As some of you may know already, our sweet baby Kai passed away this evening. The little guy until the end was looking out for everyone else, he hung on so everyone could come today and say goodbye to him. He went so peacefully – he waited till Shawn and I laid down in the bed with him, holding his hands, sang his bedtime songs, and we all three fell asleep. When we woke up, I saw that his vitals were starting to slow, and when we went back to him and held his hands, he took his final breath as we felt the sun emerge from behind the clouds. Kai always (as many 2 year olds do) wanted us to hold his hand and lay with him for “just a little bit” before he would go to bed. His passing was a gracious gift of peace, love, and my heart full of feeling his free spirit. It redeemed the brokenness his body had to endure and he is pain free and smiling.

I don’t know why all of this happened.I know that while I do feel peace knowing that Kai no longer has to suffer, my heart is so broken because I love him, and I miss him, and I grieve the moments I won’t have with him here on earth. But, so so many moments in these past two weeks have been miracles and testimonies of love and evidence of God working in our lives for good. I know that may sound weird, but it’s just true.  The amount of love and support that we have all received through this is just astounding and the number of people who have been touched by little Kai’s story has blown me away. I know we are all grieving right now but I want to choose life. Kai never wanted to nap or sleep – maybe he knew his time here on earth was short so needed to make sure he got all of the jumping on his bed, playing trains, and running around that he could. Kai liked being awake – I want to be awake too and keep alive Kai’s spirit and life and celebrate his new life he’s living now with Jesus. And I’m guessing he was hungry so I hope he’s filling up on all of the granola bars and “punkin” bread he can eat.

I am so incredibly grateful to all of the staff at Dell Children’s — the list we have of all of the people who have been with us on this journey is so long and each of them impacted our lives and helped us give Kai the best care possible. Thank you to all of you who have been with us – I know that the next few weeks for me are going to be tough, really, really tough and I’ll need help remembering to choose life even while grieving. And I must do that because otherwise I’m just being selfish and that’s not honoring Kai. Kai, I love you. You’re my little gentle warrior and little nuggie, you taught me how to love in ways I didn’t know I was capable and showed me glimpses of the pure innocent joy that I look forward to one day experiencing again with you in heaven. Thank you God for the honor and privilege of being Kai’s mom here on earth. So grateful.

Kai on his plasma car
We love you so much Kai!


81 Comments on Love Wins

  1. Beautiful writeup for a beautiful kid who lived a beautiful life. We are devastatingly grieved, but astounded at the story of his final day. Redemption. Thank You, Jesus. We love you Kai!

  2. I love you Kai Kai! And love your family so much. I will be here with them every step of the way remembering you in every way, everyday! And together we will share all your stories with anyone that asks and most importantly with Maya! We will read all your favorite books and sing all your favorite songs and watch all your favorite Russian train videos on you tube! You have hugged my heart in so many ways that will never ever be forgotten! I will cherish every moment and play date we ever had! And your spirit and love of life and kindness will forever live on in me! You will always be loved Kai! No matter where you are! Miss you sweet boy,

    Aunt Sheen

  3. We love you all so much! What an amazing little boy who touch so many lives. Kai- you are forever in my heart!

  4. My heart is so broken but I am happy that Kai monkey is no longer hurting. Heaven is a lucky place and I’m sure he’s already won everyone over. I will always cherish my moments with Kai as he flirted with me and showed off his muscles. I will never understand why God took him so early, but I am thankful for the moments I had and will cherish them forever. I love you guys and will always, always love my little buddy.

  5. Aki, I’m so sorry for your loss but so inspired by your faith and spirit. Your son’s joy will live through you and your family.

  6. Thank you for sharing your heart, Aki. Such beautiful words shining out from your beautiful soul. We will miss little Kai so much and are so honored to have known him. The thought of him wrapped in the almighty arms of Jesus, free of pain where we’ll one day see him again is also beautiful. Love you, Aki-you, Shawn, Maya and both your families are surrounded in prayers for comfort and peace. We are here for you.

