Who is Zachary LaBonte?

 Zachary Lee LaBonte

November 7, 1992 — March 6, 2009

001_1Our second son, Zachary, was a happy little blond-haired baby with a sweet-natured spirit. This beautiful little boy loved matchbox cars, play dough, coloring, and being outside. Eager and curious, his compliant cheerful personality quickly earned him the name “Sunshine”.

Zachary enjoyed a simple childhood in the country, loved playing with his two brothers in the woods, enjoyed riding bikes and roller blading, and sometimes got in trouble for teasing his two little sisters! He was a fun-loving and peaceful person, a bit of a daredevil, and always enjoyed a good joke. Zachary was homeschooled and quickly became an excellent speller, enjoyed reading, and truly just enjoyed life.

Once Zachary reached his teenage years, he seemedh content to let others be the center of attention. He became more thoughtful, more sensitive to others, and spent hours developing his drawing skills. We were so proud and amazed at his sketches which he signed with his middle name, “Lee”. He loved to carry our foster babies and could always coax smiles from the little children we cared for in our home. He was a great help with all of the weeding and mowing and enjoyed washing our cars.

Picture 042Zachary was saved when he was 5, baptized when he was 11, and had memorized many Bible verses, including the chapters of I Corinthians 13 and Luke 2. Zachary enjoyed helping at church with the overhead projector that displayed the songs and sermon notes and was also learning to run the audio equipment. He had a true desire to please God.

Our son, Zachary, unexpectedly took his own life on the first sunny day of spring, just as the daffodils in our yard were beginning to bloom. The months that followed were agonizing and full of much pain and confusion. Although we will always wish to turn back time, and more importantly, will always long to have known about Zachary’s pain, our comfort is that our beautiful son is joyfully in Heaven with Jesus and free from whatever pain and suffering he knew.

100_3379Although Zachary’s life ended in an abrupt way and his death brought much sadness, we still wouldn’t have traded one day of the last 16 years. We loved our son, were so proud of him, and were looking forward to seeing his impact on the world. It is only because of God’s grace and goodness that we move forward and anticipate being together for all of Eternity.

Zachary couldn’t possibly have known the full effect that his story would have on other families surviving suicide loss. Without intention and only because of the redemptive power of God’s grace, our son’s life — and yes, his tragic death — continue to impact others with powerful ministries of hope and healing.

James 1:17 “Every good and perfect gift is from above.”

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