I have been wanting to write, to give some sort of tribute to Josh and his life, spout some eloquence about how beautiful the services were and somehow wax poetic about the fact that he is gone. Eloquence escapes me.The flowers in and of themselves were beautiful. The weather was beautiful. The church filled with people dressed up in their finery-yes, beautiful. It was all beautiful save for the fact that we were all there to mourn the loss of a twenty year old man.
There is nothing beautiful about watching his father walk into the church to sit in front of the casket of his only son, knowing that the last words he said to him-no matter what they were-would never be enough. Nothing beautiful, either, about knowing that every photo, every song, every flower was chosen knowing it would be his last gift to his child. I watched him, the stunned disbelief in his eyes as he walked into the room, and my heart ached;while I was crying for his pain, I was thanking God that it wasn’t me, and there is nothing beautiful in that.
No beauty either in a room packed full of people whose lives he touched, 350 people there to honor his life. Of course it is a tribute that he had such an impact on people, but at the same time there are all of those people who no longer have him in their lives, however peripheral a part he might have played. He was loved, and it is ugly that he is no longer here to love and be loved. The life sketch was full of memories of this man who only had 20 years here but lived a lot in those 20 years-because it was a reminder of how many more years there should have been. One of his aunts talked about Hannah and Aubry and there is nothing beautiful in the missed opportunities, the fact that there wasn’t time for them to resolve their differences and find love and peace again.
I did not find beauty at the gravesite, where Hannah saw Josh’s family for the first time since the breakup and his father couldn’t even say anything, could only hold onto her and cry. It isn’t beautiful because it should never have been this way; kindness and tolerance should have played a part from the beginning, not now when it is too late. Again, not enough time. There was nothing beautiful in watching my daughter stroke a casket that held nothing but fragments of the person she loved and having to pull her away and tell her she had to say goodbye.
In time all of this WILL seem beautiful; there will be a time when we can all realize that this was the beginning of healing, for all of us. For now, this moment, we grieve. I can only leave you this: the video above is one of the songs his father chose for the video montage, one that included a precious photo of Josh and Aubry.The photo below is the last one I took of the three of them. I have no more words.