Thank You for Honoring Jason

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I feel continuous gratitude. That was my renewed intention last week, that shifted me into a place of seeing and feeling beauty everywhere. I feel the loss of Jason with some occasional tears, and mostly with the eternal gratitude of having had him in my life. I’ve expressed gratitude to so many for all the support I’ve received. This message is a thank you to Jason’s classmates and teachers.

Thank you, Jason’s classmates and dear friends for keeping Jason alive in your hearts with your Facebook and other messages to him and to his parents. He is with you always.

Thank you, Class of 2010, for honoring Jason with your senior year T-shirts with “Follow Your Passion- JF” on the back. I know you hold Jason with you as you prepare for graduation. Think of Jason when you are moving forward in life, with all of its gifts and challenges, and know he is cheering you on. Always remember the Jason hug.

Thank you, classmates, friends, and teachers who came to Jason’s ceremony 4 days after he died, and sent cards, emails, and messages. It was an extremely tender time for all of us, and your presence, writings, tears, and sharings helped me tremendously in my own grieving. I was amazed at how uplifted I felt, and many others felt, at the ceremony – a tribute to how I want to remember Jason and feel his love and inspiration throughout my life.

Thank you, Evan Petto and yearbook staff and friends of Jason for writing a beautiful article about Jason soon after school started, during peak grieving time. Thank you also for sharing his poetry and photography with the school in the Tiger Transcript articles.

Thank you, Ipswich High School players, for dedicating the first play of the year, Camelot (a very good one), to Jason and dedicating a chair in the “PAC” (Performing Arts Center) with “In Memory of Jason A Foster; Remembering His Passion for Music, Arts, and Drama.”. Hanging with the tecchies was the biggest area of his social life in high school, and I would love to hear more stories about the fun things you would do together. I heard about Jason playing with a bow and arrow and accidentally shooting it into the high wall above the sound booth. The pierced wall is a memorial to your good times together.

Thank you, team captain Eli Hayward and the lacrosse team for dedicating this season’s games to Jason by wearing JF on your helmets and getting the Ipswich Chronicle to write a wonderful article about this. You recognized that something more was needed to be done by the school to honor your classmate, and you bridged the cultural gap between jocks and artists in this simple act. You made the school the team. Your team cheer “Go Jason” was more moving than I could have imagined; it captured the energy of an entire school grieving for their lost classmate, and honoring his memory in a special way.

Thank you to Zumi’s for hosting Jason’s photography show and to everyone who came out to see Jason’s art hanging in celebration of his art career at this cultural center of Ipswich, and for the wonderful comments. I wanted this to be shown right before graduation, so his classmates could be with Jason in this way. This was Jason’s graduation. I got to be the proud mother, and to sit with other art enthusiasts pointing out what they saw and felt in Jason’s art. Jason was appreciating all the comments, as he always had!

Thank you, Ipswich art department, for choosing Jason’s piece called “Three Benches” (shown attached) for the permanent senior art gallery. The plaque will show Jason’s quote “I see beauty in all things, may it be a landscape or rust on a building.” Thank you, art teachers Brian Carman and Gail Peppe for coming to Jason’s art show and inspiring him and his classmates with your art clubs. Brian, your pinhole photography and New York city tours made great impressions on Jason, and you know how much pinhole experimenting he did after that!

Thank you to the music department and Gerry Dolan for giving Jason the opportunity to learn electronic music at school. Thank you to the music groups that Jason belonged to and was inspired by – Ipswich high school percussion ensemble (with Jeff Teitz and Steve Monroe), The Pine Island Music ensemble (with E.J. Ouelette), and the jazz improv class band. I hear Jason is continuing to inspire the school musicians, and he is pleased about that! I also heard that several classmates wanted to perform Jason’s compositions and found it too hard to do (they were composed electronically, and the rhythms and pace are quite challenging) – please know how touched I was that you even thought of doing this.

Thank you, Ipswich middle school and high school and IMADA (Ipswich Music Arts and Drama Association), for creating the arts-oriented school environment that helped Jason to thrive in his passions for photography and music. We moved here 5 yrs ago to get into the right school system. Even though he did most of his art and music in his home studio, the environment and his classmates inspired him to create so much. We are still finding pieces in his archives, as if he were alive today showing us his latest works!

In gratitude,
Michelle Herrera Foster
Jason Foster’s mom