Written by Susan Jacobson “Bye Mom, love you”. Those are the last words I heard from my precious 22-year-old son, Ben, on February 8, 2021. I didn’t know that at the time, of course. It was how he ended every phone call to me, and those words had always been very...
The Gassen Family
Clark and Margo Gassen know firsthand that nothing worth building is ever easy, especially a family
After undergoing IVF therapy for their first two children, they decided to fully commit themselves to the next phase of parenting. Then in a moment as miraculous as it was impromptu, Eve made her presence felt in utero. And everything changed.
Her life force was powerful. The hopes and dreams they shared for their daughter were infinite.
On June 22, 2017, Eve was unexpectedly stillborn at 38 weeks due to a true knot in the umbilical cord – rocking a family to the core while laying the groundwork for personal transformation and an entirely new kind of foundation.
In his personal grieving, Clark sought respite at Faith’s Lodge. There he met other parents whose lives had been razed by bereavement. People who understood how much you can love someone you’ve never met, and how hard it is to pick up the pieces emotionally and spiritually.
It was then, listening to their stories and sharing in their grief, that he came to realize how challenging it is to recover from the trauma of losing a child when you’re also overwhelmed financially. Hospital bills, unpaid work leave, funeral and travel expenses – they pile on to the feeling of powerlessness, further preventing families from beginning to rebuild.
For the Gassens, the idea that someone in mourning would also have to worry about money was as unacceptable as it was unimaginable. So on the final day of his stay at Faith’s Lodge, Clark walked to the front desk and paid for his room. Then he paid for everyone else’s – no questions asked, no thanks required. A simple act of kindness inspired by the incalculable love for a daughter.