Our community has been rocked. We have lost a beautiful child who brought light and joy to so many.
We are in shock, we are destroyed and we are grieving. And we are helpless to help those he left behind.
Jared Forman, first grader, seven year-old, aspiring rock star who loved to play his electric guitar, sports enthusiast who loved the Georgia Bulldogs and whose best friend was his older brother, was a boy who smiled often and laughed easily. His humor and sweetness made all who came into contact with him better for having known him.
An unknown and malignant brain tumor took this beautiful flaxen-haired, blue-eyed boy too soon. One minute, he seemed fine and the next, he was gone. And now those who loved him are left trying to make sense of something so senseless.
Jared was a special child. Of that there is no doubt. Nine hundred of us showed up to mourn at his funeral. Countless more were there in spirit.
And just one week later, a hastily assembled but passionate team of 70 runners wearing “Team Jared” t-shirts ran and walked in a race to raise money to help cure childhood cancer. Thirteen thousand dollars was raised in six days and despite their unimaginable grief, Jared’s parents and brother crossed the finish line, making a statement that his short life will mean something larger.
Now, in the weeks and months and years to come, we will still be thinking about this amazing boy, still mourning for a life lost and a child, sibling, grandchild, cousin, nephew, friend gone.
And while a community has come together, it is still a solitary journey for each family member, especially as life seems to go back to normal and they realize they must find a new normal. I cannot imagine the pain.
To Jared’s parents and the rest of his family, please know that you are in all of our thoughts and that we would ease your pain if we could. A quote from the sermon at the funeral resounds in my mind - “Ask not why he died, but why he lived.”
And you will be left with a thousand amazing reasons of how your son touched so many lives and brought so much joy to so many.