It will be 10 years in July

joyce619January 3, 2004

I have spent hours reading all the post and my heart goes out to each one of you.

Our son Bryan was killed on July 2, 1994 at the age of 26.

He had just changed jobs and had gone to work for a company out of Oregon on June 1, 1994. They had sent him to a job in Newport Beach, CA. for a month. He was going back to Phoenix to take his motorcyle to leave and to spend the July 4th holiday with his girl friend. They had worked like 70 hours that week. His boss told him to take a flight back and they would ship his bike, but he said no. His girl friend told him to get some sleep and come the following day. Well, he left Irvine, CA (he had filled up with gas at 12:30 a.m. according to a reciept)and at 2:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 2, 1994 he went into the back of a van and was killed.

It will be 10 years this July, but it still seems like yesterday. We lived in Georgia at the time so it was in the afternood before we were notified. Here he was in California and us in Georgia. That not being bad enough, it was the holiday week-end. Everything was closed on Monday so it was Thursday before we got him home. That was the longest five days I have ever spent.

They said the van had pulled over to the side of the road for just a short time and then pulled back on. The two cars in front of the bike changed lanes as did the car behind the bike. They told us that he never touched a brake and the woman driving the van said she saw the one head light and the next thing she knew it had run into the back of the van, throwing him over the van and into the left lane. They said he was killed on inpact.

His friends that attended the service all had the same to say about him. How knowing Bryan had changed their lives. That we would never know how many lives Bryan had made a difference in. He loved people. Always had a smile. Only saw the good. I don't believe he ever met a person he didn't like. If he did you didn't hear about it. I never heard him say anything bad about anyone.

He was where he wanted to be, doing what he wanted to do, and loved his job and the people he worked for and with. His boss said his description of Bryan was that he was magical. That if they were having a hard day at work, if nothing was going right, that Bryan could just lift them up and get things running smooth again. That he knew just what to say.

He will always be missed, but he lives in our hearts and is always with us. His job on earth was finished, and it was time for him to go home.


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Joyce, I am so very sorry. Bryan's story is so sad like so many others. You know, you hear so much about the very young souls that leave this earth so early, and how they all touched so many lives in so many ways. It really makes me wonder if God does allow them to go home to him after they have completed the job that God wants them to complete here on earth. It always seems like the young ones with such dynamic, and compassionate personalities are the ones who have to go. They are always the ones who light up a room when they walk in or the ones who see no bad in others.
I'm so, so sorry about Bryan. Do you have other children, Joyce? As we all know, others never take the place of the lost one, but they can certainly help.
I hope that you stick around with us. We certainly can gain so much from those of you who have gone further on this journey than most.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2004 at 10:55PM
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Lu, We have one older son. He was 40 Dec.6th. He and Bryan was never close. He was always picking on Bryan. When Bryan was in college James would say we were just throwing our money away. That Bryan would never finish. Would call him sissy just because Bryan would not fight back with him. After Bryan's death, James went from bad to worse. I wonder sometimes if it's because of the way he treated Bryan. That now he was gone and he would never have the chance to make it right with him. You know we think we have forever to do make things right with the ones we have done wrong or had disagreements with. We must all remember "there are no guarantees of a tomorrow". James has no contact with us. We never hear from him. So it is as we lost both son's with Bryan's death.

Bryan would have done anything for James. We didn't love either one more than the other. Did as much for one as the other. Both boys had the same opportunity to go to college, but James chose not to. We always treated them as individuals. You wonder how two boys from the same home and upbringing could be so different.

One of Bryans friends came and spent the day with me after his death. He told me that I would never know how many lives Bryan had touched. That God puts us on earth to do a job and when Bryans job was finished it was time for him to go home. You know, that really meant a lot coming from another young man.

We have so many good memories.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2004 at 11:28PM
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Joyce, I am so sorry for the tragic loss of your son. ANd sorry for the loss of contact with your other son. Grief can be so powerful and leave us with such a range of feelings and emotions. And sometimes guilt and anger can consume us. It sounds as though your surviving son has had a very difficult time making peace with the loss of his brother. i hope that one day, he will seek some help, or talk to his parents. Your son sounds like such a wonderful young man and I am sure you must miss him terribly.
I am glad you have found this forum and I encourage you to share your feelings here. Perhaps you will find it helpful to see you are around so many others who have lost their children as well. I am very sorry for the loss of your son and send special prayers your way.


