Parents of teen pulled from Tule River want him remembered for his life, not death

News

A Strathmore family is finding closure after the body of 16-year-old Michael Edes was recovered. His parents said right now he’s thought of as “the boy who died in the river,” but they want everyone to know he was so much more.

“When (his father) first told me I just kind of went numb, and then I didn’t break down until I called my dad. It was like having to say it out loud is what killed me,” Sheila Gundy, Michael’s mother said.

Michael was swept away by the Tule River last month and his body was located Wednesday.

“I’m devastated that I can’t see the future for him anymore. As a parent that’s hard because you have these plans for what it’s going to be, you know? And it’s gone,” John Hunt, Michael’s father said Thursday.

Gundy said even though logically she knew Michael was gone, up until now there was always the hope of a miracle.

“When they find him it’s like you know, you really know he’s not coming home,” Gundy said.

Hunt said he wants his son remebered for the right reasons.

“I feel like the hardest thing right now is he’s just being remembered as the boy who died in the river. That’s disgusting and rough,” he said.

Michael’s parents don’t want him to remembered for how he died, but instead how he lived.

“He was the center of attention, he craved it. He had everybody smiling and he loved to dance and sing. He’d come right in here, ‘Dad I have a song I want you to listen to,'” Hunt said.

They said he was an entertainer, loving and clever.

“He was smart. He was so smart and he was funny,” Gundy said.

She said the healing process can start now, but the world will never be the same without Michael.

“People will never get to know how absolutely incredible he was,” she said.

Michael’s parents said they are very thankful to the search and rescue teams, who did not stop until they brought Michael home.

The family is now planning Michael’s funeral. Anyone who would like to help can donate to Webbs Funeral Home in Lindsay, CA.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

CBS47 On Your Side

Do you have a problem that you need help solving? Contact CBS47 and let us be On Your Side.

Phone: 559-761-0383
Email: OnYourSide@cbsfresno.com

Don’t Miss

Best of the Valley
Sunday Morning Matters
MedWatch Today
Hispanic Heritage
Bulldog Insider: The Podcast
The Valley's Armenia
Pros Who Know

Images from Armenia

Small patients in Armenia
Yerevan by night.
Dr. Jeff Thomas delivers.
Dr. Jeff Thomas delivers in Gyumri.
Doctors unpack medical supplies from The Central Valley.
Fresno Medical Mission at work.
Medical Supplies being unloaded.
Fresno Medical Mission at the ready.
KSEE24 crew witnesses the miracle of life in Gyumri, Armenia.
Life saving work of Central Valley surgeons in Armenia.
Ribbon cutting on new surgical center in Ashtarak Armenia. Fresno donors made this dream come true.
KSEE24 on assignment with the Fresno Medical Mission
Honorary Consulate to Armenia Berj Apkarian explains the crisis facing one hospital.
KSEE24's Stefani Booroojian and Kevin Mahan at the meeting with President Bako Sahakyan.
Medical Meeting in Artsakh.
The President of Artsakh meets with the Fresno Medical Mission.
Learning modern medicine techniques with the Fresno Medical Mission in surgery.
Leaning in for a look. Dr. Brien Tonkinson holds class and helps a patient in Armenia.
Fresno Medical Mission cares on one of the smallest patients in the region. Six-year old Yanna receives life-changing better breathing surgery.