Author Topic: Owen, our beloved mystery man  (Read 54876 times)

owensmom

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Re: Owen, our beloved mystery man
« Reply #60 on: January 01, 2008, 11:49:04 PM »
Dear Karen Paul and Dante's Dad...and any others reading here:

Thank you for your kind thoughts.  Today is the first day of 2008.  And, today is nothing more than Tuesday

Today's post at http://mysteryoriley.com is one I want to take into the New Year.  I want to send this message out to everyone who has lost a child, a brother, a sister, a niece, a nephew, a grandson, a granddaughter, a parent, a grandparent...a friend.  Our losses are not measured by their ascendency, or their degrees of separation.  They are measured by our intimacy with the one.  The one who has gone before us.

It's time for a cultural revolution.  The time has actually passed.  But, here we are.  Read on.  Cry when you cry.  Shake, quake, feel sick to your stomach, and allow concentration to go where it goes when our babies cross over before us.  Follow your memories in your dreams.  Follow in your conscious thoughts, as time and obligations allow.  But, go, when they call you.  Owen calls me often.

Happy New Year, and Happy Tuesday,
Love,
Linda
Owen's and Nat's Mom

Debh

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Re: Owen, our beloved mystery man
« Reply #61 on: January 02, 2008, 05:06:25 AM »
"Our losses are not measured by their ascendency, or their degrees of separation.  They are measured by our intimacy with the one. "

So true.

thinking of you and Owen

Love
Deb

owensmom

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Re: Owen, our beloved mystery man
« Reply #62 on: January 07, 2008, 10:30:46 PM »
Dear Karen Paul,

You wrote recently that a local family had lost track of their 21-year-old son.  It's less than two weeks later.  What do they know?  Have they found him?

These kids stay on my mind, and I grieve along with their parents.  The missing days are something no one can imagine.  Yes, I'm going to say it...as horrible as the death of a child is for us, a missing child is both more terrible and more hopeful. 

I hope and pray the outcome for your local family was good, and that the young man has returned safely to his family's arms.  I hope and pray that the missing days will not be repeated.  I hope and pray that everyone learned how much they love each other.

If my hopes and prayers have been answered with a great big, "NO, that's not how it turned out" then I hope and pray that the family is managing their way through each 24-hour day with a modicum of understanding...and that they know what happened to their beloved son. 

Please let me know.  I keep thinking about him, this nameless young man, in this nameless town.

I hope my message finds you having a Happy New Year, and that you are moving along your lifeline with landmarks of wondrous surprises and love.

Love,
Linda
Owen's mom

Karen Paul

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Re: Owen, our beloved mystery man
« Reply #63 on: January 08, 2008, 06:18:48 AM »
Linda - I wish I had better news but this young man has not been found yet - his name is Joshua "Josh" Szostak, he is 21 yrs old - he was caught on a surveillance tape leaving a local restaurant the evening he disappeared, but has not been seen since and the police seem to have exhausted most of the initial leads they received - the family has held a vigil (New Years eve) and has offered a reward for information - they have also been in contact with another local family who has been missing their daughter for 10 yrs with no answers - I cannot imagine that..

Thank you for your concern - I will certainly keep you posted on the case - and I'm praying for a good conclusion - but it sure sounds like something must have happened to him..

luv and hugs, Karen
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Brenda Taylors Mom

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Re: Owen, our beloved mystery man
« Reply #64 on: January 10, 2008, 01:15:36 AM »
(((((((((Linda Linda Linda))))))))) Nothing here but a huge hug and loving you sweetheart, I am sooo sorry omg soooo sorry
Love
Brenda

owensmom

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Re: Owen, our beloved mystery man
« Reply #65 on: January 11, 2008, 02:29:42 AM »
Dear Karen Paul,

As horrifying as it was the day the coroner's deputy and the local detective showed up at my doorstep to tell me Owen's body was found in the river, I cannot imagine the next deepest nightmare - that of not knowing if he was alive or dead. 

For Josh's family, I will pray in the only way I know how.  I will play music that might have meant something to a 21-year-old man in somewhere America, and light candles for his family - and continue to pray for his safe return to their home.  I believe in miracles, for we had one.  Someone found Owen's body in the Petaluma River, and that doesn't happen often.

