Cover photo for Joshua Cavallini's Obituary
Joshua Cavallini Profile Photo
1983 Joshua 2018

Joshua Cavallini

October 24, 1983 — May 23, 2018

AUBURN – Joshua S. Cavallini, 34, passed away on Wednesday, May 23, 2018. He is survived by his brother Lukas Domenico Cavallini; his daughter, Natalia; his mother, Caterina Rosa (Gentile) Cavallini; his father, Stephen Joseph Cavallini; his maternal grandparents, Pasquale and Delia Gentile; and many loving aunts, uncles and cousins. He graduated from Auburn High School in 2002.

Joshua didn’t live a long life, but he lived a loved life. Spending time with family, being in nature, traveling, writing and music were some of his passions. He once wrote, “Here upon the mountaintop, my mind is filled with clarity. The treacherous paths we have travelled, now seem so small.” May God be with you and bless you on the mountaintop.

Calling hours will be on Thursday, May 31, 2018, from 4-6 p.m., with a celebration memorial service at 6 p.m. at Paradis-Givner Funeral Home, 357 Main St., Oxford. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Memorial Fund for Joshua Cavallini, c/o Hometown Bank, 569 Southbridge St., Auburn, MA 01501.

Eulogy for Josh

My son Joshua didn't live a long life but he lived a loved life. When you have two sons your heart breaks twice, one for the son who left too soon and one for the son who now lives without his brother.

The essence of who Josh truly was included a very big heart, someone who loved family time and cooking, kayaking and being out in nature. He had the creative spirit of a talented poet who loved and appreciated simple things in life like his music and hanging out with his brother. He loved the adventure in traveling to new cities, meeting the local people. He enjoyed a good spiritual discussion, believing the Big U (Big Universe, his nickname for God!) was looking after us all.

Joshua battled strong challenges of mental illness and substance abuse during his life. His demons prevented him from restoring valued relationships and maintaining a consistent, balanced life. But despite all his struggles, he laughed and joked around, he celebrated the precious days our family spent together. He understood how to appreciate and love those who he called family, especially his brother and his Nonna and Nonno. He treasured our Italian traditions, cooking with the family, making our annual Easter breads, conjuring up his own funky mango, pesto burgers with Luke. He loved ice cream and jelly beans. He always bugged me to make him an extra batch of kale smoothy. He was the one who would sit by your bedside until you woke up from a coma or take care of your plants or your pet kitty with great care when you were away. Josh loved animals, always wanting to live someplace where he could have a pet wolf. I guess animals recognized and were attracted to his gentle spirit.

No, his life was not a long one, but he contributed to two of my greatest blessings, my granddaughter (thank you Ela as well!) and his brother Luke. Joshua prayed for a baby brother for almost a year when he was two and I believe those prayers brought about Luke, who he adored. On his 3rd birthday we told him God was answering his prayer, that a baby was coming but he'd have to wait until summertime and we couldn’t guarantee it would be a brother. I’ll never forget the determined look on his face when he told us God would make sure it was a brother, NOT a sister! He had his connection with the Big U even then and I know he always knew he was granted extra guardian angels along his path. He was such a survivor despite the many odds, he was a fighter and he was the kind of stubborn that was good. He was lucky and unlucky, he was my beautiful beloved boy, devoted brother, loving grandson. His family was his best friend. He was my firstborn, a gift from God.

He believed in the power of love, but struggled with self love. He believed in being true to yourself, but gave into his demons. He was a hard worker you could depend on, but his restless spirit couldn’t stay put for long. The true Josh was a gentle, tortured soul. He was indeed a balance of opposites in his struggle to find balance. He had a huge heart, remorseful, generous and compassionate. We were there for him, loving him unconditionally and trying to help him get through the trials. I guess it’s true what they say, love the ones God gives you because someday He’s going to want them back. Tragically that someday came a little too soon.

