“It started when I was 8 and my brother was born at 28 weeks with a condition called Fetal Hydrops,” Ashton, a Bethlehem High School sophomore said as he sat down in our chairs to tell his Comeback Story for our studios . “He lived for three days and died from complications. My mother and father were devastated. I was too young to understand the illness but understood the loss and my brother’s death. I was with my parents at Albany Medical while my father held my brother while he took his last breath. It was terrible and his death ushered in a time of my life in which both parents were very sad and depressed.”

 

 

 

Death is tough, no matter who it is.  The grieving process is never truly over, it just changes.   The death took it’s toll on his family and so did the war in Iraq. “I was with my parents at Albany Medical while my father held my brother while he took his last breath. It was terrible and his death ushered in a time of my life in which both parents were very sad and depressed. “

 

Ashton’s father left for the war and never returned a changed man.  “War does that,” said Ashton.  War on the heart and in the physical world left Ashton in a dark place. 

 

Everyone deals with it differently and it took a long time before Ashton was able to talk about what was going on inside.  “Life goes on and we have survived and become closer. My mom works hard and loves us unconditionally.”

“The loss of someone that you love is devastating. Life without them changes your life not just by dynamic, but emotionally and psychologically as well. My grades began to fall. I was depressed and angry. “

 

“We are all on this journey, everyone is different and we all have these things we are dealing with,” Ashton explained that so much of the bullying and anxiety teenagers feel is due to the discussions we AREN’T having.  “Everyone has something they are anxious about.”  Everyone has their battles and when we don’t see them, we don’t see past what they are to who they are. 

 

Ashton’s worldview dramatically changed the night his brother was lost.  It changed because life became more valuable and living in a dark place didn’t seem right.  “My sister needs a big brother who is a good role model and not hiding from our life.”

“I went from having great grades in the first quarter last year (my parents were together) to failing everything by the end of the third quarter. I spent the fourth quarter working hard to not only pass the quarter, but bring up my grades to pass for the entire school year. I studied hard to ensure that I passed my regents. I achieved both goals. 

“I have found time for friends and family. I have forgiven my father for abandoning our family but the pain is still there. I have come to understand that family is what is here and now. Death is part of life and as a whole devastating, we continue to live. We live for those we love.” 

 

We live and do our best for a good life and to continue on for our lost loved ones. All is not lost. I continue each day to live in the moment and cherish what I have. My sister needs a strong role model who loves her and wants what’s best for her. I will lead by example.” If you have a comeback story to tell : please apply here. CLICK HERE