Courageous, Loyal, Compassionate, Fun loving, Warrior
“To know Josh was to love Josh,” was an often-repeated theme at his celebration of life service. Josh was remembered as a loving, caring and authentic person with a calm demeanor and a tender heart. He loved people unconditionally and was always interested in hearing their stories and sharing their struggles. He led NA meetings, and encouraged so many people with their walk in sobriety.
Josh was an avid movie buff and loved animals, wanting to save every stray he came across. He was also passionate about his sports teams, especially the Dallas Cowboys and the Lakers. He was a phenomenal pitcher, making the All-Star team every year. He also played soccer, basketball and golf; it was during his time on the golf team that he was first introduced to drugs.
Family was very important to Josh and he often apologized for his drug use and the effect it had on his siblings and other family members. Though Josh tried many times to overcome his substance use, he got more motivated when he started working the steps with his sponsor Matt. After a year of sobriety, Matt helped Josh get a job with Ashley Furniture; he was consistently a top salesperson and very proud of his accomplishments. Josh was able to maintain his sobriety for almost two years largely because of his strong relationships with his “fam bam;” a group of guys in recovery who met each week. He was making good money, had has own place to live and was doing well.
Even with all of his success, Josh was feeling overwhelmed with anxiety. He felt confident he could manage a low dose of anti-anxiety medication, but within a month Josh relapsed and checked himself into rehab yet again. He told his mother “I need to get to the point where I don’t think about drugs., I want a family, I want kids.” He used one last time and passed away.
“He tried so very hard,” Wendy said. “Watching him spiral out of control was the hardest thing I have experienced. I was in a constant state of fear. That little green dot on Facebook, showing he was online, was sometimes the only way I knew he was alive. It may not seem significant to many, but to me it meant there was still hope.”
Wendy said, “I am at peace with the fact that there was nothing more I could have done for him. I loved Josh more than life itself. My heart is heavy from the crushing reality that I can never see, hear or hug my first-born son again. But I know without a doubt, that Josh would want me to live my life to the fullest and that’s how I choose to honor him.”
Josh’s mother, Wendy Layne provided the information for this narrative.
October 28, 1986 – March 1, 2020
Age 33 – Lived with addiction 15 years