On May 18, 2009, my son Justin Cosby was shot on the grounds of Harvard University. He died in the early morning hours of May 19. The heart ache and trauma following involved almost three years of court arraignments, trials, court appearances, etc. for four people.
On that day, Justin lost his power and his voice so I as his mother has become his voice. Over the past ten years, I have been writing a memoir about dealing with the murder of a child, navigating the legal system and coping after the fact.
We cannot bring our children back after they are gone but we can bring them forward.
We all have a story to tell and through my journey, I would like to empower others to write theirs.
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My name is Denise Cosby. My worst nightmare was realized on May 18, 2009, when I received word that my son Justin Cosby had been shot in the Kirkland House at Harvard University. The story made headlines throughout the United States and across the international waters because of the venue where it occurred. The story was not only shocking for the viewers who watched it on the television sets, it was devastating and life changing for my family and me.
My son died about 3:30 a.m. the next morning. I remember leaving the hospital shortly after the sun began to rise. Each step I took felt like I was having an outer body experience. Time became endless. My world felt empty. Drowning alone in turmoil, I didn’t know where to begin. Shock, hurt, dismay, anger, devastation are just a few of the emotions that come to mind. Each step I took felt like there were weights attached to my feet. A nightmare would have welcomed because I would have awaken and it would have been over. My baby had just died. How can life continue as though nothing had changed? People were making their way going about their daily business. Traffic was moving and people were rushing by. I could not believe the world was going on as usual. A lot to absorb and comprehend!
What had just happened to my family was incomprehensible! Thoughts were flashing through my mind exceeding the speed limits of time. How the hell did this happen? My son was so fit and full of life. He was well liked and loved by the community. A few hours ago, he was hollering out to me how much he loved me! Now, they are telling me he is dead? I didn’t want to believe it! I just saw him. I knew deep in my soul he had passed. I had so many questions and thoughts.
Where do I begin? Who did this? How do we seek justice? Where do we go from here? What do we have ahead of us? Is the road to seeking justice defined in a way that we will understand? Who are the people we will encounter along the way? What are their roles?
Seeking justice for Justin’s murder involved two and a half years of criminal trials and court proceedings. It was a learning process. I felt it important to attend each arraignment and trial of four defendants. My son no longer had a voice and could seek justice for himself. The death of my son will cut deep into my soul forever.
I would like my blog to be a platform for families who have lost loved ones to sudden deaths by the hands of others. I encourage families to express your feelings after experiencing a sudden death. Tell your story. Your pain is a pain that can be shared with others in similar situations.
Each of our loved ones were special to us. I felt like no other parent could be as devastated as I am because of the love I have for my son. I’ve learned that many parents love their children just as deeply as I love mine. The magnitude of a child’s loss can hardly be articulated into words. However, the love a parent has for his or her child will never die. Let’s express our feelings about the event that just transformed our life into a living nightmare.
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