Seeing the Good, Even through Loss

When I was young, I was told and I believed that “everything happens for a reason.”

That is bullshit. Things do not happen for a reason. We assign meaning to things to help make sense of them. And the truth is, there can be good that comes after pretty much everything. If you’re a silver linings kind of person.

I am. I am the ultimate optimist, guilty of always looking for and seeing the good in people.

My 8 year old son died on July 7, just weeks shy of the 9th birthday he was so excited for, after a 13 day illness that everyone thought he would walk away from.

But I’m looking for the good. Not the why- there is not any good reason in the universe for a sweet life to be cut short. But there are and will be good things to notice.

The outpouring of love and support (we knew it was there, but it was powerful nonetheless.)

The media focusing on the important facts- Josh was amazing, he should be remembered.

Joshua’sĀ friends and school-mates and other children in the community taking action to show support and help fund causes he cared about.

Friends, family and strangers reaching out and speaking from their hearts, even when it goes against their personality to get so personal.

And most importantly- the parents who hear Joshua’s story. They are slowing down, taking more time with their children, loving them just as they are in that moment, breathing them in and appreciating them.

There is no good reason for Joshua to be gone. But there is good all around us.

Photo credit: Jonathan Kaye

Photo credit: Jonathan Kaye

Being Josh’s Mom

My 8 year old son died on July 7, after a 13 day battle with E. coli. This post is adapted from what I read at the celebration of life event we shared with family and friends.

In my most enlightened mommy moments, I tried to remember that we do not own our children- we are entrusted with their care for as long as they are with us.

We thought we would have Joshy longer than this.

Joshy at one of his favorite places.

Joshy at one of his favorite places.

Josh was so social, he so easily made friends and related to people, but would often want to just be on his own, introspective, focused on his own thoughts and experiences.
I would often have to force him, drag him out to do things, but once he left the comfort of his cave, he embraced experiences. He lived with full force. Laughing and discovering- I couldn’t help but laugh and get lost with him, sometimes wanting to pause and put off everyone and everything else to see things through his eyes for just one more minute.

I was often in fight mode- pushing Josh to do things according to our guidelines (brushing teeth, going to bed, getting assignments done on someone else’s time line.) Pushing myself and others to see things from Josh’s perspective. Forcing myself to put down my lists and set aside my silly timelines. Finding ways for a child to do the things he loved and cared about. I don’t know how to not fight for my son now that he is gone. I don’t know how to accept it.

But I will honor him. This little boy, so wild and wise. So fearless and now free.

Joshua cared so much about fairness. He had such clear cut ideas about right and wrong and was moved to help whenever he thought he could. So, we will continue on that path for him. He loved to choose goats and ducks and sheep from the Heifer catalog for holidays and special occasions. He loved to know what IFAW was doing around the world and helped raise money for local efforts. He cared about dogs and cats who needed homes and homeless babies and children who needed comfort, clothes or food. He knew how to be a friend and never had a harsh word or judgment for anyone (save his sisters) and he loved to learn about other cultures and traditions.

We will remember and honor what our little boy stood for.

 

For more information about Joshua and the Joshua Kaye Foundation, visit https://www.facebook.com/JoshuaKayeFoundation