My son Gregory. What a light. He always had a smile on his face, sparkles in his eyes, and a song on his heart. He loved to sing and I miss that singing so much. He loved to laugh. I would give the world to hear it right now.
I kissed Gregory's head for the last time two days ago. As they closed his casket. One day after his 15th birthday, which also became the day of his wake. Someone brought a birthday cake to his wake and we sang "Happy Birthday". Then I blew out his candles. Without him.
Gregory died falling 125 feet to his death. From a water tower. Right across the street from our house. He climbed this water tower right before his school bus was to pick him up to take him to his 9th grade classes at the high school, where we find out, he was being bullied.
We had no idea. He never shared his pain or sadness with those closest to him and thought they knew everything about him.
My heart is broken. All who knew and loved Gregory have a broken heart and are in so much pain.
The students have been keeping a vigil at the water tower. Bringing candles, pictures, notes, items that he had borrowed to them. I have students stop by the house, just to give me a hug. They have been amazing and my heart hurts so badly for them. We all love him so much and just want him back.
Gregory was special and amazing. He was a talented and gifted student. He was in all of the academic clubs; Science Olympiad, Math Counts, History Fairs, etc. He excelled in math where he learned over 700 digits of pi for Pi Day and would recite them to me, his friends and his teachers. He was an Honor Roll Student, earned Student of the Month, and had some of the highest reading, math and science scores in the State of Wisconsin. He loved to read and I had a hard time keeping up with the books he read because he went through them so fast. He planned on attending MIT when he graduated from high school.
He loved choir and has participated in choir throughout middle school and high school. The New Richmond High School Kammerchor Choir, of which he was a member, sang at his funeral service.
He was also very active and participated in school wrestling, football, cross-country and track teams for several years. He was also an excellent snowboarder and downhill skier.
With all of his accomplishments and achievements, that which was most important to him was his faith. Gregory loved the Lord and had a very strong Catholic faith.
He attended faith camp in the summers and was looking forward to being a faith camp leader in 2014. He attended Faith Formation every week for the last 7 years working towards his Confirmation, which was to be in May. He stayed after his classes to help set the room for women groups and do other odd jobs. He attended Mass every Sunday, he went to devotional, to the chapel. He touched the lives so deeply of all of his Priests and leaders. Gregory has worn a devotional scapular at all times since he was a small child. It was this devotional scapular that was one of the items law enforcement presented me with to identify his body. I do not know any other 14 year old boys that wore them, most do not even know what one is. I knew it belonged to my beloved son.
With the emotional and physical pain of Gregory's death, also is the harsh reality of severe financial difficulty. I did not have any life insurance for Gregory. There was nothing for all of these expenses I have had to incur.
Gregory and I had discussed funerals several times, and he did not want to be cremated. He, himself, did not believe in it. He was laid to rest in a beautiful casket and his service was one of an angel. I was blessed to find him a space in a cemetery where he has some relatives buried, so he is not alone. The cost did not come cheap, but I couldn't stand the thought of him in a cemetery all by himself. He needed to be near loved ones, as that is how he spent his life. Always close to those he loved. I had such an overwhelming number of students who attended the wake and funeral, and they all requested some of his music to remember him by. I had cd's made up to give to over 300 students, and also funeral folders for all in attendance. I followed the graveside service with a luncheon for everyone in attendance. I still have a grave marker to choose, and it has to be just perfect. Just like Gregory. If there is anything left after what is already due and owing; I would love to have a bench made for his friends to visit at the water tower and I would love to donate something to the high school choir he so dearly loved being a part of.
He is singing with the angels now. I'm selfish and want him here singing with me, but that was not God's will. The words I said to him his entire life at night when he went to bed "Goodnight Honey, I love you. See you in the morning". Those were the last words I spoke to him. The community made a necklace for me with those words on it, which I gave to Gregory and he was buried with it. When they learned of that, they made me one to have too. Everyone has been so wonderful and it truly is all that sustains me. God bless you all and thank you for allowing me to share a small piece of my beloved son with you.
If you would like to see a newspaper write up about Gregory:
If you would like to visit a page one of Gregory's friends made to remember Gregory:
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