Every time he'd take one of his traveling adventures, we'd take a selfie in front of the bus station for good luck. When we did that two weeks ago, he left with a favorite bocce jacket his Nonno had given him. He was proud to wear it because it had the name PAT on it. He reminded me again that he was not happy that I didn't name him Pasquale instead of Joshua. And I reminded him again that his name was a strong name, it meant God saves. I know in my heart that although the river took you a week ago Josh, God did save you. The Big U has granted you the final peace you so strived for in this life and are enjoying in your next heavenly adventure. Luke comforted me the other night when he said that Josh is always with us, that love is eternal and that strong bond does remain on. We will miss you Joshua! You were a wonderful, chaotic force and your absence will leave a huge void.

I will look for you in the crescent moon and the stars we loved to watch. I will look for you as the foggy mist lifts from our Good Harbor Beach. I will look for you in the sunrise and sunset and the chirping of the birds in our back yard. It will be very hard to imagine a calm and normal life without you but somehow I know you’ll make your presence known, even now that you are gone.

My niece would dream about Josh once in a while. She’d tell me that he was so happy and healthy looking and peaceful in her dreams. Each time she told me I knew in my heart the dream was a vision of Josh once he left this life, peaceful at last.

So rest in peace my son, although that really isn't your style. I think your bro is right when he says your free spirit is flying all over the universe, waiting for us to join you some day in the heavens. Be free with your Great Nonna Rosa who knew you when you were first born and called you ‘occhi dei moricole’ because you had those beautiful blackberry eyes.

Every time Josh traveled he would take along his traveling journal with his to do lists and resource information. This time he must have forgotten it, leaving it on his bedside table. On the first page he had his organized list of things to pack, but he also wrote in this ‘reminder to self’ -

“be nice, when you can;

be kind, at least try;

try to remember positive beats feeling negative;

keep on the keep on! it does work in temporary spurts and spits!”

Until we meet again, may the Big U bless you and keep you Josh. May the Lord’s face shine upon you and be gracious to you and give you peace. (Numbers 6:24-26)

Love never fails.


For Mom, Love Josh


upon the mountain top, i wonder how we’ve made it so far. the nights of tempest, with their torrents, the cold winters beckoning ice and avalanche.

clouds did gray and obstruction filled the sun’s rays,

yet our footing did not stray.

we battled with the creatures of dark and the demons who’d attempt to mislead us.

we spat in the face of our adversaries, even while they kicked us when down.

here upon the mountain top, my mind is cleansed with clarity, transcending the woes of past.

I see the topography of all the struggles we’ve endured. the treacherous paths we have traveled, now seem so small.

we have taken our beatings and wear the scars.

yet we are done bleeding, for we have conquered the mountain’s top. Poem from Luke:

There will be a time when A soul will send for earthly bonds to ascend beyond the horizon

Challenging how to comprehend and shed what you depend on

Love beckons from this dimension

It’s an extension of the eternal flame

Shining light on everything

Emanating in the coldest scene

Your spirit comforts me

an internal fire keeping company

For all I need I have in abundance

The source pulls the arms of our compass

Circumventing the circumference of worldly numbness

Wandering towards each suns kiss

Existence is limitless

our bodies only eclipse the spirit

That shadow is finite

Sometimes blocking the third eyes line of sight

But I don’t need vision when I feel you in everything

I don’t need words when you talk to me in the language of souls

I don’t need touch for my heart you will always clutch

Everywhere I go I feel you whole

Nothing could ever disrupt the course even when the path sways abruptly

You ride the waves above me

You are my North Star my Polaris

Basking in the light on the highest terrace

You are the rarest form of light storming forward through the chaos

The universe orchestrates the notes to carry us

And so I pulled,

The strings of my soul’s needs.

And I paved the road,

To a life at peace

Calling Hours

Thursday, May 31, 2018
04:00 PM - 06:00 PM

Paradis-Givner Funeral Home
357 Main Street
Oxford, MA 01540

Celebration of Life

Thursday, May 31, 2018
06:00 PM

Paradis-Givner Funeral Home
357 Main Street
Oxford, MA 01540

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joshua Cavallini, please visit our flower store.


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