I would like to begin this post by sharing that the sentiments I express are with the deepest respect. In no way will I come close to knowing the pain and grief of the loved ones she left behind, but I felt that I had to share this;
To a beautiful girl I never met; tonight, I attended a candle light vigil held in your honor. I never had the chance to cross paths with you, though I am incredibly lucky to know some of your extraordinary sisters. Although I never had the opportunity to meet you, tonight your memory shone in the hearts of ADPI. Your giving spirit, your ability to make anyone feel known and loved, your memorable laughter, your drive and passion; I got a chance to catch a glimmer of your heart through stories and memories that will forever live in the ones who loved you best.
As I stood there, I couldn’t help but feel angry. Me, a complete stranger to this situation, with no connections; even I felt a sliver of what friends and family must be experiencing. Why. Why God, if you claim to be love, do you allow these things to happen? Where are you in these situations? Why them? These thoughts kept running through my head as my stomach started to ache and my chest began to feel heavy. Powerless. All I could do was offer my tears to someone who deserved much more than 20 years on this earth.
But just as those candles lit up the night around us, so will her memory be a light to all the ones who feel abandoned in darkness. So many were touched by her life, and I know many more will continue to be.
I only ask that if you find yourself to be a person of prayer, that you pray. Pray hard. Pray for her family, for her friends, for a friend who is still fighting for her life, for healing and comfort in this time of loss.
My deepest condolences to those who mourn Hailey; may you be comforted by the outpouring of love surrounding you,