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“Life goes on” August’s tattoo. January 11, 2011

Posted by johnbohlinger in August Bohlinger, Dealing with Grief after Losing your child..


August was complex: so shy yet so brave, so strong yet so fragile, a genius I.Q. who at times did not think at all, a social person who craved solitude, a person so deeply concerned about the well-being of others yet cavalier about this own well-being. Somehow, this strange combination of dichotomies made him perfect… in all his ragged glory.

The tattoo on August’s left shoulder read “How do you Perceive?”… his way of asking “is your glass half full or half empty?” Though his absents hurts like hell, we who were blessed enough to have know August can perceive ourselves as lucky to have had him in our lives, albeit for far too short of time.

The tattoo on August’s right arm read “Life Goes On.”  That day that he died felt like the end of the world, but, for those of us lucky enough to have had August in our lives, our lives go on with a richness and beauty that others will never know.

I wonder if those messages were meant for us he left behind; his way of comforting us, letting us know it’s going to be ok? Maybe.



1. elvira - January 12, 2011

Good to see you back, John. Lovely post.

j boh - January 12, 2011

Hi Elvira:

I didn’t have anything to say for quite some time.. holidays are killers. Hope yours went well. God bless you

2. rushchick - May 28, 2011

Just wanted to let you know that I am thinking of you….Going through a rough patch right now but will get through it, like I always do….I wish you well:]]

johnbohlinger - May 28, 2011

God bless you.

3. Melisa - August 21, 2012

I just discovered your blog. After reading much of it, I am comforted by the fact that what I feel is what someone else feels. To some that is probably strange, but to me it makes complete sense. My son was killed in a car accident, a month away from his 18th birthday. He was one of the most amazing people that I have ever been privileged to know, let alone bring into this world. Thank you for writing, and sharing your life, and memories of your son with us. Please know that your blog is appreciated….

4. Patty cagle - September 22, 2013

I don’t know you but this has helped me i lost my son he had just turnd 20. he was such a good kind gentel young man. i miss him so much i would do anything to put my arms around him and hold on to him so tighet. and never let him go. and in honor of my son i was so lucky that he was my son and i got to spend 20 years with him and at the wake i wrote him a letter and sheard it with everyone that came there were tears there were smiles and there was laughter he was so respected with his peer group that it was amzing to see how much he was loved and not just him but my whole family and frenids came to support us. and it has only been six mounths and it is getting harder for me i have 3 other kids to live for and an amzing husband that my son saved his life and i couldnt save my son. thank you for sharing your sotry with me. good bless august and my son as well shawn mark cagle. there is hope but happy times will come as you said it. patty cagle

johnbohlinger - September 22, 2013

Hi Patty. Six months is a brutal time…but there is a lot of beauty in it. You are right, we are so lucky to have had our children, even if just for a little while. God bless you,

5. Jeanine Robinson - October 22, 2013

Dear John, I am so thankful that I somehow stumbled on to your blog. I was in a desperate need for the answer, as to whether I can be happy after the loss of my son? Your story was so heartfelt and amazing how I was able to relate. My 17 year-old son, Darius, was shot and killed by a selfless monster who had no regard for human life… he randomly shot into a crowd of teens at a party and my son was the only one to get hit. It happened in 2012 and it’s so ironic that it actually happened in August. John, I can not tell you the guilt I suffer with every second of the day. Darius, my sunshine, my best friend, my heart and soul was absolutely my favorite person in the world… no one, not my husband, daughter or even granddaughter could warm my heart the way Darius did, although I absolutely love them dearly, but there was something about him, perhaps it was his charisma and zest for life, that simply brightened my day the second I spoke to or saw him. Although, he was a juvenile diabetic for 10 years, he managed to handle his illness with confidence and ease, went to school and worked two jobs. Although he was extremely mature for his 17 yrs., I always worried about him and prayed for his safety all day, as he often liked to hang out with his friends as well. I believe one of the reasons I feel so terrible besides the fact that my husband and I so happily dropped him off that very night after coming home from a family vacation, but I was supposed to be his protector. He had a few near death encounters with his diabetes and I always managed to save him… why not then? I have, since then, questioned my faith and wonder why would God allow this to happen to him… to us? I remember how happy I was, I was always that friend that boasted how much I loved life and everyone in it… now all I want to do is be in seclusion and hide away from everyone, just as you mentioned as well. I have had the pleasure of receiving many signs showing me my baby is fine and at peace, however, I do believe I am my worse enemy and continue to beat myself up… I’m hoping to one day smile and really mean it…Thank you for sharing your life and the wonderful memories of August… you both are an inspiration!

Jeanine Robinson - October 22, 2013

Thank you

johnbohlinger - October 23, 2013

You and your sweet son Darius clearly had a beautiful bond. You both were incredibly lucky to have shared that. So many people never have that kind of beautiful/loving relationship. The tragedy of us losing our sons will never make sense, but we can count ourselves lucky/blessed to have had theses amazing young men in our lives as long as we did.

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