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He would have turned 19 this year.

Nothing ever prepares you for something like this. You read the books, you watch the movies, perhaps you’ve even gone through it once. But when it happens, you reel.

And then you go about the rest of your life, doing the things that you need to do. You get back to your work, as if nothing has happened. The world carries on as if nothing has happened. But in the silence, in the nostalgia, in the presence of his loved ones, it all hits you again.

After Good Friday, we talk about Easter. We talk about the Resurrection of the Body and the Life Everlasting. But we don’t talk about the two long days in between. We don’t talk about the vigil and the darkness. We don’t talk about Mary’s tears.

Because a mother cried last night. She cried so hard and so heartbreakingly that I’m amazed that she could say what she did. That her heart still had space left for gratitude and for appreciation. She thanked us. I wonder whether we deserve it.

Dear Jon, you were a fighter. You fought against your eczema, you fought for a sense of belonging, you fought for your identity. At times you lost, at times you won. But let no one doubt that you fought valiantly and tenaciously.

Dear Jon, some say that you found your place in LoG. Some even say that you’ve had a foretaste of heaven through us. I think back on the times you were with us – your initial joy after finding us, your parents’ deep gratitude, how you tried so hard to be present and to be a part of us, the times when you poured yourself out to us – and I wonder if we really did provide that place for you.

Dear Jon, I don’t know whether you ever found your place in this world. But I trust, I pray, I hope – that you have found your place in the next.

Dated this 19th January 2013.



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