Memorial website in the memory of your loved one

This memorial website was created in the memory of our loved one, Daniel Golston, who left this world on August 16, 2006, but who lives on in our hearts.

Daniel was born at home in Austin on February 28, 1986.  His older brother, Russell, maternal grandparents, various friends, his father Paul, and of course his mother Linda, were there to greet him and welcome him into the world.

Daniel was a quiet person even as a baby.  He watched and took things in, never talking until and unless he had something to say.   His friends said he communicated through his eyes and his smile.  From age two until middle school he was known as "Dan the bug man," for his interest in and knowledge of the insect world.  For many a Christmas and birthday we would buy him insects from around the world for his collection.

In high school, he fell in love with the Japanese art form called anime.  Always creative, be began to draw in the anime style.  He also learned to speak Japanese, and revered the Japanese culture.  After graduation, his Japanese teacher took him and 14 other kids from their Japanese class to Japan.  This trip was the experience of a lifetime, a sadly ironic truth.  He came back from this trip talking nearly non-stop about everything he'd seen, especially Mount Fuji, where they'd been so high up that the clouds were at their feet.

Daniel attended Texas State University for two years, where he was majoring in Communication Design, the field of study that included computer animation.  He would have been a junior this fall.

He spent his last summer at home, playing WOW with his friends or hanging out with his girlfriend.  No one had any idea that he was having problems serious enough to take the path that he did.  He didn't seem any different, didn't complain about anything, didn't give any hint of what he was about to do.   He just walked out into the night and left this world behind.   We who loved him cannot begin to understand why.  We can only mourn and wish hopelessly to awaken from the nightmare.

This website is a way to honor our beloved Daniel, to share him with those who did not have the blessing of knowing him, and to keep his memory fresh in our minds and hearts.  Please visit both the photo album and the art album.  Neither is very long because it is a work in progress; as we learn how to scan in new photos or art there will likely be changes. 

Daniel, we will never forget our love for you and how you enriched our lives.  We hope you are free and at peace.  You are zen.

Linda, Paul, and Russell Golston

 

August 2008 --- For an essay by Linda (Dan's mom), click "Legacy."

February 2009 --- For stories about Dan written by Linda (his mom), click "Legacy." I will be adding to these stories over time.

Click here to see Daniel Golston's
Family Tree
Tributes and Condolences
another year passed   / Samantha Oleary (friend)
I can't believe we survived another year Danny. This day always sneaks up on me and then hits me like a bus. I'm constantly thinking of the last time I saw you, we were at the arcade, I miss those tines so much. I miss you sooo much. I'll never stop ...  Continue >>
5 year anniversary   / Amanda Pinget (girlfriend)
Linda I'm thinking of you and Dan with a heavy heart. You will continue to be in my heart and prayers and Dan will always remain special to me for as long as I live. Love Amanda
Cousin of Daniel   / Nicholas Jordan (Cousin)
Linda and family I went home for Christmas during 2009. I had made it a goal to learn more about my family history. I discovered that I had a few cousins that I had never met. When I got home I decided to find out who they were and how I may conta...  Continue >>
Peace from Love   / Kate Von Alt (Friend of his mom )
Linda,  thanks you for sharing your stories about your wonderful boy.  I look forward to learning more.
Beautiful Website   / Pamela Eza (friend of mom online-griefnet )
Linda,What a beautiful site you have created for your son.  His artwork is spectacular and he is also beautiful.  It always amazes me how the creativity from the spirit of our children, often is so dramatic in those we have lost.  I th...  Continue >>
Our Boys  / Rita Brandon's MOM (Friend of Your MOM (MCLG) )    Read >>
for daniels mum with love  / Jackie Vicky Johnson Mum X.     Read >>
Candles for you  / Lois Kern (Friend)    Read >>
More tributes and condolences...
Click here to pay tribute or offer your condolences
His legacy
Reflections after 9 years  
Today it has been nine years since our beautiful boy left us.  In the last few years, I have been required by my work to take a seminar on suicide prevention and become a trainer for Youth Mental Health First Aid, which has a huge suicide component.  After these experiences -- which were emotionally difficult -- I see things in a different light, not necessarily an illumination that I wanted.  I see "signs" in his artwork and I remember behavior that might have alerted me if I had already had this training.  Water under the bridge, I guess, because I didn't see it when it mattered.  It is still a small comfort to me to know that no one else saw it either, although I continue to wish for someone to step forward with some information that would help me to understand.  Truly though, there is no understanding suicide if you are not of a suicidal mind yourself.  Kind of like the way there is no understanding what the loss of a child is like unless it has happened to you.

Today I want to write about my cat Jinx, who we had to euthanize yesterday.  You will see the connection. 

I got Jinx, and  his sister Cricket, right before I went back to college in the spring of 2002.  He and I became very attached, partly because he was a very atypical cat.  He followed me around, greeted me at the door when i came home, waited beside the tub for me to get out and get into bed with him, snuggled with me by lying across my chest and neck so he could get his head under my chin, and slept on my pillow.  He would  wait for the alarm to go off in the morning, and then start meowing to let me know it was time to get up.  He gave me kisses by bumping his forehead against my mouth (because I always kissed him on his head), and  he would let me squeeze hug him like a super-soft teddy bear.

