Seth Merlin Kraus passed away November 7, 2018.
Friends and family may visit Sunday, November 11, 2018, from 5:00 until 7:00 p.m. and Monday, November 12, 2018, from 9:30 a.m. until 10:45 a.m., both at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 18 County Rd (2 blocks south of 1-40), Edgewood, NM 87015.
Funeral Services will be held Monday, November 12, 2018, 11:00 a.m., also at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Edgewood.
A Glimpse of Seth
While we know that no one knew Seth the same way that we did, we would like to at least try to share a few things that made Seth so special to us. We feel inadequate in being able to express in words the Seth that we knew, but we will try to at least offer you a glimpse.
In the early morning of September 17th, 2004, Seth so eagerly entered this world that everyone was caught by surprise. After arriving at the hospital in the wee hours of the morning, Seth was born less than 30 minutes later—much to the disbelief of the nurses and midwife who were certain that he wouldn’t come for another several hours, and who barely crossed the room in time to catch him!
This surprising, no-hesitation nature would be indicative of Seth’s life—he would burst onto the scene so eager for what came next that very little fore-thought was ever put into any decision. Curiosity was always a driving force—“what really happens if you stick a paperclip into an outlet?” Well, as many of you here in this building know, this question popped into Seth’s head one night at youth activities. The answer? If you are lucky, it will blow the fuse, cutting off half of the church’s electricity and give you quite a painful shock and burn and a lecture from your parents to never, ever, ever do that again.
Seth has had more x-rays and injuries than any of the other Kraus children. Yet, he has been the healthiest, rarely ever getting sick. Once, when Seth was 3 years old, the family took a trip to Washington DC, and spent a day at the National Zoo. At one point, his parents turned around to discover that Seth was crouched down on the ground drinking from a puddle! We thought he would get sick for sure, but he never did, and it became the family legend that Seth’s drink from the nasty puddle must have boosted his immunity to super-human levels.
Seth once decided to be a robot that ate metal. Have you ever seen Iron Giant? He took a handful of coins and put them into his mouth and inadvertently swallowed a few. One might hear this story and think—yeah, little kids do crazy things. But you should know that Seth was 11 years old when he pulled this little shenanigan!
Seth’s love of everyone was a defining characteristic. Stranger anxiety is a typical stage of development—a time where children realize who they know and who they don’t and they become wary of anyone outside of the family. Not for Seth. Seth has never known any strangers—he loved anyone and everyone, and trusted them fully. He would look into your eyes and then eagerly reach out to you. It was as if he was full of so much love that he could see people with eternal recognition—knowing that we are all Heavenly Father’s children and knowing that that made everyone his brother or sister. He would reach out and love unconditionally. This love was a beautiful thing to witness and our family remembers many experiences where he would dive into the arms of complete strangers who would light up at having a beautiful baby, toddler, or child give them love so freely and unexpectedly. As you might imagine, this characteristic was a little frightening to us who had to teach him that it wasn’t ok to hug just anybody and that there really was such a thing in the world as stranger danger. But in the eyes of Seth, we had to agree to disagree.
Seth’s first communications were through his bright eyes and big smile. Talking wasn’t something that Seth was doing. One day a complete stranger who Seth had (not surprisingly) connected with, started asking his mom some questions—how old is he? Is he talking yet? Does he at least say momma? We hadn’t wanted to compare Seth’s rate of development with Avery who had gone straight from baby-talk to full-on sentences at an extremely young age. We felt like Seth probably should have been speaking more, but wanted to allow him to progress at his own unique rate. Thanks to this stranger, who turned out to be a speech-pathologist, Seth was able to be evaluated by the right people who determined that he was delayed in both speech and physical development. This is when Seth began hippotherapy—speech therapy while riding a horse. Riding the horse helped Seth develop some much-needed core strength and muscle tone, and he loved it. As you might expect—there was never a moment of fear or hesitation in being placed on the back of an enormous horse. Even though he couldn’t express it through words—you could tell that Seth loved going to therapy and he began communicating with words in addition to his bright eyes and big smile.
One of the family’s favorite stories is of Seth as a toddler. He would come into our bedroom, and say “Mom! Mom! I want garbage!” Julie would say, “you are hungry. You want breakfast.” And Seth would say, “Yes! Garbage!” “No, Seth, not garbage—breakfast. Buh-buh-breakfast.” And Seth would say in all confidence that he was saying it correctly, “Yes, Buh-Buh-garbage!”
From Kindergarten to 6th grade Seth’s schoolmates had been his sweet brothers and sisters. Memorable times also included special homeschooling activities with other families like the Mullens and Squires. While Alex was the reason we started homeschool (another story for another time), Seth was the reason we continued. Seth needed to progress at his own pace and with teaching specifically designed for him. The years we spent homeschooling will always be cherished.
When the decision came to transition into public school, that was also prompted by Seth. Recognizing that Seth needed more opportunities to socialize and interact more often with his peers, we enrolled all our children into Estancia Valley Classical Academy in 2015. Everyone had their very first day of school together—Sasha in kindergarten, Troy in 5th grade, Seth in 6th, Avery in 8th and Alex in 9th.
Seth’s ADHD and impulse control sometimes made it difficult for him to interact with others. But Seth loved EVCA and he loved being around people. He was still the same Seth that he was when he was little--he just loved everyone. He truly felt like he had many friends at EVCA.
Seth has always loved everything to do with the outdoors, often bringing the outdoors in, as evidenced by the rocks always in his pockets. He was talented at finding fossils often overlooked by others. He found beauty in individual rocks, leaves, insects, snakes, sticks, horny toads and any other creepy-crawly or natural thing that most of us would deem insignificant. Was his love for the outdoors maybe why he sometimes ate dirt and never wanted to clean the dirt off himself?
Seth had a beautifully creative mind. He loved to create worlds, governments and empires. He had many creative writing journals—episodes of his own star trek universe, complete with starship blueprints and new alien races and weapons. Stories of other people and planets. His own studio C sketches. He was very detailed in his plans and creations.
Seth enjoyed Star Trek—he loved every version, but was especially drawn toward any story involving the Borg. Once, after Seth had to be sedated to get some stitches, he woke up and said, “mom—I had the best dream.” Julie asked if he dreamt about Star Trek. “Yeah!” he said. “Were you the captain of the star ship enterprise?” she asked. “No—even better! I was Borg!” His favorite Star Trek Next Generation episode was ‘I, Borg’ and the character Hugh. If you ever get the chance to watch it, please do. We think you will see why Seth, in particular, loved it so much.
Studio C was another favorite and Seth enjoyed watching new episodes as a family. He would often share his ideas for sketches, and shoulder devils and angels were a running joke in the Kraus household, as well as random phrases like, “lobster bisque!”
Harry Potter was another love and Seth enjoyed reading this with the family—everyone who wanted to would take a part in a reader’s theater. Seth enjoyed reading the part of Harry, Ron, or Malfoy, but he could also do a very spot-on impersonation of Snape.
Seth was born into a family where he was very much needed and loved. He has a special place in the heart of each member of his family just as every family member has had a special role in the life of Seth. The following are just a couple of the roles we were blessed to play in his life. Alex has been his protector and big brother. Avery has been his caretaker and nurturer. Troy has been his inseparable buddy. Sasha was the little sister who gave Seth the opportunity to serve. We have felt so honored and so blessed that Heavenly Father entrusted us to be the parents of this sweet and special boy. We will be forever grateful for the short time that we were privileged to be blessed by his bright spirit in this life. We know that he is a vital and eternal part of our family. And we know that through Heavenly Father’s plan, we will be together forever.