Our grandson Noah Pozner lost his life in Sandy Hook on Dec. 14, 2012. He had just turned six.
Ten years on, he is both unequivocally gone and vividly present. Nobody knows it better than his mother, my daughter Veronique De La Rosa. And what better way to honor his memory on this tenth anniversary than to ask her to talk about him.
“Noah’s earthbound story was over before he had time to finish writing the first chapter. And in such an unspeakable way that I don’t have the words to talk about it.
So his story has become my story, in turns wings or anvil, depending upon the day, sometimes the hour.
Every bit of joy happens for me through his eyes, which now gaze through mine. I gather these instants of happiness and string them up like so many pearls, to have and to hold on the anvil days, when the heaviness does not allow for tears.
Nothing has changed in ten years. Picture throwing a smooth round pebble down an ancient well, waiting for that dull echoey sound letting you know it has made contact with whatever is at the bottom. Here I am, waiting for my grief to make that sound. The closure, the conclusion, the finale of it.
I now understand that will never happen and I hold that knowledge in peace.
I cherish Noah’s memory, I cherish the immense privilege of having known him at all, of having been his Mom and of knowing that I loved him fiercely, not because I was supposed to but because I just effortlessly did.
He was a content, compassionate and generous little boy. I always felt his concern for others was an an innate byproduct of being a twin. He saw the world with a sense of curiosity and wonder, with many questions as to the why and how of things.
He was also a jokester who delighted in teasing his sisters. I recall him telling them that while they were both fast asleep at night, he would sneak off to his third shift job as a supervisor in a taco factory. I have no idea how or why he came up with that, but it drove both girls bonkers as they repeatedly attempted to stay awake in order to catch him leaving for “work”.
His favorite colors were blue and yellow and he truly believed in superheroes and in their powers to save the world from the brink of destruction. He loved to wear his vast collection of superhero shirts, and had a special fondness for Spider-Man and Iron Man. He followed their exploits in cartoons, movies and comic books.
He was also lover of animals and nature and an adventurous gourmand. He was all that and so much more, because everything that he could have been as he grew older never came to pass.
In spite of my aching sadness, I celebrate Noah’s spirit, his constant presence in my heart and life. He is free. Untethered. Impalpable. Yet also changeless and steadfast.
In truth, Noah is eternal.”
As Veronique’s mother and Noah’s grandma, it breaks my heart to know that six short years together is all they had.