Joshua Bruce Osborn
May 29, 2002 - February 22, 2003

An email we sent to friends and family on February 22, 2003

I am writing with some very terrible news - mostly because at a time like this, you need all the prayers you can get. Our son Joshua (8 months) died this morning at 8:30 a.m. at the Sutter Davis Hospital in Davis (the town next door to Woodland where we live). He had contracted RSV and yesterday started having profound breathing difficulties. He saw the doctor yesterday but didn't respond very well to any treatment. We were told to keep an eye on him, keep doing what we were doing and wait out the RSV virus. Early this morning, after 24 hours or so of such labored breathing, we decided to take him to the emergency room to see if perhaps they couldn't pursue a little more agressive treatment to give him some relief. They immediately intubated him (his blood oxygen levels were in the 40's) and he seemed to be stabilizing. They were going to transfer him to a pediatric specialty wing in their Sacramento hospital when his blood oxygen levels plummeted and soon after that, his heart rate began to drop. Eventually his heart stopped altogether and would not respond to any treatment.

It was the hardest thing in the world to leave our baby at that hospital this afternoon. It still doesn't seem real - I can still hear his crying and feel his cheek against mine. But he is with the Lord now. And the hole in our hearts is like a giant chasm.

Please pray that God would sustain us and comfort us in this time of grief. Without Him, it seems to hard to bear. We will miss Joshua so much!

Thank you for praying.


A Not-so-Final Goodbye Joshua

Because you were taken away so suddenly, we did not get to say good-bye until you were already in the arms of God. But we still wanted you to know how much you meant to us. Joshua, we love you so much. We waited so long for your coming, and then, in God's perfect timing, you came. And oh, the joy that filled our hearts. You were only with us a few short months, full of a great lust for life. Your smiles, your laughter, your babbled words and squeals - even your cries - they will always be a part of us.

Son, the day you left us was the saddest day we have ever endured. Not because we feared for you anymore - you have gone on ahead of us and we will see you again someday as all those who are in Christ will one day be reunited. But last Saturday began the intense ache for your presence that will be with us a long as we live. We recently read a poem that echoes the cries of our hearts…

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum …
Let airplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.
The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

Oh Son, how we will miss you in the days ahead! But though our hearts hurt with the loss - unlike the poet, we shall not yield to despair. For the words of our Risen Savior bring us a precious promise. Jesus consoled His disciples with these hope filled words, "Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, {there} you may be also." (John 14:1-3). We know with all our hearts that you have gone on ahead of us and one day, we will be reunited and we will have all eternity to be together.

But still, it is so very hard to say "good bye." But that is what we must do. Try not to be too disappointed in us as you watch us from Heaven's perfection. Unlike yours, our journey is not quite over. Root for us from heaven's gates as we rooted for you as you began to learn to crawl and do all the wonderful things you did.

As we say good-bye for the last time, we close with words of hope and encouragement to all our friends and loved ones who have joined us this day - to say "good bye" to a remarkable, beautiful child of God. These words come from a note of comfort from a friend.

He is Gone
You can shed tears that he is gone
Or you can smile because he has lived.
You can close your eyes and pray that he will come back
Or you can open your eyes and see all that he has left.
Your heart can be empty because you can't see him
Or you can be full of love that he shared.
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember him and only that he is gone
Or you can cherish his memory and let it live on.
You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back
Or you can do what he would do: smile, open your eyes, love, and go on.

Good-bye our darling son, wait for us in the arms of God.

Amy's Journal back to Joy - "My Heart's Refuge"

Email from a friend

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