RIP, Mikey

(edit- I’ve decided to stop taking donations for Funeral expenses. Firstly, I was blown away by the generosity. I honestly had no idea that much money would be raised. $1,205.00! You wonderful people never cease to amaze me with your goodness. Second– I believe we may be able to get a good portion of funeral expenses covered through a program designed for victims of crimes. It won’t cover it all, but I believe with what we’ve raised here and through the car washes, the family will not incur any debt over this horrific tragedy. I can’t thank you all enough. I plan on signing every single name of every person who donated to the card I will give the family this weekend. I simply can not thank you all enough. xoxo)
(updated- Julia made a great point- “Y — if they have enough money for the funeral, they may like to use our
donations for some kind of memorial to honor their son. That would be
nice too.” If you still *want* to give, you can still do so through my PayPal account at mamarosaATgmailDOTcom. Any and ALL money deposited into that account will go to the family.)

Last Friday night, I told my children that we were going to visit Mikey’s parents. (Read about Mikey here.)
I told them that they didn’t have to come if they weren’t feeling up to it. I wanted it to be their decision. If they went, I wanted it to be because thy wanted to be there, not because they were forced to be there.
They surprised me. In a good way.
“We want to go, Mom.” They said.
We drove over to their house, with a heavy heart. What do you say to a mother who lost her son to senseless violence? What do you say to a father who just lost his only son? There simply no words, nothing you can say.
All you can do is be there. Let them know you love them, you’re thinking of them, you’re crying with them and you’re so very very sorry.
I was glad my boys were mature enough to make the decision to be there for Mikey’s parents, even though it wasn’t easy, even though it was going to be painful.
“Sometimes, the right thing is the hardest thing.” I’ve always told my children that.
They get it.
We all stood in the walkway, waiting for his parents to come out. “They’re not up for it.” A family member told us. “We completely understand.” I responded. “Just give them this card and tell them we are thinking of them.”
He said he was going to tell them and he’d be right back.
“Sue is going to come out.” he said.
Sue is Mikey’s mother.
She opened the screen door and collapsed into my arms. I’m not exaggerating. She literally fell into my arms. I did my best to hold her up. She was sobbing. I was crying.
“I’m so sorry. I’m just so sorry.” I said through my tears.
“I don’t understand. They shot my son in the chest. They left him to die on the concrete.” She wailed. “They won’t let me see my son.”
My husband and my children were standing behind us, as well as some other neighbors and their children. I could hear them all crying.
“And here, I was worried about the war.” She said. “He told me he wanted enlist, he wanted to be a man. I told him no! You’ll get killed!”
I held her up while she cried and wailed and spoke of her hurt, confusion, anger, sadness, unbelief.
It was one of the most *real* moments of my entire life.
When she was finally able to stand on her own, she let go of me and looked around. She saw my son, The Teenager. She walked over to him. “Oh, Andrew” She said as she embraced him tightly. “Mikey loved you so much.” She started to sob again. As did my son. “I loved him too, Susan. I’m so sorry. I’m so so sorry.”
I was heartbroken and yet, so very proud of my son. Proud that he chose to be there for his friend’s mother, even though it was painful and uncomfortable. Proud that he expressed how he was feeling so openly.
I think about that moment with Sue often throughout each day. I think of how broken she was, I think of how her life, her heart has been completely shattered. I can’t even begin to imagine how painful every waking minute of her days must be.
Although our pain doesn’t even compare to that of Sue and Pete, this situation has impacted our family in a profound way. We all feel as though we’ve lost a member of our family. Mikey was part of our lives, he was like family.
Every weekend, my boys were staying the night at his house, or he at ours. Almost every Saturday night, the boys would pile in The Astro Van for a short ride to Mikey’s to spend the night. It was a familiar scene to see our boys walking up the street early Sunday morning with bed head, a plastic bag filled with clothes and their pillows and blankets in hand.
He was at every single one of Andrew’s birthday parties.
I’m devastated he’ll never be at another.
Last weekend, a bunch of Mikey’s friends had a car wash to help raise funds for funeral expenses. They plan on doing another one this weekend. I’ve decided I’m going to try a little fundraising of my own here on this blog. I hate to ask for money from readers, but I hate to think of grieving parents struggling financial due to the expense of burying their child. I know that those of you who read here have generous and kind hearts. I know you’ll understand why I’m doing this.
I have not been asked by any family member to do this. I simply want to do whatever I can to help make their burden a bit easier. If you could find it in your hearts to give, I would be so grateful and I know that his parents will be as well.
I will take donations through Sunday, which is the day of the viewing.
Thank you in advance.

33 thoughts on “RIP, Mikey

  1. Debbie in Memphis

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I’ll be keeping you all in my prayers and thoughts. God bless.

  2. jessica

    It’s not much, but even a few dollars is a way to express my love for the mother and her family. Thank you for doing that for her. Thank you for teaching your children how to be good people. The world needs more good people.

  3. Jenna

    I was Andrew’s age the first time one of my friends was killed. I remember looking into his father’s eyes and seeing his total devastation. It’s so hard but Andrew is a brave man for doing the right thing. RIP Mikey, and peace to his family and friends.

  4. Kathy Almendarez

    I’ve enjoyed your blog for some time and today’s entry left me in tears. My condolences go out to Mikey’s family.

