One can’t escape ‘social media’, however often it is reported in a negative context – whether it’s cyber bullying or someone knowing your inside leg measurement. Anyway, it nice to report on a positive outcome for a change. It is a positive outcome, but from a sad story, CJ Twoney a young man from Maine in the US, took his own life after not coming to terms with the fact that he had not made the US special forces.
His urn sat on the shelf for over three year and then his Mum, Hallie Twomey , decided that she would like to help give CJ one last journey. She sent out a simple request on Facebook to help C.J – ‘see the mountains that he never got to climb, see the vast oceans that he would have loved, see tropical beaches and lands far and away’. The post was quickly shared by around 100 of her friends, and soon even strangers started offering to scatter C.J.’s ashes where they lived or whilst on their holidays. So she started a separate Facebook page called ‘Scattering C.J.‘, which at the time of writing had almost 15k ‘likes’. Packets, numbering in the hundreds, containing a little of CJ ashes have been sent all over world …she now has an application form that people need to fill in! Along with his ashes, CJ’s Mum sends a note to the recipient and a small photo of smiling C.J, wearing a Boston Red Sox shirt with sunglasses propped up on his head (the picture above). She asks the recipient to do four things:
- Think about C.J.,
- think about the people he gave life to through organ donation,
- tell him that his mom and dad loved him;
- and tell him that his mom is sorry.
When most of C.J.’s ashes have been scattered, she would like to put together a book with all the notes and photos people have sent her, with the proceeds would go to the New England Organ Bank. It turns out, perhaps not unsurprisingly, that many of those offering to help scatter C.J.’s ashes have also been affected by suicide or lost children.
Mrs Twoney said ‘I don’t want him to have to sit in an urn for my benefit for whatever rest of time that we have,’ she said. ‘I wanted to give him something. I’m trying to give him a journey.’ She has been overwhelmed by the kindness. ‘Really, why would a complete stranger want to help us?’ she said. ‘I really think people are doing whatever they can, even if it’s a small thing, to ease our burden or to embrace life.’
Brilliant just brilliant, so rarely do we here about the good things the internet can do – what a wonderful thing to do for her son and his memory. The story speaks for itself really, but there is one thing I would like to add. Bless her, she does not need to say sorry, I understand that people sometimes hold themselves responsible when terrible things happen – but she didn’t do it and would have moved heaven and earth to prevent it had she of known.