Gillian putting a wind chime on a tree near Josh's grave
It is hard to believe that one week ago, we buried our son. Although today ended up being a fairly warm and sunny day, it began cloudy, grey and raining. A week ago, we made the trip to the cemetery and it was bright and sunny. God must've known that my heart could not have handled a day like today.
I have posted more pictures of the burial service, as many of my family members who were not able to come have been reading this blog. I also posted two picture that were taken yesterday, when Gillian and my dear friend, Roxanne went to visit Josh. Rox bought this beautiful wind chime - especially for him.
I've had many random thought this week that I thought I would share. One night, there was a steady rain. As I opened the door to let the dogs out, I thought about where Josh's body was resting. We had decided to pay a bit more for a vault rather than a grave liner as it is supposed to be airtight and waterproof. As I looked at the steady rain that night, I just hoped that it was waterproof, just like was promised.
I have also thought about the items that we placed with him. He has his favorite slippers on, his infamous sunglasses, a baby quilt that I had made for him that he never wanted washed, a yellow lacrosse ball, and a football that his uncle has just bought for this very purpose. It is interesting that the kids had items of their own that they felt should be with him. At the viewing, I heard that one of his teammates had brought a football and had all the players sign in. It is this football that ultimately ended up with him. Josh loved sunflower seeds and so someone else had brought a small packet to give to him. He liked wearing hemp-type band around his neck or wrist, so I am told that this was put in the casket. And lastly, a small picture of Giselle, who is Josh's best friend's baby girl.
This week has also been one of necessary errands. I went to the funeral home on Friday to pick up the death certificates. One of many decisions that needed to be made the day after his death was how many certificates we needed. We were told that each one is an additional $12 so one should be sure to order enough but not too much. We ordered three - I think this will be enough. I had never seen one of these before; it was heartbreaking to read some of the facts.
- Education: 10th
- Marital Status: Never married (and never will be)
- Last Occupation: Student
- Kind of Business or Industry: High School
A couple of nights ago, I finally sat down and opened up all of the cards that we have received from so many. I had tissues nearby as they were so full of love, support and encouragement. Some cards had typed or handwritten letters enclosed within them, and we learned that many of our friends have suffered loss as well. Some can relate to what were are going through, others have feared that this would happen to them, and others have had a sibling take their own life.
While all the cards had very comforting words, there were some that really hit home to me. One card was a bright night sky with many twinkling stars. The words were as followed:
"Perhaps they are not the stars, but rather openings in Heaven where the love of our lost ones shines down to let us know they are with us."Another card was particularly poignant:
"When we love with all we have, we grieve with all we are."My feeling about this blog - it has been my lifesaver; a way for me to share what we have gone through in hopes that it would help other kids and parents. The stats have been astounding as there have been 8,747 hits so far. If you have read the comments, you know that people from all over the US and world have found it.
I have been reading the blog several times a day and if I am being totally honest, the comments have encouraged and saddened me. On the one hand, it appears that it is really helping parents see the need to connect with their children, have the difficult discussions, be more vigilant or have the courage to fight their school systems on behalf of the well-being of their kids. So all of this is very good. On the other hand it is too late for me and Josh. But how could I wish that this happened to another mother so that I could benefit from what they have learned? The saying, "hindsight is 20/20" has never been more true and in my case, more painful.
And yet I want to hear how this is helping as it enables me to see that my prayer (Lord, please don't let Josh's death be in vain) is being answered. So please do not hold back in posting your comments or sending your thoughts via email. In my grief and pain and never-ending sorrow, it helps and comforts me to know that maybe, just maybe, another child's life can be saved. Another family may be spared this loss. Another mother may never have to feel the anguish and pain that I do. Keep posting and sharing your stories as this helps me and everyone who has now become part of this blog community.
I have shared on a previous post that recently, peace has been eluding me. I find myself consumed and obsessed with trying to figure out why Josh did this. As mentioned before, we have a good idea of what he was doing that night that does not help to answer this question. So now I am wondering about what he was thinking. How does a kid who is so well-liked, athletic, good-looking, has a girlfriend and supportive parents get to this point? Nothing makes sense to me and it is like a fast-growing cancer within my mind and heart.
A dear friend shared with me after the service that every person has a purpose to fulfill on this Earth and that maybe Josh had fulfilled his and it was time for him to go Home. While this comforted me at the time, I could not reconcile this with the way he died. This would make more sense to me if he died via a tragic accident or some other way that was not of his doing.
Then tonight, another dear friend called. We have received many calls from friends and family (our kids included) since they knew this would be our first night alone since Josh's death. This friend connected the dots for me - I think. She said that there are many people who seemingly should die that don't (i.e. drunk driver that walks away from a terrible accident) and many people who seemingly should not die, that do (a young man like Josh).
Each person has a purpose on this Earth and as Josh was engaged in an activity that would end his life, God chose, in His infinite wisdom and knowledge, to let it happen. He could've caused me to wake up inexplicably, or done something to jolt Josh out of the mindset he was in, but He didn't. He let it happen - because He saw the bigger picture. As evidenced by what has occurred the past few days, in death, Josh's young life has touched and changed many people - including myself.
My friend also said that the saddest thing that could happen to anyone is if when they died, it didn't matter....if no one cared....if people weren't moved or changed....if their life and death was insignificant. This definitely cannot be said about Josh, and for this I should be grateful and proud that he had such an impact at a young age.
Thanks again for all of the prayers on behalf of our family - we do feel them and are eternally grateful once again for all the love and support.