  5. Aunt Becky

    I’ve been to too many of my friends’ funerals. I’ve comforted too many of my friends’ parents. I’ve been there so many times. My heart shatters every time. I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m so sorry for Mikey’s family. Sending you love and light.

  6. EmmieJ

    I’m sorry…for you and your family, for your son and of course for Mikey’s family. What a brave young man you have there.

  7. Beth B.

    my condolances to Mikey’s family and yours. that is heartbreaking. thank you for sharing, and thank you for helping and for letting us help.

  8. Jessica

    Beautiful post. I am so sorry for Mikey’s family’s loss and also for yours. I can’t imagine losing one of my children. I can’t send alot, but hopefully a little will help.

  9. Fiona

    I’m so sorry for everyone’s loss, Mikey sounds like a bright light extinguished way too soon. It’s all so senseless. I’ve sent something to help.

  10. Laura Lohr : My Beautiful Life

    I am so sorry to hear about Mikey. My Godparents lost their soon to unspeakable violence almost two years ago and it was devastating for my whole family. It is not fair. I agree, no parent should ever lose their child. Losing a child to violence is the worst pain I could ever imagine. My heart aches for your family and Mikey’s.
    I wish we could help right now. Please know that my condolences is all we can give right now. I am sorry for your loss.

  11. Sheri

    I wish we could help right now, I would in a heartbeat. My heart is breaking for that family. The thought of losing one of my kids is enough to bring me to my knees. I will pray for them.

  12. Marci

    Mikey’s parents have a long tough road ahead. Sometimes all we can do is comfort and be there. There are no words. They will be so appreciative of the money you will give them on Sunday. Every little bit helps.
    I lost someone dear to me last June due to a sensless car accident. It is so unfair. She was only 25 and just starting to live a tremendous life. My friends who had to bury their only daughter are still grieving daily.
    I am so sorry. It really, truly, sucks. Stay strong and I will think of you and your family during this horrible time, and especially on Sunday.

  13. Julia

    A poor college student I am, but I’m not dealing with a great loss and enormous amount of grief that this family has to go through right now. I wish I could donate more, but I know that every little bit helps with something like this. Lots and lots of love to Mikey’s family (and yours too).

  14. apandorabox

    i’m so sorry… i read this post in tears… he was just out of school, starting his life… it’s so unfair that it was taken away from him… specially since he was actually trying to help… this story breaks my heart, honestly
    he was just 18… 4 years younger than me… i couldnt be on your son’s shoes, i couldn’t loose my best friend because it will feel like loosing a limb… i can’t even relate to how her mother must be feeling…

  15. Leslye

    Oh honey, I am so incredibly sorry for this tragic loss. My best wishes and prayers go out to your family and Mikey’s. May he rest in peace.
    I think it’s wonderful of you to take up this collection for the funeral expenses.

  16. Christine

    Y, I am so sorry. this post made me burst into tears. I rarely, if ever, cry reading things online. I just can’t imagine the pain of losing a family member, especially thinking of my parents if they lost me (or my brother). I feel heartbroken and I don’t even know you, your family, him, or his family. I am keeping all of you in my thoughts, though. I’m sorry to say that I can’t donate much (I donated $5, I hope the little amounts add up to something…) because I am a poor college student and my family is cutting back. I hope it’s something. I’d give more if I could. take care and hugs, C

  17. elizabethk

    I am so very sorry for their loss and your family’s. How senseless! But what a brave and courageous young man, Mikey was! May he find rest. I pray his family is able to find some peace and healing. I am glad they have your family as friends!!
    Gentle Hugs

  18. Kim

    My grauddaughter lost a very beloved aunt on her Daddy’s side to senseless violence this past November. She was shot in the chest on the steps of her parents’ home during a home invasion.
    It’s a crushing thing to lose a loved one, made extra horrible when their life is taken so, so senselessly.
    I’m so sorry for your loss, and very acutely aware of what you are all feeling.

  19. Alice

    This is so heartbreaking. My thoughts are with you and Mikey’s family – it sounds like he knew that he was a loved and treasured kid, but I can’t imagine how hard this is for everyone to deal with.

  20. Laura

    I’m sorry for this family’s loss. What a tragedy. I hope the family is ok with you writing about their loss and knows you’re doing this. Not everyone likes their personal information splashed across the internet and it makes me sad when someone else makes that decision for them.

  21. Y

    I want to thank every single one of you for your kind words for the family. And especially for the donations you’ve made to help the family. I plan on signing each name in the card I plan to give to their parents.
    Laura– I plan on telling them that I wrote this, so they can see the wonderful things that people have said. I didn’t put any personal information that wasn’t already available online through the accounts written in the paper and posted online on their websites. I simply told *my* account of how this tragedy has affected our lives.
    THank you for your concern.

  22. Julia V

    Y — if they have enough money for the funeral, they may like to use our donations for some kind of memorial to honor their son. that would be nice too.

  23. ANGIE


  24. Rebecca Grace

    I am so sorry for your loss; my heart goes out to Mikey’s family, your family, and all those who loved him as they struggle with the pain of grieving.

  25. Maggie, dammit

    Sobbing. And reading from my phone, so the paypal button thingie isn’t showing up. I’ll find a computer later and figure it out. I’m just so sorry.

  26. KAK

    So sorry, there never seems to be the right thing to say. I guess it is heartwarming knowing people care says enough.

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