Happy Thanksgiving to All and especially to those of us who are feeling our Loss

Happy-Thanksgiving-Images-4As I sit here and reflect on past Thanksgivings, all I can think of is those who meant so much to me who are no longer with me.  Of course, I think of my parents who I shared a close relationship with and were the cornerstones of my life.

Oh, how I miss them.  My dad making numerous trips to the grocery store, picking up things he forgot and additional items my mom sent him to get to make that Thanksgiving dinner so special.  Mom was always in the kitchen and the fumes from the turkey, collard greens, candid yams, etc. to delight your pallet filled the air.

Until I lost my beloved Justin, I did the same thing for my daughter Shenita and him.   Holiday were always important.  What seemed so trivial but meant so much is gone and life will never be the same again.  I don’t care how many people come or don’t come, life is so different and the magnitude of our loss cannot be measured or debated.

Nevertheless, this Thanksgiving, let’s keep in mind the blessings God has graced us with. The fact that God did not give us our children and loved ones, he loaned them to us. Just as he giveth, he taketh. And as thankful we are for that loan and equally as hurt from the loss, let’s look to those we still have with us, enjoy them, be thankful for them and not take them for granted.

And let’s remember that the memories we make today are the ones we will look back on tomorrow.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone from http://www.survivingmurder1.com

Denise Cosby

Author of Forthcoming Memoir:

Murder at Harvard University Kirkland House –A Mother’s Worst Nightmare

Happy Mother’s Day!

grief photo

A mother is Love. A mother is strength. A mother is a nurturer? A mother is one of the most patient people on earth. A mother can be biological or not. She gives many chances and have taken much crap from her Young  yet she  stands strong behind them.  She takes care of her young or the young she has come to know as her children.  A mother is a teacher doctor and a preacher.

 A mother is forgiving. When she is at the end of her rope  and think she is about to brake – her rope gets a little longer and she gives her child just one more chance.
 A mother teaches right from wrong. She not only talk the talk she walks the walk. A mother recognizes that children learn by example. A good mother is Godly.
There are many who can quote you every scripture in the bible but do not live by them.  A good mother  teaches by example.
A mother is an inspiration.  She is dependable in times of need. She creates memories that last beyond life or when there is nothing else to hang on too.
Many of us mothers have lost all children to murder By the hands of the evil.  Let us know that the memories we hold today are what we created yesterday. When we separate from our children we embrace the memories we shared through the good times and the bad.
Know that as long as we have breath in our bodies there is still time to embrace the children we have left here on Earth and create new memories that will leave a smile in the hearts of those left behind when we are no longer together.
My mother was all of those things and I miss her dearly!
Happy Mother’s Day to all Mothers from www.survivingmurder1.com


mom & dadAnother Christmas has arrived.  Memories of days passed circulates through our minds and hearts.  Let us remember those who have gone on before us and rejoice in the memories they left us.

Our loved ones are no longer with us in the flesh but the love we shared will live in our hearts forever.  Whether this is your first Christmas without your loved one or the twentieth, we know life will never be the same again. However, lets continue to celebrate their lives.

Merry Christmas to my mother Juanita, father Abraham, brothers Abraham and Roland and especially to my son Justin Devin Cornelius Daniel Cosby.  The love we shared will always be remembered and cherished!
















TODAY, MAY 18, 2015 I WOKE UP WITH A HEAVY HEART.  6 years ago today May 18, 2009, my son Justin Cosby was cut down by murder at the age of 21.  Justin was my youngest child and only son.  Around 10 a.m., this morning 6 years ago, he was hollering out to me how much he loved me.  6 hours later, he was shot in the Kirkland House at Harvard University.  About 10 hours later, Justin died from a gunshot wound to his stomach.

Justin was a joy to have as a child and a self-admitted momma’s boy until his death.  Justin was energetic, ambitious and very charismatic.  He left a devoted mother Denise Cosby, a devoted sister Shenita Cosby and an array of family and friends who still mourn his death six years later.  Even though all 4 of the culprits have been convicted and are being punished, my son’s life is No More.  I will always remember, love and cherish my son’s legacy.  When I think of Justin, I think of his big kool-aid smile that used to spread from one side of his face to another and those warm hugs he used to give me.  I am not sure whether I experience more pain from the memories because he is no longer here or, do I indulge in the happy memories Justin shared with us when he was here.  I know his spirit will remain in our hearts forever.  In memory of Justin, I have posted a letter written to him from my my upcoming Memoir “Murder at Harvard University’s Kirkland House – A Mother’s Worst Nightmare”.


Son, I am so proud of you.  I am so proud of the legacy you left behind.  I am in awe of the friendships you made along the way.  I cherish the love and the respect you always gave to me.  I am proud of the strength and tenacity you displayed as you tried to mature and navigate your way through the complexities and atrocities of life from boy hood to man hood in spite of the challenges and difficult journey you faced along the way.



grief photoMother’s Day means so many things to different people.  Mother’s Day is a day set aside to recognize all mothers or persons whom have acted as mothers.  Mothers are sometimes not the woman who birthed you but she is the woman who supported you through thick and thin, doctored you when you were sick, listened to you when nobody else cared and loved you no matter what.  You could always depend on a mother to pick you up when you are down.  No matter what disagreements have come and gone, a mother’s love endures.

