There are no words to express my inability to understand what happened with Josh. I found this nice picture of Josh in our archive from 2006 or 2007 from a happier time. I was able to attend a respectful memorial last week in Cleveland for Josh, and everyone who spoke talked about his dedication and commitment to social justice. It was a hot and steamy evening in Cleveland on Friday July 19, 2013, and at the close of the ceremony the sky opened up for a short thunderstorm. Obviously, it was not just me who did not understand the loss of Josh to the community.
It was nice to see Sarah and Emily, his closest co-workers at NEOCH, who organized the event. Sarah's son Milo did not attend, which was unfortunate, because we have not seen him for years. Rev. Jim Link officiated the service at St. Paul's and he was caring and calming to those gathered as we moved through a series of reflections. His old supervisor, Teri' attended along with the old Grapevine Managing Editor, Kevin listened to stories of how deeply violence against homeless people had affected Josh. Don, a Street Voices speaker, attended and spoke about his interactions with Josh Kanary. Some of the staff from Kucinich's office and his friends from CSU were present to pay respects to the family. Two NEOCH Board members and current staff attended to hear about his editing of a literary journal for Social Work students at CSU. I was able to meet Josh's family from Toledo along with his lovely wife Julie who had only praise for his years at NEOCH. Josh spoke often about his tenure both as a VISTA and as a Community Organizer with NEOCH, and Julie had fond memories of those stories. One of Josh's folkie musician friends, Gary Nelson performed at the service.
We all hope that Josh and his family can find the peace that is often so elusive in this crazy mixed up world we live in.
We have link to a number of Josh's stories on our website at the end of the Grapevine archive.
Here is the reflection offered by Sarah at the memorial.
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