The first year on Mothers Day, it was blurred pain. I couldn’t feel anything, my mind and body were numb to life. But, year 2, I realized the truth of my uninvited grief journey; Joe was not coming back. Now, year 3 is here. Mothers Day with my beautiful daughters and grandbabies is beyond the glory of joy, but we are still missing one person. My son, Joseph, and we all feel the absence of his life.
I pulled out his Mothers Day cards from years before, I read and reread each one. As much as it shatters…
I am thankful for my eyes; I can still see your beautiful smile when I rise every morning.
I am thankful for my voice; I will forever say your name, Joseph Anthony Suarez.
I am thankful for your two younger sisters; together, we hold each other up with a purpose.
I am thankful for my beating heart; I can still feel your heart beating simultaneously with mine.
I am thankful for my mind; I can still remember all the beautiful and happy moments we shared.
I am thankful to God; He gave you life and blessed me as your mother for 27 glorious years.
The day was June 4, 2018, and I woke up at 3:00 a.m nauseous in my stomach. The day was about to start, and my biggest fear would be attached to my entire day. Anxiety and uncertainty brought a level of stress I had never experienced before; my son had died, and I was to attend his funeral service standing strong. All I wanted was to stay in bed and sleep, to shut off the world and not think until the next day, or next week, or next month, or next year.
Joseph’s Celebration of Life was scheduled…
As time progresses, nearly every other tangible evidence that Joe existed is being worn away.
Yes, there are photographs but even they are growing old while he is not. There are no longer fresh adventures captured on the phone. No new Facebook, Instagram or Twitter posts. No new anything.
And as he becomes less relevant to other people’s lives, the gap between my experience and their’s grows ever larger. Because he is just as relevant to my life as he ever was.
His absence grows larger. Every. single. day.
And sometimes, when it seems the world has forgotten…
The first night without Joe was beyond anything I could ever comprehend. Nothing made sense anymore. Life had no purpose without my son. Joe was my center. What am I suppose to do now? How do I keep on living without one of my children, my only son?
I was furious with everybody, even God. My sister told me I woke up from a deep sleep screaming and sobbing the first several nights; I repeatedly said, “I should have never named him Joseph!” (My dad’s name was Joseph (Joe), and from the moment I was a little girl…
I don’t remember much of the first several days or weeks following Joe’s death. For 27 years, my son’s life existed valiantly, always full of exuberant love and joy for everyone and everything surrounding him. Time stood still in my world. The worst possible nightmare any parent could ever imagine happened to me; my only son suddenly died. Just like that, he was gone. No more hugs, kisses, laughter, love, conversations, every sound of Joe suddenly became silent. My heart was in so much pain; I felt like it stopped beating. Everything inside my soul shattered. …
After receiving that indescribable phone call about Joe, my husband and I somehow found our way to his parent’s house (honestly, we should not have been driving). I remember him asking me which direction was their house, which was only minutes from his job. But, on that particular day, we hadn’t a clue where to go or how to get there. Thirty minutes later, we finally arrived at their house. We had to tell our parents this horrific news; we didn’t know if they could handle what we were about to say; God knows we were hanging on…
I always knew there was something extraordinary and unique about our son, Joseph Anthony Suarez. He had a way of changing darkness into a beautiful bright light. He brought people together and made the world a better place. I always told my son, “one day, you’re going to accomplish greatness in life.” His heart was so big it could soften any heart. On many days, out of nowhere, at any given time, Joe would approach me and smile with his big brown eyes and radiant smile, wrap his strong, confident arms around me tightly, and kiss my forehead…
Our life changed in the blink of an eye on May 29, 2018, but this nightmare began on Monday, May 28, 2018. It was Memorial Day.
As I’m writing this, it feels like this moment happened only “yesterday.” I remember that day was an ordinary afternoon. I was lying down in my room next to my granddaughter, Ella. She’d been sick all day, suddenly vomiting and feverish while we were sitting in the coldest part of the house; Joe’s bedroom. Joe called and was on his way home, so I picked up her little two-year-old body and walked…
This is my story on LOSING JOE. I know millions of Mothers write about their son who died, but each of our stories is unique because each child is remarkable; a Mothers love amazing. My son was unique, and I would like to introduce him to each person who reads my story. My hope is my readers will come to know and love him too. His name is Joseph Anthony Suarez, and he was born on August 31, 1990, in Bakersfield, California.
Joe was our first-born and only son. His arrival into this world was just as spectacular…
I’m a mother of three children. I lost my firstborn child and only son in May, 2018. I started writing to honor his life and capture 27 years of love.