Life has turned inward, selfishness of time and of emotion mostly.  Putting ourselves on top and in front of the line at the aghast of some, while others simply say it is about time.  Picking and choosing what is important to tackle each day, looking above while things fall to the floor.  We work, we go to school, we do our laundry, eat dinner, and take out the trash like anyone else…but we do each task with a different heaviness and with a different step.
We asked that each person we know light a candle for our son last night, and to also take check on who is in their lives…..who is struggling, contemplating suicide, feeling hopeless, wanting an end.  There are people that can be saved, there are people that we can make a difference for.  Unfortunately we could not in our son’s death.  There were no signs to make us even suspect that this would happen.  On April 4th he was himself, loving and smiling all day.  On April 5th, he took his life.
We lit the candles, we said our hope for the future.  He lives in us, each one of us can feel his presence.  So today, we continue to grieve for our lost family member and carry our loads the best we can.  Chris, Grant, Sarah, Tracey and I are all committed to surviving this and living our lives the best we know how.
Without the bar, since we sold it, it has helped.  We have been able to rest, and spend time together away from working.  We are happy with the offer we accepted and excited that young people have taken it on and made improvements to take it to the next level.  It was time for it and we could not invest the time needed or the energy.  We look forward to being customers there soon.  Our lives are definitely different and we are different people because of it.
We cannot wrap this all up in a neat little package and move on from it.  As many of you know, grief takes over when you least expect it.  Just like depression, addiction, etc…. It has triggers like anything else.  We as a family, the 5 of us, can only say that we were extremely unexperienced with death and grieving.  This has been a year full of a rollercoaster of emotions and actions.  We have lost friends because of it and we have found things within ourselves that we did not know was there…good and bad.  But, at the end of the day, we have become increasingly true to ourselves and become each others protectors.  We leave behind people that find us weak and not having our shit together.  The 5 of us will be fine, we have each other.
For me, doing some things are getting easier.  I am finding strength inside myself and talking myself through things I have been scared of for the last year.  I am healing and chipping away at a new path to take.  I am tagging this as the reinvention of myself, I guess.  What else can you do.
Our Ceremony:
As we light these four candles in honor of you, Fred, we light one for our grief, one for our courage, one for our memories, and one for our love. What a happy day in heaven it must have been when you joined God, and all those whose lives you touched that made the journey before you.
The first candle represents our grief ~ the pain of losing you is intense. It reminds us of the depth of our love for you.
The second candle represents our courage ~ to confront our sorrow, to comfort each other, to change our lives.
The third candle is lighted in your memory ~ the times we laughed, the times we cried, the times we were angry with each other, the silly things you did, the caring and joy you gave us. It is a privilege to have known you, to have loved you.  You touched each one of our lives in so many special ways.
The fourth candle is the light of love ~ as we go on with this life without you, day by day we cherish the special place in our hearts that will always be reserved for you. We thank you for the gift your living brought to each of us. We thank the Lord for your life, We have been very blessed with the gift of you Fred, We love you.