My Brother was so Awesome, God Made Him an Angel
Leave a mark that can’t erase
Neither space nor time
So when the Director yells cut,
I’ll be fine
I’m Forever Young
~Shawn C. Carter
It’s been one year ago today that my brother, William Mitchell Hudson, died at the age of 29 from an overdose. To know Will, was to love Will. For the most part, Will quietly observed, so when he had something to say, you listened. He was a worrier. Always worried more about everyone else and their happiness more than his own. He was a gentle soul with a giving heart. Our loss was Heaven’s gain, for sure.
Losing a child is something no parent should ever have to face. For the first time in my life, I saw my dad helpless. It was the first time that he wasn’t able to fix what was wrong. I watched my Mom keep it together so gracefully for her family. They were both mourning the loss of their son, and watching my siblings and I completely devastated multiplied their pain. When a tragedy happens, you have two choices. You can let it tear you apart and make you angry and bitter, or you can choose to find acceptance and make you stronger and grow from it. I am thankful beyond measure that my family has only become stronger as a result. So, despite all the pain and sadness this past year has brought our family, today is a day that we celebrate the life of my brother. We celebrate his 1st Birthday in Heaven, where he stands tall and free, watching over everyone he loves.
I recently asked my family for some reflections on the past year and how Will’s death has changed each of them. The first thing everyone mentioned was FAITH in God. There have been so many remarkable things that have come as a result of Will’s death, both directly and indirectly, but nothing greater than our closeness to God.
“I’ve realized the power of God, the power of prayer. Life is precious and you need to make this one life the best for everyday. There are no guarantees.” ~Roger (Dad)
“I have experienced the “joy of the Lord being my strength” and “the peace that passes understanding” at a whole new level. I know that only God has carried me through this past year because I could never have gotten through it on my own. I am totally amazed by the love and power of God that far exceeds anything I had ever experienced before. I have seen God working in so many people’s lives in one way or another. I have become more aware of our eternal life as being the “real” life that lasts forever, and realize that our earthly life is our training ground. Our sole purpose for being on earth is to do whatever we can to further the kingdom of God and help show the love of Christ in any way we can.” ~Darlene (Mom)
“I think we have all become closer to God and realize everything happens for a reason. Will dying from alcoholism/addiction has made you and other’s realize that they had a problem with drugs and/or alcohol.” ~Matt (brother)
”I honestly feel that I could move mountains with prayer. To constantly think about Will walking with Jesus is such a feeling of peace and joy. I get chill bumps every time! I guess maybe it makes it all more “real” feeling that a piece of your heart is already in heaven.” ~Suzanne (sister)
“We turn to God daily in our house for support. We have learned to appreciate our family more, knowing that everyday is a gift and it could be our last.” ~ Melanie (sister-n-law)
“If there is one positive thing that I have taken from Will’s passing, it would have to be the lives that have changed for the better because of him. To see all of the people that have been helped and that have gotten the help that they needed…and all of this because of Will and the choices he made. I honestly believe God used him his whole life to bring joy and happiness to anyone that was lucky enough to have been a part of his life.” ~Justin (a best friend & brother-n-law)
For me, I feel closer to Will when I am in the presence of God. And only through our faith, do we get to experience Will’s presence and graces daily. Will is a part of everything we do. He lives through us. We don’t forget for one second that Will is gone. So, we find ways to honor him and his life. As a family, we have become closer to God and closer to each other. We enjoy our time with each other and don’t take anything for granted. We love a little stronger, forgive a little easier and do insanely ridiculous things that make us laugh as often as possible. You have this one life here on earth and what you make of it is up to you. If you can find acceptance in things you cannot change, you will find peace.
Will’s death has positively impacted many peoples lives. A number of people have chosen recovery as a direct result of his death, including myself. I can only imagine that it has made an even larger number take inventory of their own lives and the choices they make. My family now has a sense of understanding and compassion to those who suffer from alcoholism/addiction, which allows all of us to help more people. This blog has reached thousands of people in the short time it’s been live. I have had so many people reach out to me that are struggling with alcoholism/addiction with a willingness and desire to change. Live Forever Ministries was started by my Uncle and is changing and saving the lives of people struggling with addiction. All of this because of Will. And this is just within the first year. Who knows how many have been affected that we don’t know about. What an absolutely amazing tribute to my brother. I know he is so proud looking down.
We are thankful for the almost 30 years we had with Will. So, today we celebrate the time we had with him here on earth and his first year as an angel in Heaven. Later this evening our family will light his memory candle, enjoy a dinner of his favorite foods, play some of his favorite songs, and share some of our favorite memories. We will pray for peace and strength to carry us through this next year and ask for more positive changes to come as result of Will and the impact he has had both on earth and in Heaven.
”I am so proud of the strength that we have all shown and how we have taken a devastating loss and worked to make something good come from it.”~ Mom
“If you knew Will, you LOVED him. He was always everyone’s ”favorite” friend. I believe it takes a person likes this to make an impact.” Suzanne