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Dr. Salvatore J. Culosi

Dr. Salvatore J. Culosi

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January 24, 2016
Dear Sal...Just as I hit the submit... to enter my reflection for today...I received an email from your friend David...who lives in Portugal with his wife. He has not forgotten what this day is...and I wanted you to know that again...you are remembered.

Watch over him too Sal...he is one of God's better human beings.

I love you...
January 24, 2016
My Dear Son...Today marks the Ten Year Remembrance Day...of our greatest heartbreak...and we can't even...get out of our street...to attend the 10:30 mass...scheduled to be offered ...in your memory today.

Because of the blizzard...and the Bishop's statement about dispensation for Catholics in our diocese...re mass attendance...Dad called the rectory yesterday...to find out if the priests were even going to attempt...getting from the rectory to the Church...to say mass...or perhaps just offer mass privately in the rectory. He didn't come away with a clear answer...since it was a wait and see...as the snow was continuing to fall.

This morning Fr. P was kind enough to call us...to say he would be offering the mass...as scheduled...but at that point our street was still non drivable...so we were going to watch mass on TV. That too was a no go... since EWTN...is only broadcasting the Right to Life March.

About a half hour ago...a plow must have come down the street...and it opened up one lane...so Dad asked if I wanted to try to get to the noon mass ...which was starting in 15 minutes... of his asking...of course I said ok... but as I was getting my coat on...his impatience kicked in...you know his time issue thing...and then he said... he didn't think I could get down the slippery driveway...and naturally, he didn't want me to fall...so rather than have him wait those few extra minutes...it might have taken me...to get my boots on...and since he was chomping at the bit to go...well let's say...that some things...don't ever change...and off he went by himself.

My Cousin P...sent me an email yesterday...saying he was thinking of us. Mrs. C sent me one this morning... saying she is thinking of you...and your friend...my dear B...who holds a special place in my heart...was the first one to call...and told me he is thinking of you and us. J also just texted me...saying she is thinking of us. The phone just rang...and it was Mrs. L....she even had called me...and left a message...when it was your birthday. I still hadn't got back to her from then...so I just spent a hour and a half talking with her...and we did some catching up...on the goings on...in both of our families...and we also shared some thoughts...about both you...and Richard. Your sister just told me that your brother-in-law...was thanking you for your help today...as he shoveled a ton of snow. He just happened to be wearing...your Gore-Tex pants...and that translates as another sign...to me. Aunt C called...and so did Mrs. P. I also got 2 emails from AMcH...who has her own heartaches as well.

I am always so grateful to those who haven't forgotten about you.

Yesterday was one of those days and evenings...that saw more than just coincidental conversations.

Your sister said she was on a line at the store...for quite some time...so she began talking to a woman...on another line...who said she had lost a grown daughter to an illness...and in the course of the conversation...your sister told her...that she too knew... a tragic loss...so they related well to one another...and when the conversation ended...she told your sister...that since her daughter's passing...she had never met such a caring...and compassionate person as your sister.

Last night...a good friend phoned me...to tell me about the sad news he had just received...about his friend's son...who was murdered...on Friday night in DC. I suppose when you have also experienced an unexpected and untimely tragedy...other's know you will have empathy...and maybe even provide some words of comfort...that might be conveyed to another...in a similar type of tragedy...and which may provide...some type of consolation for them. But in truth...there are no words...you just learn to exist...one day at a time...in a new normal"... and grieve forever. I know that he felt very saddened for his friends... and he likely told me...knowing that I could relate to them...and add them and their son M...to my prayers.

Yesterday...and long before my evening phone call...I had read some very insightful excerpts from...Reaching Out, Sharing Grief...regarding parents who have lost a child...no matter the age or circumstance that caused the loss...and also...in recognition of bereaved parents' understanding of each other's pain.

I related well...to the parent who made the following observations...

Referencing a loss: It was certainly beyond my imagination and shook my worldview to the core, leaving me disoriented and feeling very vulnerable. The loss of a child is a passage through a portal into foreign territory. The landscape changes. The ground shifts beneath our feet; we find ourselves at new junctures, new shores, and consciously navigating new terrain. We connect with other travelers in this terrain, other parents who have lost a child, who suffer the unimaginable, the shocking, sad, unnatural. There is a deep heart connectionbeyond words.