He was special to me for another reason too.  Now that I have this greater (but maybe unwanted) sense of perspective, I can remember that Jinx temporarily transferred his primary affection from me to Daniel about a month or so before he died.  Dan was home from college for the summer, and Dan was an animal-whisperer (so to speak), so I wasn't surprised.  I have a couple of pictures of the two of them stretched out on the bed, with Jinx's arms on Dan's face and the length of his body against Dan's.  The pictures were taken probably a couple of weeks before.  I always treasured these pictures, but recently I have been thinking that Jinx knew he was depressed and that's why he was with him all the time.  Animals sense things that we don't, and I saw this recently when Jinx's sister Cricket started hissing and growling at him; she knew he was dying.  After Daniel died, Jinx was in my lap constantly.  I know he was trying to help me.  I also had the distinct feeling, early on, that Daniel was sometimes looking at me through his eyes.  Jinx would stare at me for long periods, something he did not ordinarily do.  Whatever, Jinx has been my comfort in a way that no other pet -- and sometimes, no other human -- could be. 

I feel guilty that I did not realize that Jinx was ill, in much the same way I feel guilty that I didn't know Daniel was depressed or disturbed (?) enough to end his life.  Feelings don't have to be rational.  We went to Oregon to see my older son and his family, and he seemed fine when we left, except for acting a little anxious like he always did when we brought out the suitcases.  When we returned a week later, he was clearly unwell.  We discovered that he had fluid in his thoracic and abdominal cavities, and after they removed the fluid, a large tumor was revealed.  He went downhill quickly and we took him for euthanasia yesterday after he started "crying."

Paul made a wooden casket for him, and we buried him next to Dan's ashes under his tree.  We also went ahead and cut down the tree, which we have been planning to do because it has been sick ever since we planted it.  We were going to wait until fall when we could plant another tree, but instead we have decided to put in a water feature.  We have a lot a local wildlife out here that would probably enjoy having water at ground level, and Daniel and Jinx can "watch" the animals and birds as they come to drink or play there.  This decision felt so right that it didn't hurt to cut down the tree. 

I never thought it would hurt this much to lose a cat, but he was more than a pet to me.  I see his big green eyes and lion's mane in my mind's eye constantly, but comfort myself with the knowledge that Dan was there to greet him and they are together now.
February 28, 2014  
Today you would be 28 years old.  I know you have not been forgotten by your friends and family, but their lives have gone on.  Everyone has changed, but you have not.  It seems so impossible, and so wrong, that your life story has ended.  There are no new memories, no new celebrations or even commiserations.  I remain grateful for the 20 years that you were in our lives, but feel cheated of the future we would have had together.  Something essential, like something embedded in my DNA, has been extracted from my life force and I will never, ever be a whole person again.  That does not mean that there are not good things in my life; there are.  But that hole in my being that was created when you died will be there until I die as well.  Nothing will ever replace it. 

Today I fill my mind with pictures of you, rememberances of happy times we had together.  I am blessed that there were so many.  I can still "feel" your backwards hugs, be amused at your subtle humor, be proud to be the parent of such a gentle and caring soul.  You brightened the world for so many people.  I will love you always, my beautiful Danny-boy.
just a note  
Tomorrow is your 26th birthday.  I will celebrate it with you, if you permit.  It has been a long time since I "heard" from you, and my heart is heavy knowing that I cannot share your birthday with you in reality.  I am hoping to share it with you in some other way, not knowing what that might be. I love you always.
January 2012  
Dreamed about you last night, and woke up this morning missing you like it was those first months.  I looked through your sketch book, thinking I'd get some perspective, but it was not the perspective I'd hoped for.  There are so many drawings that are self-portraits, and in many of them there is an indication that you were experiencing some kind of self-torment.  This is not something I was able to see when you were creating the drawings, I suppose because it was beyond my understanding of you to think that you were troubled.  You never showed that side of yourself to me, and maybe not to your friends either, although I wonder.  It hurts me so much to think that you were suffering, and that I did not see it and therefore did not help you.  I would have done anything for you to prevent/ameliorate your suffering.   And yet I think you hid your feelings from us, from me, so that there would not be a big fuss, like we were making over Hup.  I also have to think that being around Hup and his severe depression may be the thing that put you over the edge.  Not Hup's fault, but mine, for not seeing that. I guess what is so difficult to cope with is the thought that this could have been prevented,  had we only guessed what you were experiencing.  There's nothing I can do now but struggle with my feelings of guilt and remorse and sadness.

I will never ever stop missing you and wishing I could hear your voice and feel your touch.  But I also feel blessed to have had you in my life.  You were a gift from the day you were born.  I know that you no longer have to experience pain, and that you are now part of God.   I will never forget that you told me in a dream that I would see you again.  I wait for the day.
Incredibly, five years later.  
Incredible is the right word.  How can I have lived 5 whole years beyond the end of your life?  How can life have gone on as if the world did not shift on its axis on August 16 2006?  Sometimes it feels like some dream that I had, fading into the background of everyday life.  It doesn't always seem real.  Other times it's as real and devastating as if it happened moments ago.  How weird is our time sense.  But that weird time sense is what keeps me going, in a way.  For you time has no meaning.  When my time comes and I rejoin you, I think time will no longer matter.  Neither will the things that I miss now; the touch sound and feel of you.  Yet those things occupy my brain and can drag me into depression and pain, and I have to fight to regain my balance and return to the present moment. 

What does it all mean?  Why do we  have to go through this misery?  What is the point of existence?  Why is happiness so ephemeral? What is beyond this? Same old questions invested heavily with the weight of life's experiences and still no answers.  I just keep putting one foot in front of the other and hope I'm heading down the right road.

I'd like to say with pride or at least a sense of accomplishment that I've grown as a result of this experience, and I probably have in spite of myself.  But given the opportunity I'd turn back the hands of time and make it un-happen.  It's not worth the price. I  hope that someday I will be able to step back and see all of this in a different perspective, but it may be that will only happen when I have left this world as well.  I pray that you are at peace and that someday I will be with you again.

loving you, missing you . . . forever,
mom
More of his legacy...
 
Daniel's Photo Album
Daniel
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