Journal entry by Julie Stratman

One month ago today Matt passed away.  It is something I can not get my head around yet.  Grief has changed us all.  Some changed a little & some of us changed so much we do not recognize ourselves.

Today marks the first day of football camp at West High School too.  Matt would have been there with his friends.  I feel he was there in spirit.  I know some of his teammates felt him too.

Our entire family is still in a fog…Did it really happen? 

Finding a new routine or a new normal has been an odd burden of heart ache, anger and necessity.  I can hardly catch my breath sometimes.  Matt had a way of putting an energy in my/our day that is matched by no other.  I miss his taste in music, the smell of his hair, and his amazing friends.  I miss his games & picking him up after practices.  I miss seeing him eating breakfast at the end of the island every morning then asking to get Taco Bell after a game or practice.  He loved the chicken quesaritos. 

I worry about Eva, Tom & Katie.  We talk about Matt.  We cry.  I asked Tom what he missed most about Matt.  Tom said, ”Everything Mom.  I miss everything about Matt.”  Exactly.  Everything.   

This is where we are today. 

Thank you all for your love & support. 
Matt's Mom

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Journal entry by Julie Stratman

Thank you to all of you for your prayers, thoughts, sending good vibes, lighting candles..... it is all so very appreciated. We are so hurt, sad, angry, feeling in a fog. My heart breaks for my family and wishing we could just go back and hit the reset button. Not gonna lie, I want to find a silver lining but am frankly so angry that a really wonderful boy who was just getting his pin feathers will not get the chance to fly. Trust in the Lord....trying. I am. Thankfully, when my faith seems weak, I see you posting messages, sending messages, and I hear your voicemail. It restores a bit. It is greatly appreciated. 
   Matt's passing has left a hole in our family and our hearts that will never be filled. I don't believe this will "make us stronger" and I think that notion is B.S. It makes us more sensitive to others loss. I don't think the pain will fade, we just learn to manage it. I would give up the rallying community and all the wonderful prayers if we could have Matt back. The love and kindness all have shown is wonderful and it does help bring some comfort but not more wonderful than the life taken from us. 
   I continue to pray for Julie, Ron  and kids. Thank you, all. 

Journal entry by Julie Stratman

This morning our son Matt took his last breath as the sun was coming up.
Ron & I were at his side holding him as his heart stopped beating.
We will forever have a void in our family.
I miss you Matt Man.  
Thank you for all the love, support and prayers.

Journal entry by Julie Stratman

Julie is at the hospital with Matt. An incredible mother giving every bit of her love and prayers to her children. I have watched her nurture her kids and give them everything they need. She struggles, as we all do, trying to make sense of it all. Ron is with her every step of the way. They are the foundation for this family. Together they lead the kids through  the darkest hour. God is with them, I know. 
We are all in that dark place with them but we are only spectators. It's this horrible tragedy playing out on the screen in front of us and all we can do is wait for the next scene, praying for the story to change. Its a story nobody wants a part in. All we can do is watch. We pray for strength and wisdom. It's not enough.  I am angry. So angry. 
Today she tenderly washed Matt's hair. His Dad gave him a close shave. He is 15 and fuzzy. Matt likes to be smooth.  They study his face. She holds her face close to his, touching cheek to cheek. She runs her fingers through his hair and makes sure to position it so it hangs in front and not brushed back. He doesn't like that. He likes it down in front. They look at every detail committing it to memory, forever holding those freckles and every detail in their mind and on their heart. 
Matt said to her that day on the field, "Mom, hold my hand."  A declaration of love, a promise of a mom not to let go. Moms and Dads hold their child's  hand when they cross the street to make sure their kiddo is safe. This is no exception. They will get you  to where you are going and not let go until you are ready and safe.

Journal entry by Julie Stratman

This day #16 in the PICU.  Three neurosurgical procedures later…
Matt is not waking from his coma.  Matt has had massive amount of brain damage that will leave him no room for recovery.  
This thing called an AVM has changed our lives forever.  
We have faith.  We are continuing to pray.  I keep asking God, “How can this be Your plan for our Matt?”  
Our hearts are breaking.  Eva, Tom & Katie are lost and we can not give them answers to WHY this is happening to their brother.

Journal entry by Julie Stratman

A father's perspective:
Since 12:10pm, Saturday, June 9th 2018, my world has changed.  It has been a living hell, I will not lie.  Watching my son peril in an unconscious state is a nightmare I wish upon no one.  Asking why, I do not get an answer and I may never know the reason.  What I do know is that my God is a loving God and He knows what is best for Matt.  I will accept that, without anger, but with sadness.  My heart is heavy.  
This event is still very new to me.  My grieving will not stop, nor should it.  But I’m beginning to truly understand the impact this young man has had and has made on others.  I have witnessed a mother’s unconditional love.  I have never seen a mother pour every ounce of her love and strength into her child.  I sit in amazement and watch.  I have witnessed a brother and two sisters embrace each other like never before.  I have witnessed two immediate families to continually give us strength, love and support.  I have witnessed friends who rally around us and provide that additional layer of love and support needed to cope with what is to come.
The past several days I have also witnessed truly wonderful opportunities of human beings coming together as one.  A community that quickly embraced Matt and made him their own son.  I’ve witnessed young men and women who are Matt’s friends, teammates, classmates and many who do not know Matt, step up as a collective group of remarkable young adults to come to his aid.  I have a new and sincere appreciation of all those who have helped because they know Matt would do the same for them. 
It is with this that I selfishly prayed to God to allow Matt to heal and continue to be us here on earth.  That with Matt here with us, we could do great things, give back and pay forward.  That he would be able to be that inspiration as I know he can be and has been to others.  I pray that we will see Matt’s Miracle. I will, I just don’t know what that miracle will be, yet. Matt will make a difference, that much I know.
I will have tears of sorrow, today, tomorrow and probably forever.  But I also know, at some point, I will have tears of joy because Matt will change lives for the better and for that, I am grateful.  My promise to Matt is to carry on, in his name, a legacy of giving, caring and loving others.  I love you, son.

Journal entry by Julie Stratman

Shirley and I are so thankful for all the Support given by the Lakota West family ,and those we have talked to that responded for the cause ,not knowing who Matt was until seeing the News on TV or Facebook or hearing about the" Prayer in "at Lakota Football Field or the CAR WASH at Lakota West and this past Monday Prayers at Center Point Christian Church; the Business owners of the West Chester area  have made such an impression on our family by the display of there personal feelings for some way to help Matt and show the GREAT SUPPORT for the Stratman Family.         The Lakota West High School Football Team is raising funds for their classmate with GOFUNDME.COM   #STRATMANSTRONG .                                                  To thank all the Business Owners ; LaRosa's Family Pizzeria , Delicious Designs Cookies  West Chester, Culvers, Hamilton,Ohio , Velocity LaCrosse,  Basil Restaurant Hamilton , Cyclebar Liberty Twp  .   Community Service Personnel, West Chester Fire Dept, and Police Dept , Chilren's Hospital Liberty & Main Campus.  We are sure there are many more. We Thank everyone ,  Matt's Grandparents

Journal entry by Amy Kleinfeldt

Please pray for Matt Stratman who had emergency surgery with a brain bleed. He collapsed after a lacrosse game today and was rushed to Children's Hospital. He is a strong, athletic kid and a fighter. It is just unimaginable. This picture was from today's game.
Matt’s Story

Site created on June 10, 2018

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