Sal...as your Mom...I am living this description...and have come to know so many others...who are also sharing in what has become...this new normal"... for each of us...and while I don't know the parents...spoken about in the phone call I received...I do know in my heart...what they will be going through...because that kind of grief unites us...and forms in us...an unbreakable bond.

The writing parent...went on to say that Sympathy becomes empathy. Recognizing that even though each child and each loss is unique, each grief journey will take a singular path, and that we all are on a shared journey with common markers and milestones.

So this milestone...of our tragedy... is certainly part of that grief journey...she mentioned...and that I know so well...as it continues down a path...that began with that knock on our door...and will just get longer with time.

I was all over that emotional roller coaster yesterday...in a funk...not knowing with any certainty...due to the storm...if I would even be able... to mark this 10th Year Remembrance Day ...as I would choose to...and if I couldn't...it would only add to my sadness. Today I still am experiencing those same ups and downs...for a host of reasons...and not being able to attend your mass...is certainly one of them.

I continued reading: Suffering gives us an extraordinary intimacy with ourselves; it produces a form of introspection in which the spirit penetrates to the very roots of life, where it seems that suffering itself will be taken away. Upon the meaning we can give suffering, will depend the meaning the world will have for us....and...Suffering is not a singular experience, but universal [even] though each grief is unique.

Further it read: Our paths cross as we find ourselves together on this grief journey. Your journey touches ours and helps us to continue to unfold and understand ourselves. We are not experienced or sage on this journeyit is always fresh and unfolding. This loss is shattering. It is not a jolt that you recover from or get over. It demands a complete rebuilding and reintegration of everything and everyone in our lives. We see everything with new eyes, I would say open eyes, and all veils of illusion have fallen. We live with the knowledge of life's beauty and fragility.

I have learned over these years...that this grief journey...and its knowledge of fragility...is experienced...by far more people than one would imagine... and I am surprised...at the number of people...that I initially knew as only casual acquaintances...who have since our own tragedy...come forward to tell me...they too know the grief...of outliving their child...and none of us...will ever get over it.

The reality is that you will grieve forever, wrote a Ms. Ross. You will not get over the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourselves around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same, nor would you want to."

I beg to differ...heal?...rebuild?... be whole again?...not likely...because the heartache and pain...from such a devastating loss...is always with you you...and what you do with such hurt.. is a special kind of suffering...and not one that fosters living...you may function...but that's not living...and how could you...when the loss...is always right there...under the surface ...and a memory...a thought...a song.. or a scent away.

I am doing a lot of soul searching today...and the regrets are as many... as the what if's.

Son...I don't know where the years have gone...and I wish that I had the power to turn back time...as I would change so many things...and reconsider many of the views that I held onto... as absolutes...which were probably considered to be very judgmental...by others with a different point of view ...than mine...and therefore may have caused...their thoughts and reasoning ...to be negated...by my own strong will and opinions. I know you understand...what I mean...and likely ...so must your siblings. For any upsets I may have caused you...or them ...I am so very sorry.

I once read...that Grief is the pendulum swing of love...and now I know...how deeply...I have loved.

I wasn't going to write any more...but I just got a phone call from Austin, TX...and I only answered it...because I thought it may have been L...wanting to speak to Dad. Instead a man asked to speak to me by name. I asked who he was...and he said something...which I half listened to...because he coupled it...with saying he was collecting donations for the Police Assn. I said I only support the NYS Troopers...out of respect for my brother's memory...as he lost his life ...while on duty...serving and protecting.

I then told him my reason for not contributing...to his cause...and went into my litany...about the FCPD and what happened to you...and our family...while also telling him...it was ironic that he would be calling me today...of all days...and I told him ...what today is...for our family.

He offered his sympathy to me...saying he was so sorry. I asked that I not be called again...even though I know.. there are many good officers...and I even know some of them. One of them ...BG...just wrote on your site...in remembrance of this day...and he...really is...one of their finest.