If there is any way I can help, please feel free to give my profile information to Josh's family.  I have little in the way of tangible rescue assistance in a town of an undisclosed location, but I can share my experience, and my hope.  We did not give up hope of finding Owen, even after I could no longer feel his presence.  There was that glimmer...

The missing...there are so few avenues for help with finding young adults.  Law enforcement rarely takes their disappearances seriously, and this is a devastating flaw in our local agencies.  We expect more.  We shouldn't have to beg for help, yet we do, and we find the agencies lacking.  No one can imagine the desperation of knowing your kid is out there somewhere, and gaining no access to the advanced technology of our times.  I was fortunate to have enough money to rent a plane and pilot to help me survey the locations we thought might render some evidence of Owen's disappearance.  All to no avail, but there was a time when we feel that flight might have revealed something that could help us find Owen.  I'm sure Josh's family is feeling that same desperation, and, given Josh's age and gender, they are probably finding little help.

Please let me know if you find out anything.  I will keep Josh and his family in my prayers - no matter the outcome.

Love,
Linda
Owen's and Nat's mom
 

owensmom

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Re: Owen, our beloved mystery man
« Reply #66 on: January 11, 2008, 02:33:57 AM »
Brenda, 

Thank you for your thoughts.  I know you know.  I wish I could help ease your pain.  I can only offer you my thoughts and prayers for better days ahead - for days when your memories of your sweet son in your presence, are more prevalent than the memories of his loss.  He has such a sweet face, and I'm sure he brought you joy in ways only you can know.

Love,
Linda
Owen's and Nat's mom

owensmom

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Re: Owen, our beloved mystery man
« Reply #67 on: February 03, 2008, 08:41:01 PM »
Regarding the post by "brl" and the many replies:

We've had enough loss.  I hope the main board doesn't lose Lonnie as a moderator.  I think her heart was in the right place in sending brl to the child-loss board, as she thought we were people who could point this woman in a direction that might fit her needs.  I'm guessing that she never imagined people would react with such vehemence.  I thought some of the comments were, indeed, harsh.  For some reason, there seems to be an overall tone on that trail, that there is a "value" placed on the many different kinds of loss.  The only person who can do that, is the person experiencing the loss - of any kind.

I know losing Owen is the hardest thing I've ever experienced, but I hope it doesn't rob me of my ability to recognize and honor other types of loss, and to offer kindly my last bit of energy to another person in pain, no matter what type.  I have learned a lot through our family's many deaths - so many things I would rather not know.  I hope I have learned to listen, respond thoughtfully, and if I have any resources I think might be of help, then I hope I have the energy to send them along.  Some people responding to brl did just that, and others did the same but seemed to think it necessary to make sure she knew she was excluded here.  There seemed to be a lot of "my loss is worse than your loss" comments.  While I would never argue, being a mother who lost her son, I don't know that those sentiments were of any help to this woman who came here looking for help.     

Along with losing Owen, I lost parts of my living family because of the ways we have all changed through our grief.  When I talk about that here, I don't see the kinds of exchanges I saw on that other post.  I see people responding with respect. 

I hope Tom continues to find a way through the miscommunications, misinterpretations, and acute sensitivities of the people who responded on that post.  He is, after all, a therapist. 

Maybe Lonnie's resignation will turn out to be the best thing for her.  However, after two years as a moderator, I'm sure she will grieve the loss of her work here.  Another kind of pain.  I want her to know how much her words have meant to me.  She sometimes kept me connected, when I was on the verge of retreating completely from the world.  If she goes, I will miss her terribly, and it will add yet another layer of losing Owen.

Sometimes, quiet reflection, before responding to posts is useful.  I know there are times when I write a reply, and have to reread it several times, before posting it.  Why?  Because my first impulse is sometimes TOO severe, and a bit of editing can help me more clearly and thoughtfully respond.  Maybe it's worth a try, yes?
« Last Edit: February 03, 2008, 08:42:35 PM by owensmom »

Landons Mom Shelly

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Re: Owen, our beloved mystery man
« Reply #68 on: February 03, 2008, 10:32:51 PM »
Linda . . . I couldn't have said it better myself, thank you.

