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.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas Josh

Our fourth Christmas with our white tree, in memory of Josh. 

His initials, JLA, underneath a white dove. 

RIP Josh.
Everyone was home this year and we missed you!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

December 18, 2012 - 3 Years and 9 months

It was a big week for the Josh Anderson Foundation.  We are accomplishing our goal - to bring programs into high schools that could have impacted Josh, given him the tools to stop himself that dark night and choose life, not death.  See post for details.

I went to a couple of Jordan's presentations and while it was encouraging to see the impact of his words on both teens and parents, I left feeling sad which was surprising.  And the heavy feeling stayed the following day.  Why?  There is so much good that is happening - we are making a difference - we are doing something to save other young lives.

I guess it is because I am reminded once again, of our loss.  Hearing Jordan's story makes me wonder anew what I could've, should've done; the guilt and regret is so heavy, it smothers.  Familiar questions race through my mind, yet time does not make anything clearer.  I feel confused, baffled, helpless - just like the first year.  It is like groping in the dark for the light, which never turns on.

I am sure the sadness is also rooted in the holidays.  The boxes of decorations in the basement stay unopened - for the 4th year in a row. The extent of Christmas cheer will be wreaths on the doors, a tree and stockings - a far cry from Christmas' past.

All our kids, sans Josh, will be home this year which will be nice, but of course, not the same as it was before.   So it is two-fold, a double-whammy: grief over our loss but also grief over what will never be.

I have been watching The Voice and one song in particular, has resonated.  "Over You" was written by Blake Shelton and his wife Miranda Lambert, in memory of his older brother who died in a car accident when Blake was a teenager - see YouTube video of the performance.

"Over You"

Weather man said it’s gonna snow
By now I should be used to the cold
Mid-February shouldn’t be so scary
It was only December
I still remember the presents, the tree, you and me

But you went away
How dare you?
I miss you
They say I’ll be OK
But I’m not going to ever get over you

Living alone here in this place
I think of you, and I’m not afraid
Your favorite records make me feel better
Cause you sing along
With every song

It really sinks in, you know, when I see it in stone

But you went away
How dare you?
I miss you
They say I’ll be OK
But I’m not going to ever get over you

At the park, loved ones are remembered with mini trees, wreaths and poinsettias; bursts of red, white and green pepper the serene grounds.  Dear friends sent me ornaments for Josh's tree which I put up last weekend, along with his wreath - in Seahawks blue and Saxon green.

RIP Josh.
We love and miss you.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Original Poem: "Work of the Living"

On a recent business trip to Norfolk, VA, I wandered into a local bookstore and found an anthology of poems edited by Harold Bloom called Till I End My Song: A Gathering of Last Poems.

These last phrases are taken from a particularly poignant poem by A. R. Ammons called "In View of the Fact."
...until we die we will remember every
single thing, recall every word, love every 
loss: then we will, as we must, leave it to
others to love, love that can grow brighter 
and deeper till the very end, gaining strength
and getting more precious all the way....
In the margins I wrote, "work of the living" which then brought my mind back to the work we had to do after the awful discovery. 

Work of the Living
by Sue Anderson

When the dead die,
     their job is done.
Not so with the living
    whose labor has just begun.

Unfair, unsolicited work
    is thrust on the living,
While the dead rest:
    calm, at peace, in a sleep-like state.

Not so for us:
    people to call,
    explanations to make,
    family to greet,
    friends to hug.

The house swells with those
    coming to do their job:
    Remember the dead.

To do lists:
    funeral to arrange,
    service to organize,
    casket to choose,
    burial ground to pick,
    pictures to sort,
    final clothes to gather.

While the dead rest
    and wait for their final hurrah,
    calm, oblivious to all.

Not to mention the tears,
    floodgates open.
Who knew the volume of brine
    that could come from within?

    she is a relentless taskmaster;
    non-existent in the past,
    omnipresent now.

Do the dead know
    what work has been place on their loved ones?

If they knew, would they have:
    sliced or

Over time; however, 
    the work does lessen.
The load seems lighter,
    the burden status quo.

The job now is to light the candle
    of eternal remembrance,
Letting it shine in the world's dark spaces,
    to prevent other such deaths.

It is our job now,