The caller just caught me...on a very bad day...then again...maybe that call ...was God's way...of allowing me to speak out...about all that I hold...in my broken heart...thanks to...THEM.

I love you Sal...and I ask that you watch over our family...and all those ...who are remembering you on this day.

God bless you...my wonderful son...and rest peacefully...in His perpetual light.

You are so very missed...and are in my thoughts...and in my prayers...always.
January 24, 2016
Sal... It's Cyn... I am marking the 10th anniversary of your passing with a heart that aches over the loss of your precious life, as well as a heart filled with the powerful knowledge that you are still present to me and with me. Eternity does not separate us .... It does not draw the blinds .... On the contrary... It opens up to us a deeper love, affords us more intimacy and challenges us to multiply, intensify, and expand the faith that is needed, to arrive at and experience a mysterious bond.... a bond that connects me to and reminds me of the former earthly relationship that we shared. Every time I call your name, we have a visit. I know this because I experience it. You are missed but ... "i carry your heart with me ( i carry it in my heart) E.e. Cummings ❤~ cyn
January 24, 2016
Thinking of you and your family today. Keep watch over them. And for your Mom I leave this: "A raindrop landing on your cheek is a Kiss from someone that lives in Heaven and is watching over you."
January 22, 2016

Dear Salvatore...This past Sunday...as I was leaving the noon mass...the mother of one of your friends...came over to me...and said that her son... who was both a grade and high school classmate of yours...purposely went to the 5:30 p.m. Christmas Eve Mass... because he knew...that it was being said in your memory...and he wanted to be there...in your honor. I told her how much it means to me...that you are not forgotten...and to thank her son for me...from the bottom of my heart.. for taking the time...to remember you.

After mass...I went to the grocery store...and ran into the father...of another one of your classmates...and he told me... as tears welled in his eyes...that he still can't get over what happened to you. He said...he had written a letter to Mr. Horan at that time...expressing his outrage...over what took place...at the hands of the FCPD...that caused your life to be taken...and then he told me...that both he and his wife... think of you often...and remember you in their prayers...on the 24th of each month.

I am so grateful that you are thought of...and that you are remembered...by those whose lives you have touched.

We had our first snowfall...this past Wednesday...and we are expecting a major snowstorm...by mid afternoon today...and it will likely...continue into the weekend...with an estimated snowfall...of one to two feet.

I have a 10 Year Remembrance Day Mass ...being offered for you...this Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Afterwards...I hope to be able to visit your resting place... but it will depend on Mother Nature... and if she cooperates even a little bit...I will make that visit right after the mass...otherwise I will have to wait...until the roads are plowed.. and the path is cleared at FMP.

On second thought...because I have pre-ordered the floral arrangements... and they are ready...I have decided to pick them up now...and visit you today ...before the expected snowstorm.

Well...I just got back home...and the snow is beginning to fall.

I received a text from your sister... saying that the Bishop of our diocese ...released a statement saying the following: Due to the impending storm which is being considered severe, and bearing in mind that the Gov. of VA has declared a state of emergency in the Commonwealth of VA, all Catholics in the Diocese of Arl. are dispensed from the obligation to attend Mass on this Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016. Such inclement weather and poor road/travel conditions which may jeopardize safety are serious concerns.

So now...I don't know if the priests of our parish...will be offering mass in church...for those who may want to attend...or if they will say the scheduled masses...privately in their rectory rooms. I will call on Sat. to find out...and if any of them...are going to venture out...to say mass in Church...I will do my best to get there...and attend the mass...that I scheduled to be said for you...on this 10 Year Remembrance Day.

Please keep watching over your sisters ...their families...and your brother.

I love you son...and I miss you beyond words. You are in my thoughts...and in my prayers...always.
January 14, 2016
Dear Salvatore...I intended to write on this page...on our Tuesday...which was the 520th one...but somehow I let the time get away from me...and then yesterday...when I was getting ready to sit down at the computer...I was again sidelined...but for a good reason...as your sister and your niece...were in the area...and called to say...they wanted to spend the night...which was a nice surprise for me.