Landon's Mom forever,

Shelly
Landon's Mom forever,

Shelly



My Precious Little Landon -- Forever in our Hearts        http://landon-greenan.gonetoosoon.org
August 1, 1995 - June 1, 2007

owensmom

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Re: Owen, our beloved mystery man
« Reply #69 on: February 05, 2008, 01:08:30 AM »
And, so, here were are still, with posts about this issue, started under other post names, titled something/anything other than that original post from the woman, "brl", who simply thought we were thinking, feeling people who understood...loss.

Tom, pony up.  I am forever grateful that you started this venue for those of us with unbelievable grief.  But, there is a part of me, that part of me that recognizes who I was before our family lost Owen, that screams out, "hold us here, all suffering loss!"  And, I find myself...wanting.  And, I plead for your engagement in a way that can assuage some of the angst voiced in anger and bitterness.  Of all the people who have posted in the months I have visited this site, Tom, you have been the most silent.  Why is that?  Are you, perhaps, too distant from this thing you started, but have no time to monitor?

Perhaps, those of you who want to have a territorial boundary around child loss, as something "more than" can't allow emotional death into your territory.  For you, I am sorry.  And, here's why.

I lost a friendship in 2003, a friend who meant the world to me for 38 years.  She did not die a physical death, nor did I.  I did, however, lose her in an emotional death.  I could not then, nor can I now, describe the pain her loss caused me. 

Her husband continually expressed his abhorrence of my stature (at the time, I was 5'7" tall, and weighed around 215 pounds).  This did not fit his image of friends he thought his wife should engage, as physical beauty meant something different to him, than friendship did, for my friend and me.  He forgot that she and I had spent the previous 38 years sharing life (long before they met).  When our friendship ended (Owen was still alive, and thought this loss was devastating - he watched his mother (me) lose a friendship that was very close to sisterhood), our entire family was devastated.  Cheryl was a part of our family.  And, we lost her due to a lack of "acceptance" on the part of her husband.

As I read through these recent posts (not here, but elsewhere on webhealing, all pertaining to "brl" and her quest for help), I am saddened by what I perceive as a group of people with EXTREME loss, trying (or not even aware) of "cornering the market" on pain. 

Parents of child loss do not hold the reigns of loss.  WE only hold the reigns of child loss.  It's different.  It's excruciating.  It's unbelievably hard.  AND, there's a whole world out there, that suffers loss in different manifestations. 

Part of my training, a large part of my career, is teaching people about difference.  Something I say over and over is this: You cannot imagine what your friends, family, and coworkers experience in this life.  If you think you can place a value on it, you are limiting your ability to engage in the remainder of YOUR life.  Bitterness is unlikely to ever serve you or those you love. 

When I first read (many months ago) of your difficulties with many phrases that are a part of our American vernacular, out of "common usage" I almost left this site in search of a more "accepting" venue for my grief.  How can I stop using phrases like, "I'm drowning in sorrow"?  Because my son was found dead in a river?  NO.  I AM DROWNING IN SORROW.  But, feeling that, does not mean that I can't acknowledge that my son's body was found in a river, lost forever, except for my exceptional memories of his life.  Words can hurt, and I feel many words here in these recent days, have hurt more than necessary.  I feel some of the words I've read have come from a place of bitterness and anger, that couldn't possibly help anyone.

I may or may not check in here again.  Curiosity killed the cat, though (and if your child was killed by a cat, I hope you can forgive me, but my everyday language uses this phrase as a way to express a certain sentiment), so I may come back, just to see how everyone is getting along...or not. 

Yes, I'm mad right now.  I'm mad that a place I thought of as "safe" is now a place where people choose to quantify the loss of a loved one.  I'm open to befriending someone who has the chance of regaining a lost relationship.  Why aren't you?  We can't get our kids back, but brl has a chance.  Why can't we honor her hope with love and admiration for her loss, and her search for resources to recover her relationships?  Why would anyone want to make her feel she's an outsider?

Loss is loss.  It hurts.  I hurt.  You hurt.  All of you who have responded to our story, hurt.  brl hurts.  Offer her something/anything.  Offer her your thoughts, feelings, prayers.  She has a chance to build relationships with her stepchildren (or former stepchildren, as the case may be).  It seems that some of you think her short time with them is in some way measurable and comparable.  THERE IS NO COMPARISON.  STOP TRYING TO MAKE THIS ABOUT COMPARISONS.  This woman, brl, simply...hurts.  Have you forgotten the hopes you had for your children before they died? 

