Thanks for support in time of grief

I am filled with gratitude for the outpouring of love, caring and support from a depth of understanding and wealth of compassion by members of the Jamaica Plain and surrounding communities. They made generous contributions that gave me support for an honorable burial for my son’s broken body. Michael Lutz, 22 years old, was tragically killed in a car accident on Jan. 27. He was the middle child of five children.

It is the unthinkable, the earth- shattering and heart-wrenching reality of life. In my work at the Egleston Peace Garden over five years, I grieved for parents, family and friends holding ceremonies with candlelight vigils to honor their youths lost to violence. I saw pictures of beautiful young people and heard stories and memories that will remain for those they love always. My son was lost to violence of another sort, but he was also a young life suddenly dead. I have moments of trance-like understanding and feel his spirit and other moments of sobbing grief. ESAC will add Michael’s name to the path of peace.

The comfort offered through devoted friends and the entire JP community is phenomenal. It is enlightening. The contributions so many individuals made helped alleviate the burden and weight at the time. The community’s kindness allowed me to focus on the transition of Michael’s own spirit and his brother, three sisters and his large community of friends. I am humbled by everyone’s generosity of spirit. I am lifted by the intensity of emotion and the candles that burned for Michael here, all over the country and through other parts of the world.

Michael is a gigantic spirit. His family and friends have felt his presence still, even those who did not know him personally. I feel him in the precipitation like tears of heaven. One of his theme songs is by Journey: “Don’t Stop Believing.” He has been dead 23 days as I write, and his spirit is still close to the Earth offering solace from the other side to those he left behind.

I would like to share the story of when the news reached my ears. In a way that has no earthly explanation, the Saturday before his death I picked up a book Mike had been telling me to read. I began reading at 8:30 p.m. and finished at 3 a.m. The book was “Five People You Meet in Heaven” by Mitch Albom. As I closed the book, before I could turn out the light, the phone rang, and I learned of my beloved son’s death.

Thank you, Jamaica Plain, for sharing my burden of grief. May the sense of community in JP continue to reach out and inspire others.

Cailin O’Toole
JP Community Organizer

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