In November of 2011 we said goodbye to an amazing young man named Matthew.
Matthew with dad at Naval Ships at Waterfront park, June 2006
This May, he would have turned 19 years old.
This would have been the last time Matthew and youngest saw each other, June 2010
Our daughters still speak to us about him, less than a week ago I heard this from our 4 year old from the back of the car.
S: Momma, I miss Matthew.
M: We all do, babe.
S: But I promise I won’t talk to S about him because I know it makes her sad. But I know I can talk to you and Daddy. He died. He crashed his car and he bumped his head sooo hard that they took him to the hospital but he died. I won’t talk to S about it because I don’t want to make her sad. But I will talk to you and Daddy anytime I want.
M: Wow, you really got all that.
S: I miss Matthew. Do you miss Matthew, mom?
M: Daily, miss.
This is the age that Miss S (Green Dress) was when Matthew came to live with us in 2009. He stayed only 6 months and returned to Wyoming because of a beautiful young lady. We said goodbye to him unexpectedly on November 11, 2011.
Most of this, these conversations are kept private, so it is strange to be putting this out here is not usual in our processing, but this week we lost another young man. We did not know Alex, but he was 17, he was also well-loved and known among his peers. S, Matthew’s sister is seeing much of the same that she saw when her brother died in the students and at school.
“Are you going to Alex’s vigil?” the question comes. We are really, really inexperienced at dealing with death, I want to answer. I would prefer to hide in my house, I think. I wonder, can I be a good thing at this vigil for this young man I never met, but was known to my students? Alex.
Conversation with husband later, I realize, yes. I can go. Thank you God for Jeff. I can go and we can go together. And we can bring the kids. And S can come if she likes.
Think I may have learned something new today.