Pissed off, AND, hoping we all see the light,
Linda
« Last Edit: February 05, 2008, 10:11:01 AM by owensmom »

MelissaCharliesMom

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Re: Owen, our beloved mystery man
« Reply #70 on: February 05, 2008, 11:39:35 AM »
With all due respect, I cannot fathom how anyone can compare an emotional loss with the actual physical loss of a child. I would surely give anything to know my son was in some far away place, LIVING a happy, healthy, succesful life rather then know what it is that I know...that he is gone, buried in the ground, never again to walk this earth with me.
I experienced the emotional loss of a 15+ year friendship less then a week after Charlie died. She was my best friend. My husband and I took her in when she had no place to go, we paid her bills, bought her childs carseat when she found out she was pregnant, helped raise her son phsyically, emotionally and financially for the first year of his life. We helped her get back on her feet, get a place of her own. We took her on vacation with us and helped her in any way we possibly could. She couldnt handle my grief and walked out of my life. So I know emotional loss.
A year after losing Charlie I watched my previously healthy 66 year old Grandmother who was an integral part of my life die a slow, painful death from a very agressive form of brain cancer. I helped care for her, bathed her and watched her suffer when she lost her ability to speak, walk and control her bodily functions...that loss as horrendous as it was doesnt even compare to the loss of my son. Nothing will!!!!
We are all entitled to our own opinions and I respect yours, however while I think some of the comments made were probably a bit harsh I think they were all truthful and honest. Societies concern with being politically correct and telling people what they want to hear has gotten out of control and it is one of the reasons those of us who are hurting and grieving dont always reach out when we need to. The cliches fly, "It will get better, time will heal, life will go on, you need to get over it." All societies way of trying to make something ok...it will never be ok again.
I am sorry, but we will have to agree to disagree on this subject. There is NO loss greater then that of a child.
Sending strength and peace.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2008, 11:41:46 AM by MelissaCharliesMom »

Karen Paul

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Re: Owen, our beloved mystery man
« Reply #71 on: February 05, 2008, 12:04:42 PM »
Linda - here is a link to a YouTube video about the missing young man - he is missing from Albany, NY

hugs, Karen

Karen Paul

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Re: Owen, our beloved mystery man
« Reply #72 on: February 05, 2008, 12:05:18 PM »
AK = forgot the link  :P

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karen

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Re: Owen, our beloved mystery man
« Reply #73 on: February 05, 2008, 12:27:31 PM »
Tom, pony up.  I am forever grateful that you started this venue for those of us with unbelievable grief.  But, there is a part of me, that part of me that recognizes who I was before our family lost Owen, that screams out, "hold us here, all suffering loss!"  And, I find myself...wanting.  And, I plead for your engagement in a way that can assuage some of the angst voiced in anger and bitterness.  Of all the people who have posted in the months I have visited this site, Tom, you have been the most silent.  Why is that?  Are you, perhaps, too distant from this thing you started, but have no time to monitor?


Linda - A number of years ago I turned over the primary administration of these boards to moderators.  If the mods have troubles they know they can contact me to step in and help out if needed.  Having Dena and Lonnie has facilitated smooth sailing for these boards for some time.  We have had some troubles recently but I think that things will work themselves out in time.  Everyone is more vulnerable due to their grief and it is hard enough already.  If you have some specific suggestions for actions you think might be helpful I would be interested in hearing from you.

Tom
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owensmom

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Re: Owen, our beloved mystery man
« Reply #74 on: February 06, 2008, 12:21:18 AM »
Dear Melissa,

I'm afraid you missed my point.  My point was, and is...I cannot possibly COMPARE my loss of Owen with anyone else's loss.  I don't want to.  I want only this: to bring anyone suffering loss OF ANY KIND into the fold of the suffering, and offer hope.  Can we not, as a group of suffering parents, DO THAT???

I know some of us get "stuck" in our grief, and I am at this early stage, too raw to be rational at times.  MY POINT, was to offer some hope for reconciliation to this woman who sought us out. 

I'm asking only this, AGAIN: quit comparing your unbelievable loss, with someone who still has a modicum of hope.  Wouldn't you want that for yourself, your family...your child?

It seems so simple to me.  I want only to offer my loss, as a lesson, to others who still have a chance.

I send you hope, my search for beauty, and my prayers,
Linda