messaged me on facebook and told me to read the book The Message by Lance Richardson. I was very excited to do so, and then from the busyness of life, put it out of mind. After talking with my sister today, I again feel the need to get that book and read it. I don't think anything is ever a coincidence in this life. Someone wants me to read this book.

My sister and I began to talk about families and the after life. As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I know the importance of families and the role they play in the plan of salvation. I know why we are here at this time and what our purpose is. I know where we are going after we die and the plan laid out before us when that time comes. What I love about NDE books is that they confirm this knowledge that I already have. It's so divine to hear about real experiences from the other side that confirm what I already know to be true. In addition to that, they add a little extra food for thought. Pleasant and exciting aspects about the afterlife that we just can't comprehend with our mortal minds, yet they are so intriguing that they somehow make complete sense.

In the book The Message (I am going to read this book and share more later), Lance Richardson experiences several out of body experiences while in a medical induced coma for three weeks. During this time he learns many things about his mission on Earth and the greater picture in the grand scheme of things. One of the truths that he learns is that we agree and are apart of the decision making process of when our life will come to an end on this earth before we are ever born. We see the trails and challenges that wait for us in our earthly life before we even experience them. We plan with our families how we will help each other so that we can make it through those challenges and make it back to each other on the other side. Whether we help each other together here in mortality or we pass on and help from the other side, it is all a part of a great plan that we agreed to before we came here. We understood then what we can't understand now. It just doesn't make sense now to think that a mother would choose to leave her family here on Earth under such circumstances. However we just don't know what trials lie ahead for her husband and son. Maybe she and her other children are going to be a part of a great mission to help her family on Earth through what lies ahead. What love would fill my heart to know that my loved ones loved me enough to choose to leave this life before me so that they could better help me make it back to them. It's a selfless act and very Christlike indeed.

It is comforting for me to know that families are forever. It is not by chance that we end up as families on earth. Whether through adoption, or being married in, we were divinely selected and agreed to be family units here on this earth. Our ancestors whom we have never met, our best friends, neighbors, and distant cousins are all meant to be a part of our life in one way or another for special reasons. It is all a part of a greater design that we cannot fully comprehend. If we understood it all, we would not feel as much pain in this life because we would know the joy that awaits us.

Though we may not understand everything in this life we can continue to learn and grow in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Line upon line, precept upon precept. God is in control of all things. He knows when, where and how to help us we just have to ask. If there is something we desire to understand, God can shed some light on it for us when we ask. I am on a continuous journey of seeking personal revelation in my daily life. Because I know and understand the simple concepts of the gospel, it's easier for me to make sense of the more difficult aspects. I love learning and growing my testimony. No matter how tough this life gets, I am glad to have this experience and the opportunity to try to be more like my Savior amongst daily challenges and trials.

I pray for the family above and I know that it may not be easy but they will get through this. Their loved ones may have been taken from this earthly life but they live and are busy at work right now helping their family on earth and preparing for the Savior's return. What an amazing day that will be when we get to reunite with our loved ones. I know that families are a part of the plan of happiness that God has for us, and I say this in the name of Jesus Christ - amen.


Anonymous said...

Thank for your sweet words. I was friends with Inndia and she is amazing. She will be greatly missed but your right she is doing the Lords work. Thank you for this reminder in a time that seems so dark.

Lindsey said...

You are welcome. I felt prompted to write this post today and I hope it has brought you some comfort and peace. What a beautiful family and mother!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your insights. My big brother passed away 15 years ago. He was 39 and died suddenly of natural causes leaving his wife and 6 kids.

My parents, wife and I arrived at the small community clinic ER about 1/2 hour after his death. (His wife and kids were home). I was devistated.

I was left alone him to grieve. I laid my head on his chest and crying I said, "You've always been there for me what am I going to do now?"

Just as clear as a bell I heard his voice call my name and say, "Thank heaven for the gospel. Thank heaven for the gospel."

After all these years I, of course, still miss him, but with the insight of the gospel of Jesus Christ I know I will see him again. Over the years I have felt him near.

My heart goes out to the Powell family. So sad, but all will work out for the best.

Lindsey said...

Thank you for sharing your personal experience and your testimony. Very uplifting and appreciated.

Katie said...

How very interesting that I would find this. Just yesterday a Facebook friend posted this book and said how wonderful it was. Today, I was thinking about the Powell family, having been devastated when I saw them in the news (I didn't know them otherwise), and googled Thomas Powell and found your post. Maybe I need to read the book too!

Lindsey said...

I just got my copy of the book in the mail yesterday and I'm so excited to read it. Tried to get it from the library but every library in my county had a waiting list. I too felt this book manifest itself to me on more then one occasion in the last few months, so I for sure plan on posting my thoughts about it once I've finished reading it! I encourage everyone to read it with me so that I can hear your thoughts as well!