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, April 18, 2014

5 Years and 1 Month Later: Acceptance

A couple of years into my grief journey, I found a helpful website: and on it, the 7 stages of grief:

  1. Shock and Denial
  2. Pain and Guilt
  3. Anger and Bargaining
  4. "Depression", Reflection and Loneliness
  5. The Upward Turn
  6. Reconstruction and Working Thru
  7. Acceptance and Hope

Over the past 5 years, I have meandered my way back and forth through the first 6 stages which I've tried to chronicle in my personal journal and on this blog.

The last stage of Acceptance and Hope has always seemed a fantasy land, completely out of reach.  Like a mirage to a parched desert wanderer, it was an elusive illusion.  A place that maybe other people could find but not me.  In other words, an impossible dream.

And yet…..something has changed…..deep within.

I can't pin-point the exact date, as it has been a process over the past several months.  And as I write this post, my analytical mind is trying to identify the reasons:
  • My reading about the afterlife (see this post) and a couple of Deepak Chopra's books, namely Life After Death and The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success
  • The good work being done by The Josh Anderson Foundation and all the wonderful people we have met along the way.  We ARE making a difference.
  • I feel a more enlightened person; I have a different perspective of life and what really matters
  • I have learned much through my own suffering and my two girl's suffering, especially Lauren
  • A deep belief that death is not the end 
  • A deeper understanding of the inter-relationship between life and death; death and life - more like a circle where one begets the other
Every week, on Saturday, I visit Josh and write a letter to him.  On April 5th, 2014, this is what I wrote - very different than past letters:

Dear Josh,
At the park today - a breezy, cool, sunny day - high 50's.  Lots to share but you know already….we got your signs in NY - the picture of your backpack on the Send Silence Packing blog that Lauren saw while preparing for the Deepak Chopra interview…also the song, Over The Rainbow, came on as we were getting ready to leave the city.  You are still with us - I believe it.  But hope you are not a "displaced" soul, or "untethered" or "disassociated" - wandering, still searching for peace.  If you are and if it is tied to my emotions at all…

Be free
You are OK
We are doing OK and will be OK
I have accepted your death
I understand the connection between death and life
You died for a reason
You died so I could be born anew - enlightened - eyes open to the true spiritual beings we all are
You died and JAF was born
There is no need to feel guilty for what you did 
You are giving us strength and direction to repay the karmic debt which is OK…I am happy to do it…It feels right, like our purpose
I know you are not alone
I know you are in a place of love, peace and wholeness
I believe your spirit is alive and well
I am no longer mad at you
I forgive you
I love you
Be at peace, Josh.  I think I am getting there.
Be free - do what you want to do but still be connected to us - in a good, healthy way
Be whole, Josh
Love yourself
Know we love and miss you - that will never change

Taps is being played now - haunting, beautiful and apropos.

I don't need answers anymore - it is what it is.

I am starting a new spiritual journey - more real, authentic and truer than anything experienced in church.

An awakening…
An enlightening…
A birth….

All because of you
I am grateful

RIP Josh - guide me to true knowledge


Adrienne said...

I oculd write volumes right now. I haven't missed one post you've written these past five years. I've ready many more than once, and copied and meditated on several of the poems and quotes you've shared. I don't pretend to begin to understand what you've been through, but I've felt honored and blessed to have taken the journey with you. I tell Josh, when I read your words, that he is helping to heal many more than he knows. I've told him many times that I hate the way I got to know him, but I am forever different because I did. I can relate to many of the words and phrases you use to describe your spiritual awareness/awakening. And I want you to know that you have meant so much to me as I have taken steps to find my spiritual self separate and apart from the church world. Sending big hugs...what a joy to read this today!

Patty said...

I love you Sue.