In 1996 Joshua Michael Connerton was shot and killed by a deputy sheriff in rural Oregon. The shooting was the final blow of a three-year nightmare that started with Josh's introduction to drugs, continued with his downward spiral into heroin addiction, and ended with his death. In January of 2001, as part of his recovery and healing process, Jeff Connerton was compelled to write about life with his teenage son during Josh's years of addiction and about his own journey from devastation to resurrection after Josh's passing. What began as an open-ended private healing exercise evolved into structured writing sessions, ending in March 2001 as a 70,000 word memoir, entitled Hi Josh.
The work is in three parts. Part One chronicles the years of Josh's drug use. Parts Two and Three deal with Jeff's recovery and healing after Josh's death.
The writing sessions provided Jeff with a much-needed format. Parts Two and Three gave new structure and added dimension to his recovery process. As a metaphysician, he formed the backbone of his recovery with tools and techniques developed over twenty years of exploring new ways of being in the world, including extensive journals of both esoteric and common experiences as he dove into dealing with the severe emotional and mental pain brought about by grieving the loss of his son. But it was Jeff's conscious choice to be well that drove him further, beyond grieving and beyond the circumstances of Josh's death, taking the focus off Josh and placing it on himself. "Who am I to play the role of grieving parent? Why take on so much pain? Who am I?"
The choice to look beyond Josh's life and death into his own journey through the ages has led Jeff back to the here and now, more able to deal with grief, loss, and pain, and able to know happiness and joy again.