Kristin Nash, MPH
Apr 2, 2020
In remembrance of Will, from his Mother and Executive Director of the William G. Nash Foundation, Kristin Nash, MPH
There are no words to express how much we miss Will, every moment of every day. But we are finding ways to remember him and to smile in doing so. The last time we spent with Will was Christmas and New Year’s (2019-2020) when we went to Costa Rica. A favorite memory from that trip was a day we spent snorkeling and fishing. We all caught something and Will especially was tickled to have reeled one in.
On the way home, we started talking about what we would make for dinner, along with our fresh fish. Will wanted to stop at a roadside fruit and vegetable stand and he knew exactly what he wanted for patacones, creamy guacamole, and poki tuna. He was so confident and comfortable picking out the items and engaging the clerks with questions in Spanish. To see him blossom in his language, culture and cooking skills was so joyful.
We went home and Will just hummed in the kitchen. He was so creative and so fun to cook with. We joked and laughed and then ate an incredible fresh feast!
There are some things we’ve learned this past year… about life, death, love, grief and gratitude. We’ve learned that we all grieve in our own way, there’s no right or wrong way or prescribed amount of time needed. It’s not something one “gets over,” rather it’s something one learns to live with to incorporate into a new self and life. A loss like this breaks you open, and so we are figuring out how to put a life back together.
There is a grief theory called “continuing bonds” and this has been our approach… Will will always be with us and part of our family. We will always be 5. We feel his presence and are creating rituals to foster that. We take comfort in sharing the memories, music and things he taught us. We have also learned that love and gratitude are all that matter. We are here to love each other in the best way we can and to have gratitude for our many blessings.
Experiencing the sudden, shocking passing of a child/brother may be one of the greatest tragedies one could endure. However, there are gifts. Feeling the depths of such sorrow enables one to feel emotions so incredibly deeply. And being this close to death makes one appreciate both the fragility of life and the gift that it is.
So through gratitude and hope, we will heal and live and love, better than before. Another thing we’ve learned is that we could not do this alone. So a bottomless thank you to the friends and family who have supported us through this time.