Love Never Fails

with Mark and Linda Triplett

I’d like to introduce you to two friends, Mark and Linda Triplett. They are fellow bereaved parents who are making a difference in the lives of so many. After reading an article written by Linda, I contacted them to learn more about their ministry. We have corresponded many times over the past year, sharing our interests in serving others and aviation. Mark and Linda inspire and show all of us that “Love Never Fails”. Thank you for sharing your story and your son, Adam, with us.
(Ellie’s Dad)
Mark and Linda, what is your loss story?

The loss in our life is the future that we dreamed of for our son Adam, from the time he was a just a little boy. After receiving a free ride in a friend’s airplane, Adam announced that he wanted to be a pilot when he grew up. He was only five years old then and we both knew that he would achieve it. Linda grew up in a family that loved to travel, so a pilot in the family was perfect! She began collecting jewelry that was of aviation themes.

Linda would tease Adam that she was going to plaster them all over her shirt and be standing at the window facing the plane that he would pilot for the first time. We both envisioned it; us facing the window looking directly into that little window on the airplane and seeing our handsome son in his uniform sitting in the pilot’s seat.

Our hearts would almost burst with pride at Adam’s hard work, his focus on his dream and having achieved it! His big dream was to be a captain of a 747 by the time he was 30, and we do believe that if he would have lived he would have accomplished it. We regret never having the opportunity of sitting in a passenger seat of a commercial airplane that Adam was piloting.
Adam Triplett
April 24, 1974 – August 4, 1997
Another huge loss was never having the joy of being grandparents to his babies. He loved family, he loved his grandmas and grandpas and we couldn’t wait to show him how much we would love our grandchildren; children he would never have.

The final incredibly painful loss was that Adam’s sister, Katrina, lost her best friend in the world. She lost the brother that always talked about visiting her home on Saturdays, playing cards, and watching their children play together. We have watched out daughter grieve the loss of Adam for almost 17 years now, grieving the absence of his presence at the birth of her daughter Morgan and her son Adam. Katrina is an “only child” now. We see a deep sadness in her eyes at every holiday.

Our story of loss is filled with the feeling of being robbed of a life with Adam in it.
Editor’s Note – Mark has created a wonderful web page dedicated to his son. Click here to learn all about Adam.
What would we want everyone to remember about Adam?

The most important thing we can think of is to just remember him, his legacy, and his life.

If someone remembers him, they remember his sense of humor, incredibly big heart, strong Christian faith, and very conservative beliefs. They would remember his colorful, warm personality and that he was an accomplished, talented trumpet player. We remember his dedication to hard work and the way he honored his mom and dad with all of his life and work. Anyone that remembers Adam, remembers an incredible man.

After Adam died, Linda’s father gave us a note that now hangs on our fridge that says, “Nobody has lived a short life that has done it with unblemished character.” That is what everyone will remember about our son.
What impact do you want to leave on the world?

We want to live forward with the hope of helping others in this hellish grief we call ‘the loss of a child’, to take the darkness of sorrow and suffering and bring the light of hope and healing to those, like us, who must live their futures without their son or daughter. We want to gift the world with Adam-like grace and service.
What lessons could people learn from your life?

We hope that no matter the circumstances, for grieving parents to understand that they can get through the storms of grief and come out on the other side, stronger, more compassionate, and more appreciative of what we all have right now.
What is LNF Ministries?

LNF Ministries is a non-profit, grief-support ministry that was initially founded to give scholarships to college freshmen in the fields of Aviation, Music or Missions, three of Adam’s passions. A few years later it readjusted into a ministry to bring comfort to newly grieving parents. That readjustment included the creation of what we now call “Love Baskets.”

Love Baskets contain resources on the grieving process, our books and comfort items. The Love Basket package is sent to parents and families that we find through the daily local obituaries, pulling the ones that have surviving parents, searching for a mailing address and finally, mail 6 – 8 weeks after the death.

We assemble the packages, print out a specially created card with the child’s name, prepare the postage to be attached and take them to the post office to be mailed. We started this ministry on Adam’s birthday, April 24, 2003, and as of the end of 2013, we had sent out over 1500 baskets. The saddest part of that number is that 90% of the names come from only one newspaper in one city – ours. And many don’t get sent because we simply can’t find an address to send them to.

These Love Baskets began because we wanted to let moms and dads starting this horrible journey of grief that they are not alone. It is such a lonely time. There are very few people that understand. There are even less that stand by your side as the years go by.

The numbers of supporters typically drop off after about 6 weeks and for sure after 3 months. Nobody “gets it” unless they have been there. That’s when the ‘aloneness’ becomes more intense and frightening to grieving parents and family.

We receive thank you letters and the number one response is that when they felt so alone and abandoned, our Love Basket arrived and let them know that they, in fact, aren’t alone, that someone does understand and cares.

We fund LNF Ministries by generous donations and 100% goes to the ministry work, with no salaried workers. All is done with volunteers. We keep up our supporters up-to-date with Newsletters on our web site. We are a non-profit 501c3 organization in Minnesota.
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