Last week our friends lost their 8 year old son. That sentence says it all. An immediate shot through the heart. The phone calls started Monday night as the information quickly made its way through the community. Bad news travels too fast. A tragedy. Something that shouldn’t happen but it did. Parents shouldn’t lose their children.
What do you say to your kids? How do you wrap your arms around something like this? How do you get up the next day? Your life changes in an instant, forever.
Josh sobbed. How could he not? He hugged his friend. He hugged us. We watched his parents bury their son.
Everyone grieves differently. How does a 12 year old grieve?
Josh and his friend, Max, decided to have a bake sale to raise money for the Owen Gerson foundation, which is set up through the Jewish Communal Fund. They decided that this is a way they can remember and at the same time do something positive. Josh baked for hours when we got back from the funeral. Then the next morning the boys baked some more.
They set up shop at Atlantic Beach in Amagansett. The boys had called Owen’s brother who sent them pictures to put on their signs. They talked to people about what happened and why their were raising money. Their friends helped them sell. It was a total community effort. There wasn’t a person who wasn’t touched by what the kids were doing. You could see it in everyone’s face. Before the rain came, they had raised $455. Hoping to set up shop again tomorrow and raise even more.
I am really proud of the boys. They continue to talk, as all the adults are. They really have a desire to be with each other and other people. They want to make their friend feel good. They want to connect. They are well aware that life has changed. They are trying to find comfort in their pain. There is a huge hole in all of our hearts. These boys are doing their best to fill it.