On November 8, 2005, my family’s world changed forever. Just before five o’clock that evening I received a call from my husband telling me that his 21-year-old brother, Johnny, had been killed in an accident at work. I thought back over all the memories I had of the little boy I had watched grow into the finest man I had ever known. I could not imagine what all of our lives would be like without him. The sorrow I experienced at that moment was deeper than I can explain.
The family spent the next several hours together and my husband and I returned home very late. Our house seemed so strange. As my husband and I lay in bed, I could sense what seemed like one hundred quiet people standing in our home. I felt as though the spirits of all the people we had loved were gathered in our home to comfort us during this horrible time. I have never felt anything like that and I will never forget it. That night I came to fully realize that we are never truly alone when we are suffering.
The next few days were gut-wrenching, but even with the pain there was comfort. Literally thousands of people came to the veiwing and the funeral. You see, Johnny was an ordained minister and had touched the lives of more people than I had ever imagined. It seemed that everyone he ever met had a “Johnny” story. It comforted my heart to see the impact he had made in his short life.
We travel often now with my husband’s familt visting different churches, but it is still very hard not having Johnny there. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t sense his presense. Whether he’s standing in the shadows at a church service or watching over my children as they play, I feel him with us.
Johnny will be there, along wth my other loved ones, to hold my hand when I cross over. But until then I find comfort in knowing that I will never be alone in my grief. Johnny will have his arm around my shoulders until that day he takes my hand.
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