Sunday, December 11, 2016


This year, Mark and I attended a candle lighting ceremony in your honor. All over the world, since 1997, at 7pm local time, the Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting is designed to unite families and friends around the world to honor the memory of their lost children. We remembered you tonight Joshua. I was doing fine, and looking forward to attending until we walked in, and I saw all of the other people who have a dead child. It seemed like a horrible thing to "celebrate", although that is not the spirit of the event. I started to cry as I gave your name, date of birth and date of death so they could print your name for your luminary. It is just so unspeakable to say the words, "Date of Death" for a 22-year old! As I walked forward to the front of the church to place your luminary, I felt like screaming out to the crowd how wrong and unnatural this was. I envisioned myself running back up the aisle and leaving with a loud slam of the doors. But instead, I walked quietly to my seat and sat with Mark while we waited for the ceremony to begin. They said your name. We lit our candles for you, and your dad and mom Kim did the same in Michigan at 7pm their time. We will do this for you every year, and I do not expect it to get much easier. I love you Joshua.

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