Memorializing a lost loved one can fulfill several different things.
We remember in order to honor and pay tribute. We remember in order to give ourselves comfort. We remember in order to move forward.
Sadly, when we remember Nick Parisot, we may try to pay him tribute, but we find there’s very little comfort or closure to allow anyone peace or the chance to begin to heal.
On June 13, 2012, it will be the fourth anniversary of the death of Nicholas Parisot. He was killed that late spring day in 2008 while he was riding his motorbike on a path in the woods behind his grandmother’s home. Nick struck an obstruction—a rope purposefully tied across his way.
Nick was killed just two weeks shy of his 14th birthday.
In the weeks and months that followed Nick’s death, it was classified as a homicide, and but were unable to secure an arrest warrant. Wilton Police have not come any closer to making an arrest in the case since then, although they say it is still an open case and a priority for the department. In fact, Wilton about the case that his department is “steadfastly continu[ing] to investigate” and “fully committed to bringing those responsible for this crime to justice.”
What’s been left in the wake of this unsolved murder is a mess of sadness, anger, disbelief and resolve. Knowing that there are individuals and families with additional information that could help to make headway on an arrest is frustrating to some, and seemingly morally bereft to me.
I have written before about how . In his pictures I see my own child reflected with similar physical traits and what I’ve been told Nick was like. Any parent would hope that justice would be vigilantly pursued in the murder of any child in town. At the same time, I would hope that people with knowledge of what happened in the planning leading up to that day and afterward would do the right thing by telling what they know.
Shortly after I wrote that column about Nick just one year ago, I became involved with creating an ad-hoc group called Stand Up For Nick, together with people who felt like I did. We believe that keeping Nick in the forefront of people’s minds, and encouraging anyone with information about the case to do the right thing and speak to the police, some sort of resolution to the case will happen.
What we’ve found is that so many people in Wilton and beyond want to do right by Nick. This support—through a Facebook page, a website and a letter writing campaign—has, in turn, helped strengthen the resolve and courage of Nick’s parents, Rick Parisot and Kate Throckmorton, as they continue to pursue answers and truth about the death of their son. Simply by people saying they “stand up for Nick” in the need to find answers, it has given his parents some hard-to-find comfort.
By keeping the case alive, by continuing to let authorities know that the community wants resolution because it’s the right thing to do, we all take an active part in memorializing this son of Wilton. Not out of a sense of vigilante justice, but because his family deserves to know the truth about what happened, and those with information can begin the healing process for everyone involved—the town, the other juveniles who were responsible, and most of all for the Parisot family.
Nick would have graduated from high school this year. His classmates will honor him during graduation and other events, yet it adds more sadness for Nick’s family.
In years past, the anniversary of Nick’s death has been marked by a sunset memorial ceremony at Millstone Farm, a place where Nick often played as a child. There’s a cairn in the corner of the Millstone field that was built by Nick’s dad, Rick, in memory of his son, and it’s been a place where candles have been lit and mementos left to remember Nick by.
This year, the family is inviting anyone who wishes to remember and honor Nick to visit the cairn on June 13. There is no set time for a service; instead people are welcome to visit whenever they can during the day, and perhaps add stones to build new cairns along the walls of the field close by. These stones or any other mementos will help let Rick and Kate know that they have community support, and love.
So perhaps on this poignant anniversary, we do our best to memorialize Nicholas Parisot. Because with more and more people remembering him and pushing for the truth, we are hopefully one step closer to resolution and closure. I Stand Up for Nick and remember him–so that we can try to bring his family some sort of peace.