Joshua Gray (12/31/1983 - 12/31/2006)

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Joshua was only 10 when his mother died, she was to him and many others a light that shined brightly. When his light went out, he began to loose his way. In the darkness, I thought that he was behind his brother and me, but I could not have been more mistaken.

He had begun to look for his own source of light. He told me that he was about 13 when he first tried Heroin, and from that point on he tried to escape his addiction.

Tori, Josh’s mother, died of cancer at the young age of 37. Cancer is an insidious disease that robs you of your dignity at the end. His mother fought for 6 years only to finally succumb to cancer, but she always had her spirit.

Josh fought for 10 years until he lost his battle. Addiction is even more insidious than cancer because it took his dignity and spirit.

Josh was always a happy little boy so full of joy and hope. You could always count on Josh for having an infectious smile and laugh. I had such great dreams for him. When he began to get in his teens he and I fought constantly.

He was rebellious as most teens become or so I thought. Before he graduated High School he had been in three Drug Rehab Centers. After High School he went to 2 or 3 more. None of these worked and I still don’t know why.

The lying and steeling began to get worse, and the anger between us began to fuel his addiction. I would not allow his addiction to envelop his brother and me; I could not allow him to live with us any longer.

At first this separation was good for him and he began to turn things around. He was in Texas with other family members and was doing better. He began to put weight back on and some of that sparkle in his eyes had returned.

After about a year and a half, he returned to the New Jersey area. With in a year he fell into the same habits. He became so despondent that his life had not amounted to anything yet. The depression and despair that he felt caused him to spiral downward.

In the end, he died alone with nothing to comfort him but the needle in his arm. He was found after about 24 hours and a life that began with such joy and fanfare just went out.

He was my first of three sons, his brothers Zac (age 20) and Kyle (age 1) will miss him so. He will be greatly missed by grandparents, aunts, uncles, numerous cousins and many friends. His stepmother and I will miss him also, and we will have a hole in our hearts where he was.

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    Rachel Holdren

    August 12, 2014 at 9:35 PM

    Was thinking of Josh tonight and really started to remember a lot of good times we shared growing up in Shade.our birthday is coming up soon September 4th.i remember telling you when I was 14 that I was gonna marry u since we were born on the same day 🙂 love you josh

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    Alyssia Sewall

    September 25, 2008 at 10:52 PM

    Josh, it has been almost 11 months since you passed but a year since I last saw you alive. You were the best cousin and "brother" I could have had. I love you. You were smarter than most people thought, which is in part because you played it cool. I always thought you were going to be a CEO of your own company. I know you loved us all very much and you were good to your friends and family. I miss you more every day. Your addiction got the best of you but I know in your heart you

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