On April 28, 2017, our youngest son Carson, aged 11, passed away after hanging himself from a bedroom loft that Jason built him two Christmas’ prior. We were completely blindsided and didn’t have a clue as to why this was happening to our family or what we were supposed to do. As a couple in our mid-forties with three boys in 6th, 8th and 9th grade, we hadn’t chosen our own plots for burial much less made plans for where our children were to be buried.
Parents aren’t supposed to have to do that or so many other things that we encountered in the first few days of this devastating journey. We were forced to put one foot in front of the other from the very beginning. Even though we felt like there was no way we could do it, every day since Carson’s death we have been able to look back and see that we are moving forward-one step at a time.
As you begin your own journey, you also will put one foot in front of the other. Some days it may just be half a step or even a sidestep, but it is a step. And that small step signifies that you are making progress towards healing. We don’t know how long this journey lasts or if it ever ends as we are still on it ourselves. Our hope though is that we can take those small steps along side you through those first few days and, together, continue to move forward.
As we talked days after the funeral we realized how lucky we were to have our Village form around us and wondered if there were other supports out there for others in our situation that may not have access to as many friends, family, and community members as we had. So as everyone does in this day and age, Jason Googled it. In his limited research, he was unable to find a non-profit organization that helped families in times of need like this.
There were shades of help here and there, but not an advocate that would walk hand-in-hand with the family through the entire process. There were lots of services to help families after the funeral, but none (that we could find) that would offer free services to help families from the passing to the funeral.
Then an idea was born. We could do that for families in their time of need. And just like that, Carson’s Village was born.
If we can help families through the most difficult time in their life with the lessons that we learned with Carson’s death, then his passing will not have been in vain. His spirit will live on.
A joke that we told the boys when they were kids was… Why is 6 scared of 7? Because 7 ate 9 (789)…even as kids, the boys would roll their eyes when Jason told that joke. But that was the inspiration for the first part of our number 877-789-0722. The 0722 is Carson’s birthday (July 22, 2005).
We hope that we can bring a little bit of light into a process that is very dark. Please let us know if there is a family out there that we can help. It would be an honor for Carson’s Village to help them.
-April and Jason
The Village of Caring
Beneath the sky, a village twinkled,
warm with cozy light, surrounding those within its care
when daytime turned to night.
The tender souls and helping hands
that lived inside this place
were there for one another
when this life got hard to face.
They wanted peace for those in need,
they hoped for comfort, too,
and all the goodness in the world
to guide and pull them through.
But most of all, they wished for just this one truth be known....
that every hurting heart they loved would never be alone.