MISSION, Kan. — When Justin Wiler and his wife Megan lost their 6-month-old son to complications from sleep apnea last March, the heartbroken couple remembers feeling lost.
“I don’t know how to describe it but it changed our world,” Justin Wiler said.
Their infant son, named Jax Henry, is gone but certainly not forgotten.
Wiler renamed his arts and crafts business, ‘Jax Henry’, in his honor and has dedicated each piece of handcrafted jewelry, decorative book cover, and ornament to his memory.
“It helps me hold onto him by being a part of this and by existing,” said Megan Pannell, the baby’s mother.
The couple’s tent has become a regular fixture at the city’s First Fridays events. Wiler said sharing their story and making their son’s legacy a part of their brand has gone a long way in their journey of healing.
“People have read our story and as a result of that they have shared their story of losing their children,” Wiler said.
After last week’s tragic shooting that left an innocent bystander dead at First Fridays in the Crossroads, the couple felt compelled to share their own story of recovery through the power of the arts, and the city’s First Friday tradition.
“If First Fridays brings you joy and First Fridays is something that you can share with friends and family and it can be a positive environment and a positive part of your life, than by all means you should continue to enjoy that,” Wiler said.