JOSH + SUSAN FOWLER
Adventure seekers // 15 years of marriage
5 kids // 2 businesses // We like living life to the fullest
I have a million feelings, but none of them make any sense. This morning when I woke up, Josh met me in the hallway and told me the news. John was gone. He’d taken his own life.
I stared at him. Clearly I had names confused. Or maybe Josh did. I mean, not John. He’s like, an awesome dude. Really awesome. The kind of person that makes you examine yourself, your motives in life, and makes you strive to be a better human being.
And we lost him. The world lost him. His family, his kids. They were his world. If you asked any of his friends & family about the most important things in his life, everyone would say his kids and God. No way would John do this.
But yet, he’s gone. No more funny laughs, no more hanging out playing pool or joking around. No more funny cards. No more Super Bowl parties at his house.
Every time we had a party he brought gifts. It always amazed me because, well, typically single dads don’t really think about things like that. The cards were hilarious. For our house warming he got Josh an iTunes gift card, a bottle of wine for me, and a light up toy for Hazel. On the card he said who got which item. Then underneath he said, “but of course you can share, too.” Then he added, “except Hazel can’t have the wine.” He always brought a smile to our faces.
When I posted this picture of Hazel playing with her toy, he shared it & wrote, “Proud of my kids! They picked out the Dream Lite for Hazel and the report is that she LOVES it!!!! Way to go Jaylin and Cian!” It always went back to his kids and how much he loved them.
For our birthdays it continued. He bought Josh & me each a gift card, writing that he wasn’t sure if we were good with sharing or not, so he got separate ones for us. He was thoughtful. He was hilarious.
He had a smile that was absolutely contagious. And he could wear Ugg boots, which is wildly impressive for a guy. He had a wide range of friends & got along with everyone. He was in the military, played hockey, was a dedicated volunteer at church, and most of all, he was a dad. He loved his kids so much.
A few weeks ago I was singing on stage at church and when I looked in the audience, I saw him worshiping. One hand on his daughters shoulder. His kids… they were his world. It brought a smile to my face because… well… because you just can’t look at John & not smile.
I don’t know why, and I don’t think anyone does. Maybe we will find out, maybe not. Some things in life we will never understand.
I know he was a Christian, and therefore we’ll see him again one day, but for today, we mourn. I wanted to find a way to end this on an encouraging note– to give you a take-away, but I simply don’t have it in me. Sorry folks.
To my clients, please excuse scattered emails this week. Owning a business means being able to balance life & work, no matter what the circumstances. It is important that we take time to grieve, so we’ve chosen to reschedule a few meetings that can wait a week. However, weddings are beautiful reminders of happiness & joy! Honestly, my best moments from today were when I was distracted and talking to my wedding clients. So please don’t worry– we are focused, and we won’t be crying during your wedding (except during father/daughter dances– those get me teary eyed every time!). I look forward to celebrating your beautiful day with you!!
You got it Susan. Well said. This is an beautiful and thoughtful remembrance of John and we appreciate your ability to put it into words.
Thank you, Mike. It was hard to write it down because I didn’t want it to be real, but writing is often how I work through things. 🙂
[…] then August came and our friend took his own life. I spent a week crying and in disbelief. Friends gathered but we didn’t have anything to […]