To Falmouth, With Love

To Falmouth, With Love

December 23, 2016

My dear hometown:

What are the right words to say when we lose two more bright, promising, athletic, fun, outgoing, and loved high school students? Say: I'm sorry for your loss. Or I wish I could take their place. Prayers for the friends and families. Or that I'll be here if you need anything.

Yes these are words but are they the right ones? I don't know if there are right words for this. I don't think there are.

I don't know how to fix it. I wish with every fiber of my being that some how I could bring them back. While I didn't know James or Owen personally, I know their families, their siblings, their friends. And most of all, their teams. As a part of the Falmouth High School hockey community this leaves a hole in my heart that I don't know will ever go away. I grew up with them, we all played together. My brother and Owen were both coached together by my dad for many years. I watched on the sidelines as they all gained skills and friendships for a lifetime.

While I can't fix this, I can be of some comfort. Not too long ago my FHS class lost a dear friend in A.J. Fernandes, and shortly before that our school also lost Shannon Thompson. These losses changed my life for ever and lives around me as well. We held each other a little tighter, cried together, said ‘I love you' more. I never knew that losing friends, young friends for that matter, could bring us so close together.

So here's what I need to say to you. This won't go away. This loss will never be filled with something new. But you need to know a few things. Be together as much as you can. Talk about them. Know that its ok to laugh and smile when remembering them. Do not get angry. Don't feel guilty for taking a moment for yourself. The world works in mysterious ways and unfortunately our small town has fallen victim to that too many times. Love one another and express it as often as you can. Hug your parents, your siblings, your friends, the classmates you usually don't talk to or hangout with. Most of all hug your teachers. They love you more than you know.

Shortly after AJ passed we had a bonfire and get together with several students from our class. We talked and laughed and I cried and screamed the whole way home in my car because I couldn't believe the world could be so cruel and take someone so special. When I got home I went up into my room and continued to cry, sitting on my bed with my head in my hands. Suddenly I felt an arm gentle but strong around my back, comforting me. I shot up and it was gone. I know it sounds insane but I know it was him. And he didn't want me to cry for him. It is a moment in my life that I'll never forget. Maybe I was hallucinating because I was so tired and cried out, or maybe AJ was watching over me. I know it was the latter.

Time will go on and life will continue albeit we don't want it to. You won't forget them but your wound will slowly heal. For years you'll still cry at the thought of them being gone but smile because you were lucky enough to know them and love them. Be there for each other. We're all we have.

Rest in the sweetest peace boys. Our town will never be the same. Love you forever.

Memorial fund for James Lavin's funeral costs can be found here

Memorial fund for Owen Higgins' funeral costs can be found here.

Dec 25, 2016, 12:49 pm

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