  7. I feel so blessed to have been part of Kai’s life from the day he was born. My heart grieves for your loss my dear friends, but I know Kai is in such a wonderful place, without suffering and with a God who loves him more than we could possibly imagine. I will cherish all the time we spent playing, sharing snacks and trying to craft with our boys.
    I love you Aki, Shawn & Maya

  8. We are so heartbroken for you. Your faith is truly inspiring. We will absolutely be praying for you and rejoicing in Kai’s new body. Picturing him dancing and praising Jesus right now!

  9. We love you, Shawn and Aki, and we hope to hear many more stories of Kai, and to celebrate his life with you for years to come. Our words can never express our sorrow for your unfathomable loss, nor our admiration for your grace and courage on each step of this journey.
    We are here for you tonight, tomorrow, and always.

  10. I’m so sorry. I am grateful for the day I got to run around with Kai and take pictures for his first birthday. He was such a beautiful and strong little boy. He was so full of life and energy. I can’t imagine what your family is going through. Your family will continue to be in my prayers.

  11. Sorry to hear about Kai. I will keep yall in my prayers. We will never forget him. I had a chance to meet this awesome child at his first school.

  12. My heart goes out to you all! What a brave and sweet boy, I am so sorry.
    It makes me glad he is no longer suffering and I imagine him brightening heaven with that beautiful smile of his.

  13. Aki and Shawn, I’m so very sorry for your loss. Please know that you and your family will be in my thoughts. I’m so, so sorry.

  14. I weep with you as I read your words. May the God of all comfort hold you close to Him and show you His love in ways you never thought possible. It is so hard to know what to say at a time like this. Though we have never met you all, your story has deeply touched our hearts, and we care more than we could ever say. Jesus cries as you cry, and He is holding your precious angel in His loving arms. He will never let him go. God’s peace be with you dear ones.

  15. Rest in peace sweet baby. Prayers for peace to you all as you grieve and celebrate his life.

  16. His life and story lives on through your love for him. Kai is now with Jesus and experiencing the greatest joy and love that only comes when we are wrapped in His arms.

    Revelation 21:4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

  17. Tears in my eyes and love in my heart for a boy I never knew, a mom I wish I could hug, and a savior who has wrapped your child in his arms.

  18. Please know that all of us in the NICU have been thinking about sweet Kai and praying for him. I know that Jesus was there to welcome him with open arms and he will be there to comfort your family. May his love surround you.
    Matthew 5:4
    Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

  19. I am heartbroken for your family – no one should have to experience such a profound loss. You both are an inspiration – you shared such an intimate journey with us and even updated us during such grief. My thoughts are with you and I am truly so saddened to hear of your loss

  20. Rest in Jesus’s arms, little warrior. Prayers of strength and comfort for your family.

  21. Beautifully written. My heart aches so much for you. So sorry for your loss. I’ve been following this and thinking of you all often. I don’t know if there are really words as a stranger I can give to help, but thought of something I want to share. I lost my 29 yr old sister to brain cancer after a very short fight. All I can think tonight is that maybe they are holding hands in Heaven. Nikki is showing him around to all the beauty and fun to come. Prayers to your family. Love Wins

  22. Each of our hearts our so heavy for the loss of Kai and for what you are all feeling. The world has lost a great soul. Please know you are each in our thoughts.

  23. Dear Aki and Shawn, lifting up prayers for you, for comfort as you grieve. What a beautiful legacy little Kai leaves.

  24. I’m so sorry for your loss. Your love honors Kai and sharing it has made his life shine a light into the world.

  25. Shawn and Aki, your beautiful Kai and your tremendous love and strength for him have touched so many people, including me. Sending you much strength, courage, and peace.

  26. Wow, I am in awe of God’s mercies and your strength. I am unknown to you and have no words but of God’s love and the Holy Spirit’s groanings. I am so excited to meet little Kai in heaven. “To live is Christ and to die is gain” — Kai is living such a beautiful life right now.

  27. There is no pain more far reaching and deeper than losing a child. The tender love of a parent for a child may be the purest and most sacrificial kind of devotion that we as human beings can know.

    Tonight, God has taken another angel home. I will keep your family in my prayers. Prayers of peace and comfort, I pray that God wraps your family in all his love.

