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.


13 thoughts on “Goodbyes

  1. I am so sorry. My heart cries for all of you, especially Hannah. My SIL told me recently how hard it is for her to see her mother mentally ill, that it’s like the death of an idea although the physical presence remains. I’ve been thinking about that a lot with Mark’s issues, and I think I understand what she means. It’s so much harder to lose the possibilities than the realities, and losing them is hard enough. Hannah has lost both. I wish I could give you both a big hug.

  2. My deepest condolences, and your words were just fine. I can’t even imagine the pain. At times like this, life does not seem to make sense and again I am terribly sorry for the loss. Take care.

  3. This post you just wrote is a tribute. It made me feel the heartbreak you and Hannah and Josh’s dad are feeling – and you are right, there is nothing beautiful about that.

  4. This is MY cousin and i love him so much!!!! Hannah’s Mother has no right to be such a bitch about him and yes i have seen everything she wrote bad about him!!!! Nothing can change the fact that he’s dead and gone home. We Will All Miss him And none more than that. In a way i feel bad for Hannah But not really. If she hadn’t of been a slut in the first place and expected everything from the start then she wouldn’t have been in this situation.

    • Hi there. Just wanted to let you know that I AM Hannah’s mother. I do not know you and personally do not care whether you think I am a bitch or not; any words I have ever written about my children, Josh, my family, my LIFE, are my feelings and perceptions at that particular point in time. I will not apologize for them, nor should anyone expect me to. I loved Josh like he was one of my own, having known him for years prior to he and Hannah being together or breaking up. That did not change regardless of whether he was with my daughter or not. However, just like I am well aware of the faults of my children, I was aware of the faults that Josh had as well. Sorry, dying young and senselessly and very tragically does not turn Josh or ANYONE into a saint. You clearly have NO idea what happened between them, nor are you aware that Josh made mistakes and poor choices just like Hannah did, just like EVERYONE DOES. I am sorry you are grieving, and I wish there was some way I could help you feel better, but calling my daughter a slut when you have no clue what was going on is absolutely uncalled for. Whether you or anyone else in his family or the world likes it or can accept it or even cares, Hannah is allowed to grieve for Josh just like everyone else is. We all are. I will pray for you and your family to find comfort and peace, and for you personally to be able to let go of the need to be angry and blame Hannah for something that was clearly out of her control, just like it was out of anyone’s control. I also pray that you can stop and think before saying words that are deliberately hurtful and are of no use to anyone. Not sure what your purpose was in coming here and saying such hateful things, but just know I forgive you and understand that you are grieving too.

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