I was going to Josh's grave site today to place "Happy Birthday" balloons, lost in thought while listening to an audiobook, and was jolted to reality by the harsh, loud sounds of an ambulance and fire truck racing by. They turned into a subdivision and I was immediately brought back to the day that Josh died. I had called Tim, hysterical, after finding Josh. He called 911 and before I knew it, sirens were screaming down our street and stopping in front of our home. Paramedics came racing up the stairs and shooed me out of his room. I remember looking out the front window, seeing the red trucks and thinking, "I can't believe this is happening to us."
Today, as I watched the trucks enter the neighborhood, I thought of the poor soul in need of help and hoped that it was not too late. Then I thought of those paramedics who have answered other 911 calls last year and found teenagers, just like Josh, dead by their own hand. How many have there been in our area? How are the parents and families coping? How do the paramedics handle seeing such tragedy?
As time marches me towards the 2-year death anniversary on March 18th, like a conveyer belt that I cannot escape from, I think about my "grief journey". Words flow through my mind that describe the terrible work needed to come to grips with the loss of my beloved boy. Words like:
- take in
- come to terms with
- adjust to
- submit to
The magnitude of losing a child is so great, that the reality can only be faced in small doses. Only as much as a mother's breaking heart can bear. There is a frailty and fragility to my soul now - despite what may be seen from the outside. Painfully aware that our family is not immune to tragedy, my greatest fear is if something happened to one of our other three children. I tell God that I could not survive it and beg Him to please spare them. "If one must go," I say, "take me."
Today was cold and blustery at the cemetery with the wind cutting through my jeans and gloves. "Partly sunny, partly cloudy," the weatherman would say. The ringing chimes in the trees reminded me of church bells. While securing the balloons to the vase, I noticed two items placed in the hole that holds his vase. I didn't recognize them as Josh's but they very well could be. I don't know who has done this or the significance of the items, but am happy that others visit him, just as I do.
Happy 19th Birthday Josh. We love and miss you. R.I.P.
Dad and Mom