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Joshua Gray 1984-2007


Joshua was only 10 when his mother died, she was to him and many others a light that shined brightly. When his light went out, he began to loose his way. In the darkness, I thought that he was behind his brother and me, but I could not have been more mistaken.

He had begun to look for his own source of light. He told me that he was about 13 when he first tried Heroin, and from that point on he tried to escape his addiction.

Tori, Josh’s mother, died of cancer at the young age of 37. Cancer is an insidious disease that robs you of your dignity at the end. His mother fought for 6 years only to finally succumb to cancer, but she always had her spirit.

Josh fought for 10 years until he lost his battle. Addiction is even more insidious than cancer because it took his dignity and spirit.

Josh was always a happy little boy so full of joy and hope. You could always count on Josh for having an infectious smile and laugh. I had such great dreams for him. When he began to get in his teens he and I fought constantly.

He was rebellious as most teens become or so I thought. Before he graduated High School he had been in three Drug Rehab Centers. After High School he went to 2 or 3 more. None of these worked and I still don’t know why.

The lying and steeling began to get worse, and the anger between us began to fuel his addiction. I would not allow his addiction to envelop his brother and me; I could not allow him to live with us any longer.

At first this separation was good for him and he began to turn things around. He was in Texas with other family members and was doing better. He began to put weight back on and some of that sparkle in his eyes had returned.

After about a year and a half, he returned to the New Jersey area. With in a year he fell into the same habits. He became so despondent that his life had not amounted to anything yet. The depression and despair that he felt caused him to spiral downward.

In the end, he died alone with nothing to comfort him but the needle in his arm. He was found after about 24 hours and a life that began with such joy and fanfare just went out.

He was my first of three sons, his brothers Zac (age 20) and Kyle (age 1) will miss him so. He will be greatly missed by grandparents, aunts, uncles, numerous cousins and many friends. His stepmother and I will miss him also, and we will have a hole in our hearts where he was.


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12 Responses to this article

  1. Rachel Holdren / August 12, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    Was thinking of Josh tonight and really started to remember a lot of good times we shared growing up in Shade.our birthday is coming up soon September 4th.i remember telling you when I was 14 that I was gonna marry u since we were born on the same day :) love you josh

  2. Avatar of Alice Silverman
    Alice Silverman / September 25, 2008 at 10:52 pm

    Josh, it has been almost 11 months since you passed but a year since I last saw you alive. You were the best cousin and "brother" I could have had. I love you. You were smarter than most people thought, which is in part because you played it cool. I always thought you were going to be a CEO of your own company. I know you loved us all very much and you were good to your friends and family. I miss you more every day. Your addiction got the best of you but I know in your heart you

  3. Avatar of Alice Silverman
    Alice Silverman / June 2, 2008 at 9:53 pm

    Cont'd…fix everything from broken bike chains to scraped knees to spelling mistakes on homework. We as parents think this is something we can fix. We can't….we can only love them and we did and they know that. No kid ever says "when I grow up, I want to be a drug addict. Please know I keep all of the children who's lives were cut short to this silent drug war, close in thought and in my heart. Josh fly high with all the angels of addiction and rest in peace!

  4. Avatar of rachelholdren
    rachelholdren / June 2, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    To the Gray Family. How bittersweat for me to find such a beautiful tribute to Josh. I won't say he's in a better place because we all know our son's would be better here on earth with us, healthy and happy. I will say that I do hope some day the world will understand and the stigma of addiction will go away. Heroin is a monster that is so hard to fight. I will never forget my own son telling me he was sorry and I did nothing wrong as a parent. I thought this was my fault. I am supposed to

  5. Avatar of brittanyherrlin
    brittanyherrlin / March 29, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    I miss you so much

  6. Avatar of shannaarias
    shannaarias / February 6, 2008 at 9:42 pm

    Josh, I am sorry that your mother died and if I could change it I would.

  7. Avatar of zackcurrier
    zackcurrier / January 16, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    My heart goes out to you and your family. Over a year ago I lost not just a great friend but someone who was like a sister to me. Please take a moment of your time to visit the website her mother set up for her in order to get justice at this point in time and if you agree please sign the petition

  8. Avatar of jenniferpallastammymoffa
    jenniferpallastammymoffa / January 10, 2008 at 5:39 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. Herion is a very addictive and destructive drug. I have been in recovery for 20 years now. I was so tired of being sick, being in trouble and being in jail. Finally at 19, I got on my knees and asked the Lord to deliver me from this addiction and he did. He wiped that desire away forever. I have been a counselor and social worker for many years now and one thing people don't realize is that if a person is not ready to stop they are not going to no matter what we do.

  9. Avatar of stephaniezurn
    stephaniezurn / November 16, 2007 at 12:22 pm

    Joe, I share your pain and am so very sorry for your loss of Joshua.
    My son Dallas succumbed to his demon July 12 2007 at 19.
    Joshua's story breaks my heart.
    All of these beautiful people, they break my heart.
    You are in my heart, and I wish I didn't have to tell you that you are not alone. All my best wishes to you and your family.

  10. Avatar of angelagwynnmotherofdallasnguyen
    angelagwynnmotherofdallasnguyen / November 13, 2007 at 6:50 pm

    Josh was a great cousin to me and loved by so many. We will all miss him so deeply. Addictions can be hard, but I hope we all can learn from this. Josh will never be forgotton in mind and spirit. To all who knew him, keep your head up high and never forget him. To his closest family members like dad and brother, I hope you are doing better and I love you. I MISS YOU AND LOVE YOU JOSH.

  11. Stephanie Zurn / November 9, 2007 at 10:42 pm

    I just wanted to say how deeply sorry I am for your loss. I know that he was a great kid who somehow lost his way. I will never forget the holiday dinner that Josh and Zach spent with our family. Who would have ever thought this tradegy would occur? I wish for you all the love and support that you will need during this time of heartache. God Bless you all.

  12. Avatar of samanthagray
    samanthagray / November 8, 2007 at 11:10 pm

    Lord, grant me the courage to accept the things I can not change, change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Amen.

    To everyone who knew and loved Josh Gray, it is a tragedy to those a friend so young. Pass the knowledge and life experience that we all share onto those who need it. Live and love life the way Josh would want us too.

    11/8/2007. Maple Shade, NJ.

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