Cole, Alex, & Anna Grace

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Saying Goodbye

You know when all 3 cell phones in the house are ringing at 1:00 in the morning that something horrible has happened.  In the middle of the hustle and bustle and excitement of the beginning of the new school year, we learned that our sweet 17 year old nephew had tragically taken his own life.  Jeremy was a very troubled teenager and lost his will to live.  Even though he had been having difficulties, it was still a shock to us all.  Jeremy had such a sweet soul and just about every memory that I have of him involves him playing with or holding one of his little cousins.  He loved little kids and even though he struggled so much, he had such a gentleness about him. 

The funeral for Jeremy was yesterday and his 18th birthday was today.  We knew that it would be yet another terrible day for the family.  However, one of Jeremy's friends came up with the idea to gather friends and family together at the grave site to release balloons  (Cole and Alex were both worried about the effect that releasing balloon would have on the environment but I assured them that this one time it would be ok and we would do extra recycling to make up for it :-) ) 

Mike's brother who was grief striken just a day earlier found a renewed energy and a purpose to keep him busy. He brought banners and huge tanks of helium and one of the teenagers brought a birthday cake.

 It was an amazing sight to see people coming from all corners of the graveyard towards Jeremy's grave with arms lifted high carrying balloons.

 Family, friends, and people from all over the community gathered and wrote messages on the balloons.  We celebrated Jeremy's life, and finally, we all sang "Happy Birthday" to sweet Jeremy and released the balloons into the air. 

Please pray for our family during the coming days and weeks- especially for Jeremy's parents and sister who have a very difficult road ahead of them as they have to learn to live without Jeremy in their lives.  Please pray for God to give us the right words when Cole and Alex ask questions about their cousin's death.  This is the first time that they have dealt with the death of a family member.  We just hope that something good can come from this tragedy.  God is amazing and we pray that He will use Jeremy's story to reach others.