Remembering Joey

joey4

Four years ago today we lost my nephew Joey. His death was sudden and unexpected, having been healthy and having just celebrated his 24th birthday one week prior.

joeysmile

I’ll always remember Joey as an exuberant young man. When he loved someone or something, he loved them completely and enthusiastically. Growing up, he had faced his own challenges but that never stopped him from wanting to help others.

joeywithkaty

I am saddened not just because we all miss him so much but because I feel the world is missing his presence as well. At the time of his death he had just really come into his own, “found himself” if you will. His faith and connection with God had deepened and his focus had clarified and he really seemed to know where he wanted to go and what he wanted to do with his life. And what he wanted to do was just so typically Joey. He wanted to help people. He wanted to make the world a better place.

joeyatpapaswedding

Although I am still deeply saddened by his loss, I recall his funeral and believe it or not, there are things from that which make me smile. The church was packed to the point that it became standing room only – all those many many people who had been touched by Joey’s presence in their lives. And then they came forward, the people wanting to express their sympathies. Each one of them had a story about Joey – a story about the love they had felt from him, about how he had helped them in one way or another, be it by act or by example.

dadandjoey

It’s thinking back on this and on the time I got to spend with Joey when he was here on earth that I realize…he may not be here physically with us anymore, but his presence will always be felt by those who knew him.

Remember Me

Remember Me

Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.

Remember me when no more day by day
You tell me of our future that you planned
Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.

Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.

Christina Rossetti (1830-1896)

Don’t Stand at my Grave and Weep: For Heather and Darryl

For Heather and Darryl:  Heather I hope you find these words comforting. 
I have always found them to speak to my heart and remind me that my loved ones are still with me, all around me.  It is in this spirit that I pass these words along to you.
Cyn

DO NOT STAND AT MY
GRAVE AND WEEP
 
Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glint on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you wake in the morning hush,
I am the swift, uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starlight at night.

Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there,  I do not sleep.
Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there,  I did not die!

Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there,  I do not sleep.

I am the song that will never end.
I am the love of family and friend.
I am the child who has come to rest
In the arms of the Father
who knows him best.

When you see the sunset fair,
I am the scented evening air.
I am the joy of a task well done.
I am the glow of the setting sun.

Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there, I do not sleep.
Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there, I did not die!
~ Author Unknown ~