  28. Your words are beautiful and so uplifting even as our hearts are aching and our tears flow. Our gracious God has answered so many prayers and touched so many lives through sweet Kai, and mine is one of them. I am incredibly thankful to have known your precious boy and to have witnessed your amazing strength and faith through this journey. Thank you Lord for bringing him home peacefully and delivering him from pain, even though we do not understand why it had to be so soon. We will continue to pray for you all and will keep Kai’s spirit near and dear to our hearts always. Much love!

  29. Aki – you are beautiful – I wish I could hold you right now and make all you and your families pain go away – I am so glad he had you and Shawn in those last moments even though I wish those last moments never came. As a mother, I cannot even begin to comprehend what this feels like but can only imagine that it is the worst pain Any one could ever experience. My heart goes out to you, Shawn and Maya. I hope you can feel all if our love when you need it most – we are thinking every moment of you.

  30. Love wins! What a beautiful tribute to your sweet Kai. Although I did not have the privilege of knowing Kai or the Slocker family ( I am a friend of Ms. Kathy) I have been extremely touched. May God give your family peace and strength in the days to come.

  31. Aki and Shawn I am so sorry for your loss. My heart is broken. I remember spending so many days with Kai. I will always remember him for as long as I live. I am happy that he is no longer in pain and that he is with our Heavenly Father. I happy he is in the light and the toughest part is over. However we will miss him so much! Kai you will live in our hearts forever.

  32. Aki and Shawn – We are so so very sorry. Kai was such a sweet, special little boy and we will all miss him. Just don’t feel like I have the right words, but please know we are keeping you and in our thoughts and prayers and sending lots of love your way. We’re here if you need anything at all.

  33. I don’t know you, but my heart is breaking for you. I pray God’s grace and mercy on you. I pray He shines His joy on you and gives you strength to be alive in a way that honors Him. Your strength is already such an encouragement but remember that it is ok to grieve. Jesus wept. I am grieving for you and praying for you.

  34. Everyone that has met Kai or followed his journey here will carry with them his spirit. Oh, how he was swaddled with love…by you, by Shawn, by his sister and other family and friends. It’s this love that will forever make his spirit endure. Yes, love wins.

  35. So sad and so terribly sorry. Thank you so very much for letting me be part of your lives during this time – you guys and sweet Kai have truly touched my heart. Still here to listen – as long as you want to talk.

  36. Aki and Shawn, your journal posts are so moving and beautiful. I’m so sorry for your loss. Kai must have got his courage and grace from you, since you are all heroes in my eyes. Keep celebrating his life and Kai will always be with you. I too am here for you.

  37. Words cannot describe how sad I am that Kai is not with us. I know that he is now pain free and in a better place and there is comfort in that. He was just to good for us here on earth and God wanted him up in heaven. Aki and Shawn, you all are amazing parents and Kai was so blessed to have you both during his short time with us. I pray that God is with you through your time of grieving.

  38. I am so so so sorry you have lost your little kai. I can not begin to imagine how you and Shawn must be feeling.. may you draw strength from each other. Xxx

  39. Thank you, Shawn and Aki, for sharing Kai with us. We are grieving your loss with you, and will celebrate Kai’s life and the love you have shown. With full hearts,

  40. Shawn and Aki, I am so sorry for your loss, my heart just breaks for you. I’m glad that Kai is no longer in pain and I know that he is in God’s hands now. Thank you for letting me be a part of this journey, you are wonderful parents and Kai was lucky to have you both. I will continue to pray that God gives you strength and peace in the coming days.

  41. I’m in tears for you. For the loss of your son, and for your amazing faith in God. I am so sorry for your loss. I don’t know you, but your strength is an amazing testament to the wonderful people you are, and your faith is inspirational. You are in my prayers.

  42. Aki and Shawn…Even though I didn’t know Kai, I felt the love and Kai’s spirit that you have shown through all of this. I am so sorry for your loss. I will be praying that God sees you through and helps you to remember only the good times and love…

  43. My sincerest condolences. I’m a friend of a friend and have been following Kai’s story over the past week. Your strength and grace are amazing and I’m not surprised your son had the same strength. He obviously got it from you. I’ve been struggling so hard with my teenagers this week but you and Kai’s story kept me grounded to what was really important, helping my keep perspective. I’m a single mom and so appreciative of this gift you’ve been giving me. Can’t imagine the depths of grief you’re feeling right now but I’m praying for you, praying for Kai, praying for all of your family and friends.

