God needs young angels, too.

21 05 2010

I’ve spent the past evening and morning reading about and reaching out in support to the mother of a child at my girls’ school.  The woman’s son accidentally was killed earlier this week.  He was only fifteen years old.  The details of the how aren’t yet incredibly clear and the kids have heard fifty different stories of what ‘really’ happened.  The only parts we do know for certain are that Cody located a revolver and it accidentally fired, shooting him in the head.  His mother heard the shot and found him, the ambulance took him to one hospital and then later transported him to another, where he later died. I sit here motionless, trying to think of what to say to his mother.  I didn’t know her and the girls only knew her son in passing, but yet I feel compelled to write.  I feel drawn to say something to her that may express the sorrow I feel for her suffering and perhaps in some manner comfort her in knowing that she has people in her world that care, even people who don’t know her.

Even with all the people I’ve lost in my life, I count myself fortunate:  I still have my children.  And the most I can ask for is that they outlive me.  I cannot even attempt to empathize with Colleen, the boy’s mother.  Each moment that I try to think how I would react if I were in her shoes, I break down.  And yet this woman, struggling with this stunning loss, has a strength I envy.  She has offered herself and her time to the children who were friends with her son, taking the time to envelop them with her compassion for them as they struggle through their emotions.  What an amazing person she must be to put herself last at this moment and care so for the others around her.  Even taking the time to respond to the futile attempt by this mother to articulate sympathy – I am at a loss for words.

She shared with me that she’s learned a lot in the past few days about her son that she hadn’t known before, despite her openness and closeness with him and she wrote to me “Please don’t be afraid to be nosey with your children.”  But as I replied, our loved ones protect us from the flaws in their lives.  I think it is a measure of their true love for us when they shield us from the truths that they don’t want us to know.  Yes, reach out and learn, but don’t be pained by what you learn that they didn’t share on their own.  I don’t know what she has learned about her son, I didn’t ask and I don’t want to know.  What I do know is that he must have been a beautiful son.  The way the other children at the school have reached out to share their experiences as his friend and the suffering they feel at his loss, it tells me he was so special in their lives.  Even my children, who barely knew him, have had only positive stories to share about this boy.

What a tragedy, for someone so loved to leave this world so young, with so much more left to give.  But I remember back to my eighth grade year, when a handsome young fourteen year old classmate of mine died in his sleep and the pain of his absence.  I went and found my yearbook and noted the date of Toby’s passing, it was May 2, 1990.  It’s been almost twenty years and yet I can still remember the sadness I felt in not seeing him in the one class we shared.  It was just an empty desk for the rest of the year.  In going through the newspaper clippings, yellowed and aged, I found a poem that another classmate had written about Toby and I think it is suitable to use to express this tragic death as well:

You left us without a last good-bye;

It seems like now, we can only cry.

You are one of a kind, my gentle boy.

You gave us love and endless joy.

We are left with the question:

What will we do?

But we must remember,

God needs young angels, too.

A day has yet to dawn,

To make us realize you are really gone.

Sleep well.

(by Jessie Orlowski)

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5 responses

29 07 2010
Tim15902

do u have a twitter

2 08 2010
protogere

No, I do not and I cannot fathom that I ever shall.

6 08 2010
bryan

i was good friends with cody he was an amazing person and he made a huge impact in the lives of many ppl and i think the poem goes nicely i have another tht goes excellant with all his friends in school

We thought of you with love today, but that is nothing new.

We thought about you yesterday, and days before that too.

We think of you in the silence, we often speak ur name.

Now all we have is memories, and a picture in a frame.

Your memory is our keepsake, with which we will never part.

God has you in his keepings, we have u in our hearts.

<3

25 12 2010
Corleen Cooper

This is cody’s mother it is Christmas and I found this looking for anything about Cody. My heart is still broken. My life is forever changed and there are days I wish I could just be with my son. I have two other children that have kept me focused on life. I feel for any parent that is having a lose like this today in their life and I hope they to can move forward. I am still extermely thankful to the people that helped us with everything and am also grateful to the all of the wonderful teachers at Oak Hammock Middle school who let me know how good my son was. Thank you everyone.

17 05 2011
Khalee snider

It is late and i oculdt sleep relizing that on weds would make it one year since cody was gone. i was too a friend on codys in fact my sister and him were close friends we hung out when y’all lived in bucking ham and we all miss him so much we wish he was still here so much he is in everyones hearts to stay he was a good person i regret ever ignoring him when i was mad at him just makes me relize if only i hadsaid more.

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