Richard family speaks out four months after losing son in Boston Marathon bombing

Eight-year-old Martin Richard, who was killed in yesterday's Boston bombings, holds a bitter sweet sign. PHOTO CREDIT: LUCIA BRAWLEY/FACEBOOK
Eight-year-old Martin Richard, who was killed in yesterday’s Boston bombings, holds a bitter sweet sign. PHOTO CREDIT: LUCIA BRAWLEY/FACEBOOK

Four months after the Boston Marathon bombing claimed the life of 8-year-old Martin Richard, his family has released a heart-wrenching statement as they continue to mourn his loss and recover from their own injuries. Martin was at the finish line on April 15 with his younger sister Jane, older brother Henry, and parents Bill and Denise, when the bombs were detonated. Martin was one of three people killed in the blasts.

Jane, 7, lost her leg in the explosion. Denise suffered head injuries and Bill was hit by shrapnel. Only Henry, 12, was uninjured. The family’s statement posted on their website said they are still in agony over the death of Martin, but that they are making progress in moving forward. After more than a dozen surgeries, Jane was released from the hospital several weeks ago and the family said they all returned to their home together that night, for the first time since the bombing. She is now adjusting to a prosthetic leg.

The Richard family’s statement reads in full:

Today marks four months since our family, and indeed our community were savagely and cowardly attacked for reasons we remain at a loss to understand. While we have made progress with our physical injuries, the emotional pain seems every bit as new as it was four months ago.

An hour doesn’t go by that we don’t feel the agony of Martin’s death and the senseless way it came about. The pain is constant and even the sweetest moments can become heartbreaking when we are struck by the realization that “Martin would have loved this…”

But it is not all heartbreak for our family, as we are making progress on this long, difficult and painful road forward. After three months in hospitals and hundreds of hours of physical therapy and other work at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Jane was discharged a few weeks ago. That night was the first time any of us slept at home in our own beds since before the bombings. We left home together on April 15th, and we were determined that none of us would sleep at home until all of us could do so. As so many things have been, returning home without Martin certainly made that important milestone bittersweet, but we know he was with us, as he is every moment of every day.

Jane continues to be an incredible source of inspiration – and exhaustion. The loss of her leg has not slowed her one bit, or deterred her in any way. As we knew she would, when we finally returned home, Jane walked into the house with the aid of her crutches, but under her own power. She has since received her prosthetic leg. And while she is getting more comfortable with it, she is also limited with how much she can wear it at any one time. When she is able to have it on, she struts around on it with great pride and a total sense of accomplishment. Her strength, balance and comfort with the leg improve every day. Watching her dance with her new leg, which has her weight primarily on the other leg, is absolutely priceless.

As for the rest of us, we are still dealing with our injuries and their impact on our lives. But we are also making progress, and just like Jane, we each endure the occasional setback here and there along the way.

Henry has continued to be strong, attentive and protective of all of us. He has also managed to be busy this summer, having attended a few cool overnight camps and occasionally sneaking away to spend time with close friends.

Henry and Jane both look forward to getting back to school in a few weeks. Bill and Denise look forward to their return to school as well. The change in schedule will permit us to both look back on the thousands of loving and generous gestures sent our way since this nightmare began, and also start to look forward. We hope to honor Martin’s memory in a meaningful and impactful way, and this fall we intend to start exploring ways to do that.

Throughout all that has happened, we have worked hard to maintain our bond as a family. With the love and support of family and friends, including those who were total strangers just four months ago, we feel like we are succeeding.

Jane Richard, 7. Credit: richardfamilyboston.tumblr.com
A recent photo of Jane Richard, 7.
Credit: richardfamilyboston.tumblr.com

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