  44. Shawn and Aki, we grieve with you for the loss of sweet Kai and have witnessed this journey you have had to take with sorrow and awe. Your faith and strength have been such an inspiration to so many you will never even know you have touched. In his short time with us by his strong spirit and through his amazing parents, Kai has touched and changed the lives of many. What a great testimony to the life of this little warrior. May God grant you and Shawn and Maya and Grandparents and family and all who love him sweet peace and comfort in knowing this.

  45. Aki and Shawn – it’s hard to find the words to express the sorrow I feel at the loss of sweet Kai. Thank you for including us on this journey with you. Like so many others have said, I am in awe of your strength and grace at such an awful time. I will continue to keep you and your family in my prayers. Much love

  46. Our deepest sympathies Aki. What a beautifully written tribute to sweet Kai. We will continue to pray for you and your family. Praying that you feel love, peace, and comfort.

  47. There are no words comforting enough. Only tears, prayers and gratefulness. I’m so deeply sad for you all and so deeply thankful for the incredible testimony you have been to the love of God to conquer our greatest fears and worst nightmares. I don’t know why this terrible thing happened to your family, but I know somehow God will show Himself to be enough and Love that never fails will win. Sharing in your grief and praying for your family in the coming weeks. Kai will not be forgotten.

  48. Shawn and Aki, our deepest condolences on your loss. Thank you for sharing your journey and for the terrific pictures of Kai. I cry for you as I write this because I cannot imagine what you are enduring. I pray to God for you to be strong, for keeping great memories, for Maya, and for us to one day be re-united with Kai and our Lord.

  49. Once again we can’t thank you enough for the beautiful way in which you invited us to share this heartbreaking journey with you and Shawn. We will continue to pray even more diligently in the weeks and months ahead as you seek to find ways to sooth this hole in your hearts…I hope the tiny joys and blessings you experienced in these past two weeks will always remind you of God’s mercy and love.

  50. Our deepest sympathies to you, Shawn and your family..our thoughts and prayers will continue to be with you…

  51. Aki and Shawn, we are so saddened by your news, but we love and support you all and will continue to hold you up in prayer. Your strength of heart and faith are so evident. There is hope and tremendous peace in the knowledge that you will be with Kai for eternity!!

  52. May The Lord hold you tight, May you feel his warm embrace and Kai’s sweet presence watching over you. My heart is broken for you all. You all are inspiring. As we all watch in disbelief and fear, you are allowing The Lord to work through you and Kai. My hearts is aching, as so many are, for you. We will continue to pray, pray, pray. I know we don’t know one another well, but I am sending hugs and tears and His Love.

  53. I was heartbroken to hear the news, and I want you to know that my thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.

  54. May God’s Peace surround you all in the coming days. I never met Kai but he has touched my heart. I cry for you all and will pray for you.

  55. I am so sorry for your loss. Know that I will be praying for your comfort today and in the weeks ahead as you grieve.

  56. While I only met Kai for a brief moment last summer at Sheerins bday dinner with you Aki, your story and your sweet boy have been in our hearts. What a perfectly precious little boy I was lucky enough to meet and be touched by. It was obvious that everyone who knew him was smitten by him. I think it was his dashing smile and perfect soft curls that had Sheerin and Sharzy fighting for Kai time ❤️. I can’t imagine your life without him but I am amazed by your words, your spirit and your will to live for Kai and Maya. May you find comfort in knowing he is at peace and pain free.
    God Bless You All.

  57. I could not help but cry as I read this posting. I knew the minute I read the title that God’s great love for Kai had called your precious boy Home into Jesus’ loving arms. And I cry now, as I pray for you and type….I am so sorry for you both, yet I am so happy for Kai…

    Thousands of your CaringBridge prayer friends will not forget to uphold and support you, Shawn and Aki, in the days ahead just as we have been doing in the last few weeks. I, for one, make you that solemn promise from my heart to yours.

