Please use this blog to help us remember Joshua Lee Anderson, who made the tragic and fatal decision to take his life on Wednesday, March 18, 2009. Please post any memories or thoughts you may have in the comments.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

Our second Thanksgiving without Josh has passed. Incrementally easier than last year. Lauren and Gillian came home so along with my parents and brother, there were seven of us at the table. A week ago I confessed to Tim that having no motivation to shop and cook, I'd rather order a turkey and ham meal from Safeway. He promised help from himself and the girls and so we did sit down to a home-cooked meal, one of the tastiest. Not over cooking the turkey and taking the extra step to make stuffing from scratch were the keys. As we were eating I did, of course, think of Josh along with his older brother who could not be with us and how they both would've had several helpings of the stuffing, one of their favorite sides.

As the day approached, I tried to think back to the last Thanksgiving we had with Josh, in 2008. Unfortunately, I don't remember that much, just snippets, probably because we did not do anything that memorable. Now I know that whenever family gathers, we should take advantage of the time to build new memories. And so yesterday, after being stuffed with drink, food and desserts, we cleared the table and played Taboo and Euchre. Then joined thousands of other crazy people who went to Tysons Mall at midnight. Definitely a memorable experience - through probably not one to repeat next year.

My journal has become a place of self-exortation.
Sue - look at it (Thanksgiving) differently. It is the being together that is most important. The food, etc will get done. Just be happy that family (sans Josh) will be together. Make new memories. Be in the moment. Share love. Give love. Don't be focused on the "to do's". Be focused on family. Be engaged. Be thankful that we will be together.
"Post Josh", I do have a greater awareness that any holiday could be the last. On the one hand I admit that this is a morbid and depressing thought. But had I been more aware in 08, there would be more vivid memories of the last Thanksgiving with our beloved Josh. I want to avoid having this type of regret in the future.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends.

God Bless

Thursday, November 18, 2010

20 Months - November 18, 2010

Time is flying by - how can it be 20 months since Josh has died? It still is unbelievable to me and the same questions swirl in my head. How can this be? What happened? Why him? Why our family? Why didn't he say something? What could I have done?

My post today comes from a journal that I bring when visiting Josh. In it, I write letters to him. The one I am sharing comes from two days after my birthday, which was a sad and emotional day.

Dear Josh,
It is sunny and warm in the sun. I have made the usual run to Safeway. I like the sunflowers as they last over a week. The ones from two weeks ago are done - many of the petals have fallen off. The rest I have put on the grass - bright yellow petals marking where you lay - your final resting place.

The wind brushes across my cheeks and lifts the pages as I write. Chimes sing softly, harmonizing with each other above the drone of mowers in distant parts. Brittle leaves rustle in the wind, making their own distinctive sound. Their last stand before falling to the ground in days to come. It is a different sound than in spring or summer, at the height and fullness of life. I look up and see one leaf loosen its hold and with the wind, fall gently to the ground, scattering haphazardly on the grave sites below. A leaf would have to travel a good distance to land on your site.

It is quite and peaceful here. On the one hand, it is what I prefer. On the other, I wonder where are the living of all the dead around you? I guess over time, visits cease. Will I be able to stop coming? Right now, it is routine. I don't even think while driving - the car knows where to go.

It's been a rough couple of days, Josh. Started on my birthday. I wrote in my journal and all I could think about was the fact that you weren't here. The impact of this horrible reality hit me anew - too much, too sad. I don't want to be getting older, "celebrating" another year of life while you are dead. It hits me again how unnatural it is that you have predeceased me! Never expected! Never imagined!

Yesterday was hard too. I worked on the Halloween slide show for the blog and seeing all the pictures of you, so cute and adorable, with family and friends. Seemingly happy. You did have a happy childhood, didn't you? While working on this, I got sadder and sadder. I could feel my heart breaking inside and it became hard to breathe. Grief is so painful, Josh. It physically hurts.

At 17, your life is done. It makes me so mad I want to hit something, over and over. But there is nothing I can do. No remedy. No fixing. No going back. You've done something to yourself and ultimately to our family that is irreversible. I don't think you knew because if you did, how could you go through with it? No, I have to think that it was extremely impulsive and you were not yourself. I wish you did something that would've indicated your state of mind without being fatal.

Death is final Josh!
Silly boy.
But loved and missed by me and EVERYONE.

God Bless