    Bookmark   January 4, 2004 at 6:06AM
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Thanks Deb. I just turned everything over to God. I just pray everyday that he will put his arms around James and protect him and show him what he must do. I have no control over the matter. It is all in Gods hands.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2004 at 8:22PM
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Nell Jean

Joyce, our younger son, age 37, died on a motorcycle this past July. He was not riding the bike, just sitting on it off on the side under an overpass bridge and was killed by a young man driving too fast in the rain with bald tires who lost control and spun out, hitting the bike and two other vehicles.
Like you, we were in Georgia and he was in another state. We did not get notification until the next afternoon. It was every mother's nightmare.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2004 at 12:46AM
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I am so sorry for your loss. You will be in my prayers.
Bryan would have been 36 this year. Was your Son married?

Yes, it is a nightmare. You want to believe that they have the information wrong. That itwon't be yours. The coroner kept trying to find a wife because Bryan had on a band, but it was just a friendship ring him and Amy had exchanged just a month earlier.
He had been a organ donor but they took so long working the accident they couldn't use anything. It was so hard waiting those days to get him home. They had to do an autopsy out there. We gave thought of going ahead and having him cremated before having him flown back, but just had to know it was him and have that final moment with him. Also the funeral director that took care of eveything said that he had no visible injuries.
He was cremated, since that is what he had told us since he was about 11 years that that was what he wanted. It was like he knew he wasn't going to have a long life. His remains are in a jar I had done in ceramic that he had requested to be used several times while growing up.
I think just having him home has made such a difference in us dealing with the greif. My Mother had a fit when she was told that he was being cremated, but we were in Georgia then and have since moved so at least this way he moved with us.

I still have all his things. His bulletin board is just like he had left it. We still have his car. Maybe someday we will be able to part with his things but that day has not yet come.

I think it helps to talk about him. We're always saying things that Bryan would have liked or would have enjoyed.
He's always with us.

May God bless your family.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2004 at 11:41AM
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Nell Jean

There was no question that it was him. It was witnessed by the man who owned the motorcycle on which he was sitting. The police (wrongly) told the friend to let us know. By the next day, he emerged from a state of shock to realize that he had no way to get in touch with us and called them to tell them that the number would be in our son's cell phone in his truck, which they had impounded. His truck was not hit in the accident, but two other autos were and other people injured. All those hit had stopped under the bridge because it was raining so hard. They had been careful to get as far from the traffic lanes as they could. The young man who caused the accident took not even the precaution of slowing down. He was not charged.

A funeral home here made arrangements with a crematory in the town where he died. The ashes were shipped to us in the mail. We knew he wanted to be cremated. He had jokingly said, "Just scatter my ashes around the pond," but we committed his remains to lie beside his grandfather in the family plot. There was a memorial service here and one held the next day by his friends in the town where he lived, 300 miles away. My other son and DIL attended that one and my nephew came from Mississippi to join them.

He was not married, had no children.

The friend who was with him came and spent the night before the memorial with us. I gathered enough courage to ask him if there was blood, which there wasn't, he said. That indicated to me that he died instantly. There was one laceration on a lower extremity. The friend had a large bruise, which is how close he came to death. He was standing beside his bike and it was swept away in the crash, grazing him. There are many, many details. Some important, some meaningless.

Thank you for your concern and prayers. I pray for the healing of the rift in your family, Joyce. It must be painful for him not to have the peace that he could find with you. It's harder when everyone can't be supportive. Perhaps in time. Our son is doing his best for us, but there are others in the family who have not been as civil as they could have. Perhaps in time for us, too.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2004 at 8:53PM
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Nell Jean

Just want you to know that you're thought of today, Joyce.


    Bookmark   July 2, 2004 at 8:00PM
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I am so sorry for the loss of your son. I used to be one of those people that thought after a year or 2 that parents who lost a child must be okay by then. I sure found out that is not true. We will never be the same or okay. I lost my 22 year old daughter 2 years ago and like your son she lived in Florida and us in Illinois. She was killed on a Friday morning only 3 miles from the gaurd base where she had been on active duty since that January. It had been raining for several days and she hydroplaned across the median into the path of a semi. They told us she died instantly but someone from the air force told my sister she may have died before impact from heart failure. We were notified 5 hours after and it wasnt until Tuesday that she was flown back home and the funeral on Thursday. The longest and worst week of my life. Everyday of our lives we think of and miss our children who were taken from us and will till the day we join them. Your son sounded like a very wonderful young man and my heart goes out to you and your family. Julie

    Bookmark   July 6, 2004 at 8:45AM
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