    And, someday in God’s future when we’re all praising God at His Throne in Heaven, I’ll look over and see (and recognize) both of you AND KAI, and we’ll exchange waves and smiles as we sing:

  58. I am so sorry for the loss of your precious Kai. I wish I had words to ease your pain. All I can say is that I have tears from reading the update and that I always feel closest to Gods and those dear to me when at the lowest points of life. May your faith provide you strength and the confidence to know that you will be together one day again. If there is anything I can do, please don’t hesitate to ask.

    There are friends and family I have asked to pray for you. I will ask that they continue praying as you grieve the loss of Kai.

  59. Our hearts are so heavy for you all. We’re so sorry for your devastating loss, but so touched by your obvious deep love and faith. Our thoughts have been and will be with you.

  60. Remembering you all in prayer…so very sorry, but we know that God is cuddling Kai.

  61. I wish there were magic words to bring comfort during this time. My heart breaks and tears flow for all of you. Your strength and faith are truly amazing and an inspiration for all. May you find peace that Kia is wrapped in God’s arms now and that his suffering is over. Kia was loved by so many, he brought love and life to all around him. His spirit will live on celebrating by his life and has taught me to choose life and know God’s love is always there with us. So little Kia- I’ll see you later gator… when God chooses for that to happen. You gave me so much joy. It was an honor to be a small part of your beautiful life.

  62. Keeping the entire family covered in prayer for the days ahead. We all feel an ache in our hearts, but we eventually will replace it with the memory of brave little Kai pedaling his bicycle with a bar in hand, soaring to new heights! Love to all!

  63. My heart is breaking from missing so very much my little friend from the playground at TLLC. Many prayers continuing to come your way: peace, comfort, strength and LIFE! Love, Ms. Patti

  64. I know we don’t know each other, but I heard about this from a mutual friend on Facebook. Your words touched my heart and it brought a lot of emotion out in me. I lost my first son, Madden, a little over three years ago to what doctor’s had said was “something in his brain stopped reminding him to breathe.” Never really had a diagnosis, but it hurts like hell regardless of the definition. I asked myself the same question, “why did this happen” and why did this happen to me? more specifically. First child, so young. I was bitter for awhile, a combination of sadness and anger. Why did something so beautiful have to be taken from me? Once bitter and resentful in the initial moment, I had to stand back and gain perspective. God used Kai and Madden to inspire hundreds of people and why the loss will always hurt deep inside, you will find even more ways that they have effected you and others in the future. Even things as small as the appreciation of what you have and not taking anything for granted. We had another boy Ryden who is 16 months old now and I cherish every second with him. He gets double love! The memories of Madden and Kai will last forever. I call Madden my guardian angel now. One day we’ll see each other again as you will Kai. I look at it as a surprise gift waiting for me once my life runs it’s course. I just wanted to let you know that even though I’m a stranger, your story touched me and as someone who went through a similar loss, I can say it gets better eventually. They’re lost but never forgotten. Even then, loss is never really loss if the experience is immortalized in the hearts and minds of everyone around you. You and Kai have that and that’s a tremendous thing to hold. I’m praying for your family.

  65. Your words are such a beautiful tribute to your son. Thank you for sharing your uplifting thoughts. You and your family are in my prayers.

  66. Aki, my heart breaks for you and your family as I read this post. Please know that there are probably many like me who have followed your families’ journey over the last couple weeks who haven’t known what to say but have been sending our thoughts and prayers. Your words give me hope that despite the tragedy and pain your strength of spirit will survive. Will continue to send you thoughts and prayers over the coming months.

  67. Thinking of you and praying for you. I know your heartaches for Kai’s presence. He is absent from the body and present with the Lord. I pray that God continues to be close to you and that you feel his presence daily.

  68. Shawn & Aki,
    Thank you for sharing your hearts and story so openly and gracefully. We’re so saddened by this news and turn of events in your life. We’ve been praying for you all and will continue to do so. We especially pray that the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7). It’s a verse I’ve clung to in my own grief and pray it for you too on that road to peace.