Mother’s Day is one of the most deserved and recognized days of the year.  It is a day when we tell our Mothers how much we love them and appreciate them.  It is also a day mothers look forward too because they know their most precious jewels will make them smile by showing them how much they appreciate and love them.  Many are flourished with special dinners, cards, flowers, gifts and moments.  Some are just happy to be able to hear their children’s voice.  No matter the method of communication when a child shows love to his mother, Mother’s Day usually leaves memories that mothers take to the grave with them.

My mother died about 20 years ago.  I still remember her teachings, scoldings, support and most of all love she showed me.  20 years later, I still have cards and mementos she gave me for inspiration and motivation.  I know my mother’s love still endures.

The best day of my life was when I became a mother.  Even though I went through long hard labors, the reward outweighed the pain.  My first child Shenita, a girl; someone to dress up, teach to become a young lady and groom for woman hood.  Shenita has become an amazing young woman and I thank God for her every day.  Shenita has been a gift and I am very proud of her.




www.survivingmurder1.com extends its sincerest condolences to Odin Lloyd’s family who was murdered on June 17, 2013 in North Attleboro, MA.   We also extend our congratulations and best wishes to Odin’s family for enduring a long successful trial that came to fruition on April 15, 2015.  The killer – Aaron Hernandez, ex-New England Patriot’s football player celebrity status kept this story headlining national and international news for almost two years.   After nearly 7 days (36 hours) of deliberations the jury returned a verdict of GUILTY of first-degree murder in Odin’s death.  Aaron Hernandez is now being held accountable for his heinous actions he committed on Odin Lloyd.  In fact, the murder was described as extreme atrocity and cruelty “execution style of a helpless man”.   The Judge sentenced Aaron Hernandez to serve life in prison without the possibility of parole.

As I listened to the impact statements of Odin’s mother Mrs. Ursual Ward, his sister and uncle my heart dropped.  I felt as though I was having a flashback.  Through her words, I relived my son Justin’s verdict and my family’s response to the verdict.  No mother knows a pain of another mother who has loss her child other than another mother who has walked through the same valley of death.  Odin’s mother expressed some of the same thoughts about her son Odin as I did about my son Justin in my impact statement.  I heard her say she missed his big smile, her son calling out to her “Mom Dukes where are you going?”  What are you doing?  Kidding with her by asking her, “who told you that you could go out today”?  What are you cooking mom and mom you look beautiful.”  Those words were some of the same words my son used to say to me and I would like Mrs. Ward  to know I feel her pain!!!  In addition, it just made it clearer that so many parents who have lost children to murder share exactly the same sentiments and memories.  However, thank God, we have memories that will always elicit a smile and warm thoughts of our loss.




For years the Boston Marathon has been one of Boston’s most proudest events.  Runners come from all over the world to compete and participate in the 26-mile marathon.  On April 15, 2013, as crowds of spectators cheered on runners who were approaching the finishing line, two homemade pressure cooker bombs exploded seconds apart.  The devastation caused mass destruction and left over 260 people with major injuries including many lost limbs.  Those bombs took the lives of 3 people.  29 year old Krystal Campbell, Boston University Graduate student Lingzi Lu and little 8 year old Richard Martin laid dead amidst the carnage.  The attack also left the City in an uproar.  Over the next few days, the local residents were ordered to stay in their homes while the police pursued the suspects.  On April 19, 2013, law enforcement continued to scan the City for the suspects.  MIT Police Officer Sean Collier was approached by the suspects was and shot dead.  The suspects left the area where Officer Collier was shot and went a couple miles away to a neighboring City of Allston.  There they hi-jacked a vehicle, drove the owner to a service station in Cambridge where the owner escaped and ran into a nearby service station begging for help.  The clerk called the police and a high speed chase ensued into nearby Watertown, another bordering city just a few miles away.

The suspects turned out to be Tamerian Tsarnaev and Dzhokhar Tsarnavev, two brothers from Cambridge.  The chase ended when Tamerian Tsarnaev fell from the car and his brother Dzhokhar ran over him resulting in Tamerian’s death.

Dzhokhar escaped during all the mayhem and went on the run for 2 days.  Cambridge Police, Boston Police, Watertown Police State Police and Federal law officials set up a command post in Watertown until they found Dzhokhar hiding in a boat in one residents’ back yard.  Dzhokhar was apprehended and taken into custody.  Many lives were altered, devastated and destroyed by the Tsasrnavev brothers actions.

In January 2015, a Dzhokhar Tsarnavev went on trial at John Moakley Federal Court in Boston.  On March 3, 2015 a jury of his peers were chosen.  Dzhokhar faced 30 counts of charges in connection with the bombing.  17 of those counts punishable by the death penalty.

On April 8, 2015, two years after the bombing, the verdict came in.  Dzhokhar Tsarnavev was found Guilty on all 30 counts including conspiracy and use of weapons of mass destruction.   17 of those counts are punishable by death.

Many of us have lost loved ones to murder.  However if we were given the opportunity to choose life or death for the pepertrator would you be able to choose the death penalty?   Death is final and ends the pain, misery and punishment for the offender.  However, life in prison without the possibility of parole is a living hell.  Each and every day that person lives, he has to think about what he has done, the pain and devastation he has caused and the fact that he has no chance to ever cause harm again.


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