Parent Column – March 2023

Feb 28, 2023 | Parent Column

Joshua Quinn Faithfull

On March 26, 2017, Joshua Quinn Faithfull, my soul mate & beloved son had his life tragically cut short from a malignant transformation of his congenital Neurocutaneous Melanosis (NCM). Joshua’s entire life was fraught with painful challenges. From age 2 to 5 years old, he endured many complicated surgeries without complaint. At 16 years old, Josh had his entire large intestine surgically removed & then, underwent brain (shunt) surgery; weeks later, my son found out that he had developed a rare & incurable central nervous system cancer. Despite his intense pain, Josh was always the perfect blend of everything good and right in the world. He loved & accepted everyone unconditionally & brought friendship & light into their lives. Josh’s kindness, sense of humor, courage & wisdom never ceased to astound us. Joshua had aspirations of becoming a doctor.

When Josh asked people how they were doing, he always stopped & actually listened to the answer. He loved making people laugh & always wore a smile. Josh was a peacemaker & modeled for everyone around him, unconditional acceptance. Despite his excruciating pain, Joshua remained his best self. Even though, he had so much taken from him (including his physical independence and dignity), Josh continued to always put others before himself. Joshua was so many things to so many people: lifeguard, swim instructor, varsity badminton player, meditation enthusiast, dedicated student, professional level gamer, loving son, devoted grandson, nephew, cousin & loyal friend. When Joshua was told that he was going to die, he never mentioned the fact that he would never get his driver’s license, attend prom, graduate from college, or get to experience any of the milestones of adulthood we all look forward to with excitement. With only a very short time between learning of his dire prognosis & his passing, Josh fearlessly reached out to everyone to let us all know how much we meant to him & even expressed worry over how we would all be, knowing his passing would leave a trail of shattered hearts. In the midst of his own suffering, Josh assured us all that he would always remain by our side; he told us how grateful he was to have lived such “a great life” & thanked us for loving him so much. Josh achieved his life’s goal of leaving this Earth having given more than he took. He fit an entire lifetime into just 16 years and 10 months & managed to fill so many lives with inspiration, generosity, friendship & laughter. Josh’s love, patience, devotion & grace even in the face of death, are beyond comprehension. Thank you, Joshie for the gift of YOU.   

And, a very heartfelt thank you to COPE for the tireless support, kindness, empathy & generosity given to those of us who are bereft of the most precious people in our lives …

With Gratitude,

Josh’s Mom