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, June 18, 2013

4 Years and 3 Months (OBX vacation) - June 18, 2013

A couple of weeks ago, we went on a vacation to the Outerbanks, NC.  In years past, this beach mecca was a favorite destination during spring break.  We teamed up with other families and rented big homes on the beach - Josh loved it.

This year, three generations filled our large oceanfront house, from my brother's inquisitive, energetic 19-month old baby to my parents - still going strong at 77 and 83 years old.

It is our 5th summer without Josh and it is during family vacations that his absence is acutely felt. Gillian remarked that these times are especially hard as this was when she and Josh would spend hours together - talking, joking and laughing.

It hit me hard on our 4th day.  It started on my habitual early morning walk on the beach while listening to Ingrid Michaelson's poignant version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow.  Then I sat down on my sand chair and wrote a list of activities that I could just picture Josh doing:
  • boogie-boarding over waves with his cousin, Greyson
  • throwing the football around with cousins, Mitch and Lydia
  • watching Star Trek in the in-house theatre room
  • snoozing on the couch with the dogs
  • playing poker
  • discussing Dr. Who with Ava
  • playing pool with uncle Steve and Greyson
  • catching sand crabs
  • in the jacuzzi with his sisters
  • flirting with baby Keilani
I fell into the grief vortex, wracked with pain and sorrow - the sand crabs undisturbed by my sobs.  Attempts to describe these feelings were scribbled on the blank pages:
It is still painful - feels raw - piercing right to the depths of my heart and soul  - a mother's pain...
  • deep
  • never ending
  • un-explicable
  • emotional torture
  • lazer sharp, pointed, stabbing pain - making it difficult to breathe
  • fueled by guilt, regret, remorse
  • a longing for life which will never be fulfilled
  • a deep, profound sadness which feels bottomless
  • like a boat which enjoyed calm seas and is now pummeled by waves - relentless, furious, uncaring, fierce, brutal, attacking
I was exhausted the next day - spent and drained.  The rest of the vacation passed with the awareness of Josh's absence, translated into a dull ache instead of the acute pain.   We saw dolphins every day which I've always taken as a sign of Josh's presence.  Then on the last day, an unmistakable sign occurred right outside our deck - a huge, beautiful, full rainbow - right on the ocean.  

The whole family missed you on this vacation.  Thanks for letting us know you were with us.



GrahamForeverInMyHeart said...

I'm so glad you saw that beautiful rainbow/sign from Josh. I feel your utter desolation at what can no longer be.

Anonymous said...

Someone linked me to your blog; while my son didn't die the way yours did, he's gone and I suffer a mother's grief. I started my blog ( to tell my story, like you. I am broken, I am devastated; and I have a daughter who needs me. In that I'm blessed because without her, well, I just don't know. My heart goes out to you, to all of us who are bearing the unbearable.

Comfort4All said...

Hello. I happened to be searching the internet and came across your beautiful blog. Years ago, I too lost a loved one to suicide. Even though many years have passed, their memory hasn't faded. I was so deeply moved by your tragic loss that I felt compelled to express my heartfelt sympathy to you and your family.

Death is truly an enemy in that it robs us of those we love the most. In this world so glutted with injustice and suffering, it can be difficult to find comfort. However, God's promises (as found in the Bible) have helped many to have renewed hope for the future. It is my aim to reassure you all of God's plan for all who have died :)

Many recite the Lord's Prayer/Our Father Prayer mentioned at Matthew 6:9,10: "Our Father ... let your name be sanctified. Let your kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also upon earth." However, many don't catch that this "kingdom" is a real government with spiritual leaders and earthly subjects that will bring solutions to mankind's problems.

For example, Revelation 21:4 assures that "(God) will wipe out every tear from [your] eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things [like grief over your beloved Josh will] have passed away."

It may seemed far-fetched to fathom a time when the feelings of confusion, loss, disappointment, anger, and hopelessness will completely vanish. Yet, the Bible also mentions that "it is impossible for God to lie" (Hebrews 6:18) thus, this is a surety!

Some religions teach that there is no forgiveness for those that have taken their own life, yet notice God's view of matters at 1 John 3:20. It says, "as regards whatever our hearts may condemn us in ... God is greater than our hearts and knows all things." Therefore, if you have heard or felt that Josh's soul is lost, this is absolutely false! God knew the struggles that Josh was contending with and has made arrangements for him in the very near future. "For the wages sin pays is death, but the gift God gives is everlasting life by Christ Jesus our Lord" - Romans 6:23

Soon, God will act to fulfill his original purpose for the earth: To have happy, healthy people live on a beautiful paradise earth forever. A comparison of scriptures like Genesis 1:28; 2:8,9,15; Psalms 37:29 and Isaiah 45:18 logically reflect this loving intention. As it relates to others and Josh, Jesus promised that there would "be a resurrection of the righteous and the unrighteous." (Acts 24:15) Hence, Josh will be brought back to life on a perfected paradise earth under Jehovah God's Kingdom (government)with a perfect human body. Just imagine the extreme joy of having Josh back!

There is so much more I would like to share, but my intention was to give comfort - not a sermon. However, more information is free and available - without obligation at

May this comment find you in peace and wrap you in God's love :)

DC, Moreno Valley, CA

Anonymous said...

I hold onto every sign from Ian. It assures me that he is not that far away. My beach trip this year was the same as yours. Beautiful yet empty. Hugs to you.

Roxanne said...

I have not been back to the OBX since our families were there together! I can still see the boys playing and I love the pictures you posted. I can only imagination the pain. I have felt so similar each time I am on Bustins Island. But I also feel Josh's presence there so strong so as painful as it is I also look forward to feeling his presence. I love that he sent you a Rainbow! He loves you so much!