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Friday, May 20, 2016

I'll be missing you...part 3

I've been putting off this blog post because I'm not really sure how to write it. How can I end this story? The story isn't over.
Last week, I woke up crying. Apparently my sense of humor is ok, so the title refers to that Biggie tribute by Puff Daddy/Diddy.
Awesome t shirt from the GW that perfectly fits the emotions expressed in this post.
 I'm guessing this is one of those things that is really hard, then gets a little better, then gets a little worse.The first days of a tragic event are filled with the grieving process and all the tears and emotions that take over. You get together with loved ones and share your sorrow. On the Friday night after Jesse died, some of his classmates put together a candlelight vigil in the park.
I snagged this caption from one of the teens' Facebooks.
About a hundred people attended. I was able to talk to Jesse's best friend, whom I hadn't seen since he was a little boy. In the photo, you see a camera person from the local news who covered the story. What's interesting is that the woman from the TV station that we talked to actually remembered Jesse from an event that happened years before.
Link to a news story, sorry.
Yeah, I don't know how to save and embed a video from a news site. It's the story of a two middle school boys who snared a mysterious reptile. The smaller boy was Jesse. I remember how I proudly shared it on my Facebook when the story aired. It was so surreal seeing that footage again.
In the days after Jesse's death I realized that grief comes in layers. As I walked with Chris through a Goodwill on our way to get burgers, I was suddenly overcome with sadness not for myself, but for my aunt Jen. How can she go on? How horribly unjust and awful it is to receive the gift of a child like him...then lose it. I sobbed as we waited for our takeout from Five Guys.
I'm not a "fate and destiny" person and feel like life is a roll of the dice, and it's the arbitrary nature of this event that makes me angry. Out of all the people in the world, why him? Why would we have to lose someone who is so special? 
Climbing an apple tree with his bff.
Another layer of sadness surfaced while I was standing in line at Market Basket (regional grocery chain). I looked over and saw a little boy with bright blonde hair playing at the next checkout line. For half a nanosecond, I thought I was seeing Jesse. From the back, this child looked just like him. Then you remind yourself: That's not your cousin (and if it was, he wouldn't be 7 years old, duh) and it never will be him. You will never bump into him at the store, and you'll never see him again for as long as you live.
Later on, I became incredibly depressed because a couple weeks had gone by and he was still dead. He will always be dead.
That's the thought that gave me nightmares. Last weekend, Chris woke me up asking "are you ok?" I was tearing up in my sleep. I dreamed that it was Christmas and I was at my parents' dinner table as they set out plates. Our Christmas thing is easy-to-make lasagna and the pan had just come out of the oven as we awaited the arrival of Jen and her family. Minus one. The dream me started begging my parents to stop, that I didn't want this event without Jesse. I didn't want to see my aunt, uncle, and cousin without Jesse. I am dreading the holidays.
But the holidays will come and the world will go on. Our family will grow older, but we'll have to go all these years without him. He will stay forever 17 and forever leave a gaping void in our hearts.
With one of his beloved nephews.
Now is not a good time to say that everything happens for a reason because as said previously, that's not my belief. If there's anything to be gained from this, it's the lives of those he helped save.
Since he was a little boy, Jesse loved cars. He was so happy when he got his license last winter. My mom remembers what he told her.
While excitedly showing her his license, he said, "Look, I'm an organ donor!" My mom said that he was so proud of that. He had no idea how soon he'd be donating.
 Jesse's stepsister took a picture of the certificate the family received. Eight people were helped.
His service will finally be held tomorrow, but the grieving will not stop there and I'll probably be hurt for a while.
That's all for now. 

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