This is the eulogy the Matt's dad Bill read yesterday.
Matthew Joseph Cox - Eulogy
My family and I want to take a moment to thank so many people for the outpouring of love and support from all walks of life.
To the first responders, Doctors and Nurses at Good Samaritan and Childrenʼs Hospital, we simply canʼt say enough. You worked tirelessly for a month, 24 hours a day to help our son and we thank you so much for your efforts, your kindness and your compassion towards our son Matt and our family. You are all such special people being called to a vocation only a few can answer. You did what you know best from a medical perspective and you allowed us room to do what we do best from a spiritual perspective saying prayers and the rosary morning, noon and night at Mattʼs bedside; shuffling in priests, nuns, healers and every day people of faith from all walks of life that prayed out loud at his bedside while you worked around us.
We also want to thank everyone from around Hanover and communities in Maine and around the world that made all of the blue ribbons that are hung all over town and across many states. For all of the kids who colored angels and made cards and many others who were so generous with their time, money and all of the kind and supportive messages on Facebook and Caringbridge which lifted us up and supported us through this difficult time. But mostly, we want to thank you for all of your prayers. That is all we ever asked for and you answered the call by having legions of people pray and pray some more for our son Matt. We firmly believe there is power in prayer and you answered that call.
Lastly, we want to thank our families who gave us the ultimate gift of time by taking care of our kids, doing our laundry, shuttling people to and from the hospital so that we could sit, pray and talk to Matt each day. The time we spent with him for the past month was the greatest gift anyone has ever given to us in our lifetime. __________________________
Matthew Joseph Cox, my shadow and my son, you lived such a short life yet had such an impact on so many people around the world. You were known as a gentle giant, someone kids looked up to not only physically but admirably. Coming off the bus on the first day of school in a new town, you could be seen fist bumping and high fiving all the kids as you walked down the aisle. When I got home from work I asked you how your first day of school was and you said “great dad, I have 25 new best friends”.
You helped other kids who needed help, you befriended kids who didnʼt have any, and included kids at recess that were watching everyone from the sidelines. You excelled at every sport you played, whether it be baseball, football, soccer, lacrosse or hockey. You were counted on so many times to make that tying or winning goal or score. As your Dad, I so enjoyed sitting among the parents of the opposing team and quietly listened to the other parents groan “here he goes again” or “how old is that kid anyway” or my favorite “I bet his parents are so proud”. Yes I am Iʼd say to myself. Proud doesnʼt even begin to tell the story that is you.
Since the accident, you have brought communities together to pray, to cry, and to learn how to be more compassionate, caring and loving towards each other. You taught adults how to pray, to go back to Church, to learn and say the rosary, and to pray together as a community, some praying for the very first time. Your faith outreach has
criss crossed a country reaching thousands praying for you from Maine to Massachusetts to Florida and from North Carolina to California and Colorado. Your faith message has reached Jerusalem, Scotland, Japan and Italy reaching the ears of Pope Francis. Priests and Nuns were praying for you in your hospital room and at the foot of the tomb of Pope John Paul II in Rome. A picture of you and a locket of your hair travelled from Boston to Medjugore and placed at the feet of the apparition of the Blessed Mother. For those who could not travel to you, they sent dozens of blest rosary beads, holy oil and holy water and prayer cards to you from all over the world. Spiritually, we couldnʼt have done any more for you. It was now up to God to make His decision. We prayed for that once in a million miracle that was ultimately found to be elusive. Although the miracle we sought didnʼt happen, people should not use that as an excuse to walk away from or to be angry with God, or to stop praying or to weaken the fabric that has now become a much stronger faith based community. You Matt would agree that letting that happen, would be a tragedy.
I canʼt even begin to tell you the hole that is now left in our hearts. The emptiness that we feel. We will never again get to see you play hockey or practice the guitar or use the gifts Santa brought you for Christmas. No more launching the football 50 feet behind me or tossing the baseball in the yard or grand slams on the field. No more hat tricks, no more basketball shootouts in the driveway or scoring the winning basket in overtime with seconds on the clock to win the game. No more bruises from lucky slap shots, playing chess, ping pong, pool or magic tricks you thought were so cool. No more wrestling and body slams on the bed each night. The fun running around the house
whipping towels at each other. We will miss your smile, your laugh and enthusiasm for life, your willingness to try anything, sitting and sharing a cup of tea or you making fun of me in the drive through when you wanted me to order you a medium Chai Tea but I ordered a medium Tai Chi instead or walking around the house wearing my suits and shoes making fun of me. We will also never forget asking us for $20 at Target so you can buy mom and I Christmas gifts only to catch you in line at Starbucks ordering a Vanilla Bean Frapachino with one pump of caramel syrup. You looked so handsome standing in line with your long hair counting out our money. We also remember you worrying so much about playing hockey in Maine about whether you would get any goals. Scoring seven goals in your first game seemed to put that worry to rest. Or setting your alarm clock to wake up 10 minutes before everyone else Christmas morning only to find you sleeping between mom and I when we woke up.
It will be hard to walk past your empty bedroom each day and in the years to come and wonder what you would be like if you had lived. How many kids you may have had and the fine young gentleman you would have become in the years ahead. Yet, we must move forward as difficult as thatʼs going to be.
My son, as your soul enters Godʼs heavenly kingdom, I want you to kneel at the feet of our Lord Jesus Christ and pray to Him, for us you leave behind, that the Holy Spirit gives us comfort and strength to move forward without you. We will miss you so much my Matt, my shadow and my son. Enjoy your next adventure dear Matt. We will all meet again some day, and what a happy day that will be for us.
We love you and will miss you dearly Matt. God bless.