Dear Darlings,

Today I sit and type with a heavy heart, tears sting my eyes and a lump rests in my throat. One of Zach’s high school friends is being laid to rest tomorrow. No parent should ever have to endure the pain of saying goodbye to their child. It’s a cruelty not to be wished on any mother or father.

This young lady was a beautiful soul whose warmth radiated out to all who met her.  The first time I met her, I noticed her stunning smile and her eyes that sparkled with excitement as Zach and his group gathered at our house before heading out to concert on a warm, stormy night last summer. She was delightful ~ that’s the best way to describe her…delightful. And now, she is gone.

Rumors swirl, but a certainty remains, a bright, shining light has been extinguished, and a family mourns the loss of their beautiful daughter. I ache for them, for their loss.

My heart breaks for all of her friends who surrounded her in life and will now walk forward without her. Zach and his friends now know grief in a way they may never have before. Tragedy leaves an ugly scar.

So, my darlings, in all of this loss, please know how much you are loved, how much you are cherished, how much your earthly presence means to this world and how bright and shining your light is. Please know it’s okay to talk about sadness, grief and depression. Please, please, please, know when feelings of despair threaten to overwhelm you, it’s more than okay talk about it. Talk to a priest, a counselor, your mom, your dad, or even me….know I’ll always be here for you. I don’t want to lose anymore young, brilliant lights in this world.

I love you with all of my heart.

Oh, for the love of all my children…

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