  69. Aki,

    We’ve also never met, but I learned of your sweet Kai from my husband (Daniel Bloom). You have frequently been in my thoughts and prayers these last several weeks. Your strength, grace, faith and courage are an inspiration.

    What an amazing mother you are! These words are beautiful and you are absolutely right. Love wins. Love ALWAYS wins. Kai was truly blessed to have such a strong and graceful woman like you by his side to the very end. Though we are never ready to say goodbye, his passing sounds like it was beautiful. God came to take him home in a ray of sunshine. His little face will be waiting for you one day in heaven, just as perfect as it was here on earth. Until then, he will be your little angel, watching over you.

    You and your family will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.

  70. I have been praying for you and your sweet family. Your strength is amazing and your writing is beautiful about your sweet Kai. I can’t even imagine the heartbreak you must feel. I wept reading your passages, especially your last. May God bring peace to your family! I am so terribly sorry for your loss!

  71. Dear Shawn, Aki, Maya, family and friends,

    I am a member of a group called SpiritSong. Our purpose is to provide presence and comfort to individuals in the process of dying. We are called to sing to those in hospice as well as in other settings. It is an honor to stand and sing as loving witnesses to the sacred process of dying.

    On Thursday night, we gathered and I told members of this group, the story of your beautiful boy, Kai. All felt a deep sadness and a desire to sing. I asked to include, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” as this song had been rquested by a mother of a dying child, not long ago. We formed a circle and held Kai in our hearts, hoping he felt and heard us reaching out to him.

    Kai has touched so many hearts- those who were fortunate enough to meet and know him as well as many who have come to know him, through you. He will continue to enrich your lives. May his memory be a blessing, forever.

  72. Shawn & Aki-
    We’ve never met, but I’m friends with Aunt Caroline. I’ve been following Kai’s updates on this site and praying like crazy for your family. My heart broke when I read the news about sweet Kai passing. I can’t even begin to comprehend the pain you are feeling. I’m so glad you guys have a great support system in your family, friends, church, and even strangers lifting you up in prayer. We will continue to keep you in our prayers in the coming months. May God be your strength and your comfort in this time.

  73. Shawn and Aki,

    We haven’t met either, as many have written before me, but I’ve had the pleasure of knowing your sweet mom, Kathy, here in Southlake. We worked together at Drees, and I have been so sad to know of the heartache you all have experienced with the loss of little Kai.

    I’ve had two bible study groups and my choir group at Good Shepherd Catholic Church praying for you and little Kai for the last several weeks. We all are heartbroken for you with his loss, and pray that you can find some peace in time. Little Kai is now sitting on God’s lap, playing with all the little angels who have gone before him, and is no longer suffering.

    I wish we could make some sense of it all, but I know God has a plan for us, even the innocent children. I have been so enlightened by your posts, Aki, and your strong faith and dedication to your children. I’ve shed so many tears reading the posts, and I know you and Shawn were amazing parents to that little guy. He was so blessed to have you.

    I will not stop praying for your family in the years to come, and pray for comfort for you, knowing that Kai is enjoying the beauty and love he has found in Heaven. God bless you all!

  74. My sister Lindsay Bonner Hardy told me about your son and to pray – what a precious and beautifully knit boy and family who loves him! Thank you for your note above rejoicing in his life and your honesty about your pain. I will pray again for your peace, God-given memories and that your family will grow closer as you grow closer to God. Please know that we (sisters in Christ that you don’t even know) are mourning with you with tears as I read your words and see your pictures.
    Julie Bonner Kelber
    Northridge, CA

  75. You are such a good writer, Aki. I had to go back and read your story which I hope is alright since I only know you from my sister Lindsay through prayer but we 3 are sisters in Christ. 🙂 Your story pains me so and I think with nearly every entry I have sprouted tears. On the other hand I am so encouraged by your physical (caring for 2 babies on little sleep) and spiritual (as you speak in your entries about God and Kai and your prayers for them both) strength, honesty, faith in the Almighty Creator and Healer, love for Kai, trust in letting go and your protection of Kai in his pain.
    Oh, what a sweet precious little body he has. He is so tiny in his crib. His grandmother’s adoring face cast on him while he sleeps screams a and whispers love. What a beautiful image.

Comments are closed.