While browsing through Facebook recently, my heart stopped when I saw this picture (new to me) posted by a friend whose son was a good friend of Josh. She emailed it to me right away.
This is so signature Josh - the cool dude doing something funny. I am guessing it was taken in 2005 when he was 13 years old and in 7th grade. When I look at this picture, I try and peer into his mind and heart. Was he aware of the impending doom? Certainly doesn't look like it. My mind wanders back to that busy time looking for signs.
He didn't like school and was struggling with motivation in some of his classes. Was this something I should've picked up on?
He had a hard time getting up at 6am, but who wouldn't especially if one didn't fall sleep until 11pm or midnight?
He was a quiet kid at home but still engaged - piping in with funny comments at just the right time - making us laugh.
He excelled in athletics (football and lacrosse), which filled him with confidence and satisfaction. We attended every game to cheer him on.
I remember him being somewhat of a homebody. He would just as soon chill at home with us and the dogs as be with friends. I contrast this with my girls who HAD to be with friends 24/7.
Definitely into video games and very good.
In short, Josh completed our family. He and his older brother book-ended the girls. His easy going nature complemented the frenzy of a large, busy family. I still remember his periodic strong admonishments: "Chill Mom!"
This is an emotional post to write - bringing up memories of a happier time. Who knew that in four short years, his death would kill our family? Strong words, I know, but true. When a child dies, the grief is much more than the loss of the loved one. A part of me also died as well as the family that we were at the time. Nothing is the same and can ever be.
So it is loss upon loss upon loss. And grief upon grief upon grief.
And a suicide death complicates this even more.
So now, after 5+ years, while the pain, sorrow and anguish is not front and center like it was at the beginning, when it does pop up as while writing this post, it is still indescribable and inexpressible.