This is the way I’ll remember my cousin, Josh Wilson. This was to be the last time I saw Josh (August 2017) when I’d went home for a Memorial service for my mom.
I love this picture of my kids (from way back) with our cousin, Josh Wilson:
Before I left town, the last evening of my visit of August 2017, Josh came up to his brother’s house and Staci snapped a picture:
Our mothers were sisters. Greg was 6 months younger than me and Josh was 6 weeks younger than my son.
Mom always told me that the day her sister called her to tell her she was pregnant (for Josh) was one of the most shocking phone calls she’d ever received!
You see, I’d just told my mom that I was pregnant (again–for my son), and mom couldn’t believe she was going to be a grandmother again AND an aunt again, all within a matter of a few weeks! (Her sister was over 40 at the time and Josh was to be her 5th child.)
My aunt Alberdia and my uncle Bob loved being parents again.
In many ways, uncle Bob was a better dad to Josh, even than he’d been to Greg (purely my observation). Children are all different, so it’s hard to say why, and also, as a parent myself I know we grow and change and desire to “do things differently” as time goes on. (I certainly feel I’m a better grandmother than I was a mother–of course, they don’t live with me!)
In those early days, we visited often. We all lived about 20 miles apart, but when we could, we would go to church together and share a meal at Alberdia and Bob’s home after church.
Dad always had a soft spot in his heart for Josh since my dad was close to Josh’s dad, my uncle Bob. And uncle Bob died when Josh was only 7 years of age.
My dad used to take my son and Josh hunting and camping when the boys were young (many times), where my dad grew up near Sutton WV.
I don’t have any pictures from those hunting trips, but I’d say it was probably when Josh was about 7 until his was a teenager. (I’d be guessing at that though.)
Since I moved to Florida when I was 22, my children and Josh only got to see each other when we would go back to WV on vacation (typically centered around weddings, funerals, or in later years, my high school reunions).
Here’s a picture of Josh at his one of his sisters’ wedding shortly after their dad’s passing:
My ex-husband and I had driven us from Florida to WV (with my children) to attend the wedding and like most things, my ex spoiled most of the event for me. Ugh! So, I don’t have many pictures from that trip and what I do have are pictures of Josh’s sister and her husband (as one might also expect from a wedding).
Not every trip home allowed us all to see each other either, because of work schedules, and the like (which suck) and people really need to consider—take a day off work or school etc. when you have family in town!
Another trip back home, I got to see Josh for about a minute and meet his new nephew (from the sister whom we’d attended her wedding years before). I was thrilled to meet him and to see the love Josh had for him.
I am also thankful that on one of my later trips back home, my husband of nearly 20 years, Richard, got to meet my aunt Alberdia and Josh. We sat and listened as Josh told us all of the hometown news that had been going on, new companies, additions onto the college that was near to my aunts house, and so forth. He was very industrious and had been in landscaping with his brother-in-law for years. Josh loved being outdoors!
As often happens in life, we had drifted apart… though the love remained. We chatted after Greg’s passing and at one point he had considered moving to Florida. I had always thought he’d become a shaman. He really had a gift with people!
Thus, I never thought I’d be writing this or posting a memorial for Josh, especially a few months after writing one for Greg!!! (Link to my post about Greg.)
It isn’t right!!!
I know Life isn’t fair, but no one deserves to be chased and gunned down while driving away in your car!!!
As I wrote a few days ago, the way in which my cousin was murdered has had me upset and going through the stages of grief for days (even believing as I do and practicing what I preach).
It’s hard to make sense of something so senseless!!!
Every time we learn more of the story, my emotions spin again. Ugh!
All I can do is think about the good times and send love and support to our family.
Tragedy has a way of finding us no matter who we are, how enlightened we are, or where we are. I have put myself in dire straits in years past and experienced close calls (like when my ex-husband fired a gun in my direction)! I understand “wrong place, wrong time.” I understand “mistaken identity.” I know we may never know every nuance surrounding Josh’s murder.
I get sad. I cry. I get mad and angry. I am thankful a suspect was quickly apprehended. But mostly I am bewildered. I will probably always have more questions than answers because only Omniscience God can see ALL perspectives and intentions of the players in this cruel tragedy.
If I can raise my consciousness to see the scene from a higher place, I believe there’s a reason… but at this time, I am a limited human being unable to muster my highest and best. But I will remain open to receive. I am open to accept prayers, healing, love, and peace—even in the midst of the confounding mystery. Life is mysterious–even unfathomable at times (like during this emotionally disturbing time), yet worth living.
It could go without saying, but since someone might be wondering… I refuse to get caught up in the “hate” aspect of this or in the gun debate. People who lose their senses do hateful things. And at the extreme end of that spectrum they hurt people. As the saying goes, “Hurt people, hurt people.” One day I hope to release the anger I feel today. I know I will. But right now, it’s all still too raw.
I send love and hugs to our family who are mourning this senseless tragedy—see links to news articles and video:
And if you find it in your heart to help Josh’s wife and children, there is a GoFundMe account, as well as other immediate methods of sending support:
As is my daily Gratitude F-L-O-W practice that I teach to those in Integrated Spiral, I blow a kiss to Joshua (whom I believe is also in the Grand Beyond). Previous post: https://sheilamurrey.net/2022/07/13/observing-grief-comes-in-waves/
I believe we’ll ALL see each other again one day.
Amen. Namaste. OM