Coping with Grief
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Weighing in at seven pounds, six ounces, Kenneth Craig Johnson, Jr. came into this world on March 30, 1987, surrounded by the love of his parents, grandparents, and aunt. Lights, action, and yes there were cameras! The room was full of excitement and joy, as we had all waited nine months to meet our new baby; a baby boy that would be affectionately known as, “Lil’ Kenny!”
“A long time ago the big man upstairs thought … and created a fun, loving, outgoing guy, ME. LOL” – Kenny (2/8/08)
The love Kenny experienced in the delivery room would be the same unconditional love he continued to receive and later extended to others in like manner.
As far back as our minds can remember, Kenny was a character. We all had our share of laughter while in his presence. He could do the silliest things to make you laugh and yet make you mad all at the same time for playing too much! One thing is for sure, his silly/sense of humor never overshadowed his loving, caring, compassionate personality.
Kenny attended school in both Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington. His love for the arts developed at an early age and he took interest and participated in African dance, acting, writing music, and loved to sing. His first time singing in front of strangers was in the 7th grade talent show, and his first stage play was “A School for Scandal.” However, the piece of music that affected his life the most was “Alma Del Core” by Antonio Caldara that he performed in High School. It was the first time he realized he could slay opera. Quiet as it may have been kept, Kenny was convinced that he was born to be an entertainer.
Kenny was often complimented on his style, skin (soft and smooth as a baby’s butt), look, work ethic, and the ability to make crazy-amazing things happen with very few resources. He had the ability to fit in with any group of people, which is just one of the reasons Kenny thrived as a retail consultant and when entertaining.
Though Kenny was raised in Oregon and Washington, he was adventurous and didn’t mind taking a chance on moving from what was familiar to experience and seek out other opportunities life had to offer. He lived in Spokane, Phoenix, and Seattle. He traveled as much as he possibly could with friends and family and had the opportunity to travel to and enjoy Belize. His heart’s desire was to spend the last years of his life traveling abroad. Though his health prevented him from doing so, Kenny remained hopeful in his desire to experience Egypt, Dubai, Paris, and Africa.
Despite these desires, there was nowhere in the world or in Kenny’s heart that could take the place of his love for his family and friends. Family was everything to Kenny and he was a true friend. His love for all trumped any trip, any amount of money, any adventure…Kenny was a light among us all. Even as he walked through major health conditions, he still brought joy and laughter to our lives. Even if he could start all over:
“I wouldn’t change a thing. I have experienced this life for a reason. All the good things, all the bad things, all the fun things, tragedies, [and] adventures have made me who I am. I like me. I don’t want to mess with that.”
At my funeral I want people to remember me as: “Someone who never wasted time being mad. I want people to remember my sense of humor. I want people to remember my talents. I also want people to never forget how I really made them feel … NO HOLDS – SERIOUSLY.”
The love, laughter, and joy of Kenny will remain in our hearts, and his lasting memory will be cherished by his parents: Kenneth Johnson and April & Rickey Murchinson; grandparents: Larry & Patricia Johnson; siblings: Jamelah Yoakum, Alexandria Vann, Danielle Boggs, and Brian Flynn; the loves of his life—his nieces and nephew; a host of aunts, uncles, cousins, relative, other family, and so many friends.
Lil’ Kenny, as often said by your father and mother and so shall you remain: “Hey, My Number One Son!” (Dad-Kenny) & “You’re My Favorite Son”
~ We Love You ~