Tonight I Paid My Respects

Ever since the arrangements for Kyle Ehinger were released, I’ve been determined to go and pay my respects to his family.  I usually hide away from large gatherings of any type, and tend to avoid situations where it’s just me, alone and not knowing anyone else, in a gathering of people who all know (and appear to like) one another.  But I’m done hiding away and am putting on my big girl pants and stepping outside my comfort zone and actually being a grown up and not just acting as though I am a grown up.

But tonight, I was not sure that I would pull it off.   What would I say to Kelly and Ed Ehinger?  “I’m sorry” sounds so lame, but it’s true, I am sorry.  And as I drove to Sutton this evening, my vision kept getting blurred as my eyes filled with tears, while I thought about this 18 year-old man-child, who felt, if even just for that one critical moment, no hope for his future.  And I thought about his girlfriend, Sam, who I do not know and have never met, but I have read her posts to and about Kyle on Facebook, and my heart aches for her.  I saw her at the funeral home tonight and she is (physically) the tiniest little girl and she is carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders.  And she is holding her own.  She is strong and I admire her strength.  From only watching her at the viewing tonight and reading her posts, I just know that she will come out on the other side of this nightmare and live a long, blessed life.

The crowd at the funeral home was unreal.  Kyle was barely 18 years old but seeing the sheer number of people who showed up to see him one last time, to say good-bye, to hug his parents and each other was, well, honestly, nothing prepared me for the sight.  For the first time, I really understood what it means when “they” say that a town is grieving.  That is Georgina right now.  It is a collection of towns that are grieving the loss of this child (and yes, I know that technically he was an adult, but I’m a mom, and Kyle, who turned 18 just weeks after my Declan did, so to me he was a child, and I make no apologies for that).  I looked around at the various groupings of people who were chatting, laughing, crying, hugging, comforting and talking quietly, many of them wearing ‘In Loving Memory of Kyle Ehinger’ tee shirts and I wondered to myself – who was Kyle?  How did this kid influence and make such an impact on this many people in the short time that he was with us?  What was it about him that made him so special to so many people?  And why was it not enough to save him?

When I left the funeral home, I had a bit (okay, more than a bit) of a cry, then I texted Declan and asked if he wanted to meet me for a bit.  He did, so we did, and it helped put my mind and heart at ease, to see him, talk to him, check in with him, hug him and know for myself that my firstborn was okay.  Then I came home and checked on my four sleeping smalls and kissed each one of them and took a moment to marvel at how perfectly beautiful they are.  With the stresses and pressures of life, it is far too easy to forget to stop and really love and appreciate our children.  I, for one, really need to make sure that I slow down and enjoy my kids.  Cleaning the house, doing the laundry, unpacking from our move – those things will all still be there (waiting for me, like a some kind of rabid stalker) after bedtime.  Life and love are far more precious than clean dishes and empty boxes.

Tomorrow Kyle’s family and friends will say their final goodbyes.  I will not be there.  With my two smallest smalls home with me still, I know that we would be a disruption or distraction and that is the last thing that I want.  For those of you who would like to attend but do not have the latest information, Ed, Kyle’s dad, posted some additional information on Kyle’s FB Wall, this afternoon:

“on Thursday there will be a procession from TaylorS funeral home in Sutton to the OUR LADY OF THE LAKE church in Keswick
 LEAVING AT 1:00 PM FOR kYLE MY SON
we will have a file past the casket before for anyone who wishes to see him for the last time.please come early for that Kyle is gonna ride in the back of his own truck leading the way !
HE IS GONNA ROLL COAL ONE LAST TIME !1
LETS MAKE IT A GOOD SHOW FOR HIM
I LOVE YOU SO MUCH SON !!!”

So, I will say goodbye to Kyle now.  Rest in Peace, child.  I hope that you have found in death what you could not find in life.  Watch over your family and friends until they can see you again, they miss you so.

Borrowed this picture from Kyle’s Facebook page. There were too many to make choosing just one an easy task, but this one spoke to me. I hope it speaks to you as well.

And Only Because This IS The Keswick Blog…

Am I going to post the obituary for my son’s friend, Kyle Ehinger, who took his own life, in Sutton, on May 17th, 2012.

Kyle’s family, friends and girlfriend need the support of everyone in Georgina and beyond right now.

I cannot even imagine the soul-searing anguish that Kyle’s mother is feeling right now.

My heart and thoughts go out to everyone has been touched by Kyle’s life and all of his friends and family who are missing him so very, very much now.

Declan, my love,  I promise you, it will get better.  You will never forget Kyle, you will love and remember him forever, but your emptiness and sorrow will subside with time.  I promise you, my baby, you will heal and feel whole again.   I love you, Mum.

Kyle and Declan

Ehinger, Kyle Karl

At his home in Sutton on Thursday May 17, 2012 at the age of 18 years.  Kyle Ehinger, beloved son of Ed and Kelly.  Dear brother of Jennifer (Doug Riddle), Shannon (Kyle Perry), and Chris (Amber Lini).  Dear uncle of Brayden, Ava, Brody and Evan Kyle Charles.  Much loved grandson of Hartmut and Nora Ehinger, Marie Dunn, and Ron and Diane Marshall.  Beloved nephew of Elayne (Jim) Hulshoff, Lynn (Randy) Marles, Joe Marshall, Gerry (Kim) Marshall, Paul (Cheryl) Marshall, Pete Marshall, and Karen Marshall.  Kyle will be lovingly remembered by his many cousins, extended family and his many, many friends.

Kyle was a student at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic College School (O.L.L.), Keswick, where he was captain of the Rugby team and where he also won many awards in the automotive technology troubleshooting skills competitions.

Resting at the Forrest & Taylor Funeral Home, 20846 Dalton Road, Sutton from 2 – 4 and 7-9 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday.  Funeral Mass will be celebrated in Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church, 129 Metro Road North, Keswick, Thursday at 2:00 p.m.  Cremation to follow.  Memorial donations to a bursary fund at O.L.L. in Kyle’s memory would be appreciated by the family.  Memorial condolences may be made at www.forrestandtaylor.com