Now it's Thursday...and all these many weeks later...over the past years...as it continues to make me shake my head in disbelief...of what they caused to happen to you...and our family...that has brought us...to this very heartbreaking place in time...and to our painfully new normal. I have so many questions...in need of answers.

Earlier on Wednesday...both of your sisters...their two daughters...and your brother...were all here at the same time...and because that hasn't happened...in a very long while...it did my heart good to see them all gathered together...in the kitchen... talking and laughing...like old times ...and if only you could have been here...with them...it would have been perfect.

I love you Sal...and I think of you... and I miss you...each and every day.

You know my concerns...and what is on my mind...and in my heart...so please keep watching over your sisters... their families...and your brother.

God bless you son.

You are in my prayers...always.
January 01, 2016
Dear Son...How could I ever have imagined...that Ten years ago today... New Year's Day...would be the last holiday...I'd ever have with you...and thinking about what happened and the circumstances...that stole you from your life and ours...I know will always cause me...that roller coaster range of emotions...that began with that knock on our door...because of them.

I just pray that you are having...a blessed New Year's Day...and ask that you keep watching over our family.

I love you...I miss you...and you are in my thoughts...and in my prayers... always.
January 01, 2016
I wanted to stop in and let you know your mom will never let you be forgotten. She is quite a woman. We both are bereaved parents and she has also remembered my son. Please keep watch over your family especially your parents.
December 31, 2015
Dear Sal...Well it is now New Year's Eve Number 10..and at midnight...you will be the first one I will wish a very blessed year. Two of your three siblings...will be here...one of them with her four children...and the other I will call on the phone. Sadly we all won't be together...but anymore it is just the way things are...and so very different from the New Year's of my youth...and even different from the ones...up until what happened...that we were always able to celebrate as an intact family.

Dad just left for the seven pm vigil mass...and I will watch the mass that will be on TV tomorrow...because my knees are not cooperating at the moment...thanks to all the miserable weather we've been having.

Of course Dad made his pizzas...but burnt the first two...and amazingly they still didn't taste all that bad. He adjusted the temperature on the oven...and the others all look fine. He has gone statewide...as one of your nieces...requested one...yesterday no less...and he did oblige...even though he wasn't making them until today...so that she could bring it with her...to her boyfriend's family...who live in another state. For her sake...I hope they like it.

I gave your brother Egg Nog duty...but he turned me down...which is unusual because he is the one...who would always tell me...that I never spike it enough....and then would take matters into his own hands...but for whatever reason...he chose differently this time.

Oh well...it is a half hour before midnight...and I have to get some things ready...so I will continue this tomorrow.

Love you Salvatore...and I miss you all the time.

As always...keep watching over our immediate family...our extended family...and our dear friends.

God bless you son. You are loved beyond words...and prayed for always.
December 25, 2015
Dear Salvatore...Just thinking of you ...and praying...that you are having a blessed Christmas Day...the tenth one ...in the company of those...I also love...miss...and carry in my heart.

It is another miserable day...pouring rain...but I guess it could be worse...if it was snow instead...and that possibility...always depends on your perspective...as kids love it... but then travelling becomes an issue.

We didn't go to mass today...since last night's vigil mass...counted for today. The rules keep changing...and it leaves one pause...as some of them...though man made...and not church doctrine...leave open the doors for criticism...and ridicule. I like the a simple faith will save you" approach...and that is my hope.

We are going to your sister's for dinner...so I will continue when I get back. I did make some shrimp cakes yesterday...and some cookies late last night...so I have to pack a few things ...before I am ready to leave. Love you so...and wish it didn't have to be the way it is.

Well we just got home...so I will finish my thoughts...by saying that once again...your sister has outdone herself. She has become quite the hostess and chef. We had a lovely dinner...and afterwards we all played a game...and had some laughs. All in all it was a good time...and we even managed to discuss politics...and our views on the presidential candidates' qualifications...which is usually a topic most people are told to avoid... but fortunately there weren't any arguments...well at least they weren't too loud.

So it's one down...and only one more holiday to go...thank goodness.

Please continue to keep watching over your sisters...your nieces and nephews ...and your brother.

I love you son...and I miss you...and I pray for you...always.

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