When Answers Don’t Come

Feb 21, 2009

Today is his 16th birthday. Or it would’ve been, except for this:

A year ago he took his own life.

Josh. A good, sweet boy. Soccer star. Friend to everyone. And lover of Jesus. Like trying to work a puzzle with missing pieces, his mom Cyndi is left behind with empty arms and endless questions. Why? WHY? Only that morning he’d asked for extra snuggle time, talked about seeing a movie with friends. What happened between 8 am and 3 pm to cause despair to steal his innocence and breath?

I rarely cry in public, but at Josh’s funeral I lost it. Heartbroken, I fumed with questions …

How could You let this happen, God?

Why didn’t You intervene, bring someone home just a few minutes earlier?

Hasn’t she dealt with enough heartache already? Where ARE you?

His soccer uniform, school pictures, and old photo albums sat silent on the table. The reality of life’s fragility sucked the air out of my lungs. And God’s silence on the matter too much.

Cyndi has rehearsed the events of that day and those leading up to it over and over again, trying to make the pieces fit, trying to connect with her son’s heart and thoughts on his last day of life. But it remains a mystery. Her grief runs deep, and not a day goes by she doesn’t wish for one more morning with a little extra snuggle time.

In the face of so many unanswered questions, however, Cyndi is anything but bitter. In the past year since Josh’s death, several other local parents have found themselves facing the loss of a child. And guess who’s been front and center leading the way? Holding hands, whispering words of God’s love, and allowing those who struggle to crawl broken and bleeding through the mire of suicide.

Cyndi, my friend, this post is for you. First, to acknowledge the rare and precious life of your little boy. Josh was–IS–a gift. And his life continues to leave its mark.

And second, THANK YOU for being one incredible woman. For daring to live in the face of death. For living so far beyond yourself every single day, hanging on to a loving God with two hands even when you don’t understand, and making sure every other mom with empty arms knows she’s not alone.

You are my hero. And I love you.

(If you or someone you know is dealing with the reality of suicide, please contact me. Both Cyndi and I are here to help.)


  1. Herb

    Great heart, great post. Not a person goes through life without asking those same questions. Thanks for putting them out there in the open so others are free to voice the questions they are thinking but might be afraid to acknowledge. Keep up the good work. – Herb

  2. Michele

    Thanks, guys. There are few people who inspire me like Cyndi does…so faithful even when nothing makes sense. Thanks for taking time to read her story. Means a lot to me.

  3. Rhonda

    Thanks, Michele, for honoring both Cyndi and Josh today. I agree with you, she is truly amazing and a real testament to to how God can use even the most painful of circumstances.

  4. alece


    and i can’t pick up and move on amid the broken pieces of MY life?!?!?

    cyndi sounds like an amazing woman.

  5. Heidi

    This is an incredible post. My son just lost his friend who was 15, he became a young missionary’s heart donor.

    We may not know what death is all about…

    But He does.

  6. Michele

    Alece, i love you girl. Broken or no. And sometimes there’s great beauty to be had in just hanging out in the broken pieces for a while.

    Heidi, thanks for pouring out a bit of Truth. The older I get the fewer answers I have. Glad to know Someone already has that covered. Your words are perfect. (I’m so sorry for your son’s friend’s family. Praying.)


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