Dear Morgan,
The bad times are laced with anguish and pain, the good times filled with disbelief – still. It is two and a half years since you were murdered and it’s still hard to fathom. The wellspring of your great potential lost. Writing this Morgan, I find myself punching down hard on the computer keys, like a typewriter, as if stroke force will prevent your erasure from the world. How can you be over? How can we shoulder this burden for the rest of our days? But we must. Really, there is no other choice. We must relinquish control and old expectations – over, and over and over, and somehow face a new reality head on.

Our daily landscape is a minefield riddled with objects/thoughts/words that unleash memories which quickly plunge into emotions and grief. Photos displayed around the house that used to comfort now sometimes lash. I catch sight of your beautiful face and smile and quickly try to shake off the horrific mental hologram that seeks to superimpose images of your gap toothed skull. I look at a picture on the fridge and stop myself from the gruesome calendar math inherent in the image. I try not to calculate how many days you had left to live in each and every scene.

We have grown some of the muscles that surviving loss demands. We navigate the tough places and hold feelings in check. Just when I think I have successfully walled off the no longer possible life, I see Dan weeping over wedding dresses shown on TV. Not our path now. So much anticipated joy surrendered. On Easter, there will be no Peeps here. A ridiculous and silly thing to miss, I know, but it is another little whiff of fun we have had to dismiss. Morgan, you thought that Peeps were hilarious: the Easter equivalent of fruitcake, always present and yet never consumed. And so they were a funny inclusion in every Easter basket I ever assembled – another task that is no longer mine to do.

I am grateful that it is easier to hold these feelings in check than it was a year ago. Morgan, our life is not so sharp and fraught with pain. We are making it. Feels sort of like we have moved from walking on shards of glass to merely walking on eggshells. Still a tricky path to navigate and one I so much wish we didn’t have to walk. We miss you always and mourn the loss of joy.


11 Responses to “Gil Harrington’s Thoughts for March 26th, 2012”

  1. Darby Moore says:

    You are in my thoughts a lot. I was at that concert and sent in all my videos and pictures to the state police. Unfortunately, none of it helped. I find myself coming back to this website over and over to see if you posted anything new and how you’re family is doing. I work for the City of Staunton in Human Resources and I know you don’t know me, but I just felt like I needed to share my thoughts with you. I hope Morgan’s killer is brought to justice. No one should ever have to go through this. Take Care.

  2. Marisela Jones says:

    The prayer for protection

    The light of God surrounds you
    The love of God enfolds you
    The power of God protects you
    The presence of God watches over you
    Wherever you are God is.

    Say this prayer everyday and the person that took your precious child away from you will be found. Gil never give up. God be with you always. If you like please email me and we can exchange prayers.

  3. Mark Harrington says:

    My sincerest wishes for peace in your life. I can’t imagine how I would feel if I lost my daughter Morgan, but I know like you I would think of her everyday and do all that I could to ensure her memory lives on…
    Please know that monsters like this do not find peace in their life and usually meet their demise in less than happy settings. One way or another justice will be served, I hope you have the opportunity to see it first hand…

  4. Joy says:

    I have read the blog for awhile now and have been too shy to leave a comment ..until now.
    I appreciate your words!
    I lost my daughter when she was 3 1/2 years old and her dad left two years later. I am heading for the fourth anniversary and struggle consistently with severe depression! I don’t know what to do, but your posts give me some sense of peace and I want you to know how much it means to me!
    Thank You for being here as much as you probably would rather not be! ..and please know that I appreciate the solace I receive from reading your words.

  5. W.C. says:

    Every time I read your blogs, I feel a small fraction of your pain. Your writing is so hauntingly beautiful, your pain so tangible, that I am forced to imagine life myself in a similar place of anguish. I make a concerted effort not to take any of the little things, the Peeps of life, for granted and to soak in the silly moments with my family I cherish and would surely miss. In this sense, Morgan has helped me even in her absence, and so her legacy of helping and caring continues. So thank you Gil, Dan, Alex and Morgan and God bless you on your journey to find a new and different joy.

  6. david says:

    Still thinking about morgan and the family.

    -Roanoke County resident.

  7. Ali says:

    After losing a close family member this past week, I found the pain unimaginable as well as unbearable. Struggling to put one foot in front of the other, I searched keywords such as grief, help with grief, etc. and then I remembered Morgan.
    If it means anything, the way you’ve displayed your pain for the world to see has in some small way helped me to understand there it is a long road on the way to a new normal.
    May God bless you and your family.

  8. Robert says:

    I write to you from Ottawa Ontario. Morgan’s story just passed on tv. Dissapeared. This story has touched me. I had hoped to find the case closed as I searched the web. I believe with persistence you guys will find whoever has done this. Never give up. The police have DNA. You will find whoever did this. I wish I could do more; travel to Virginia and seek vigilantly justice. Tonight I shall pray for Morgan.

  9. Carol says:

    Hi Gil, I still read your blogs as often as I can. You should publish your writings. I feel as if I know Morgan a little through you. Have you ever considered putting a video of Morgan on this site so that we could “meet” her in that way? Looks like she was blessed with the ability to write – like you. Hang in there and God bless your family as you find your way……..

  10. Gina says:

    I guess time does NOT heal all wounds. I don’t think that if I were you, I would be able to leave my bedroom, house or town. Our daughter told us on Easter, while we were doing our usual traditions that her childhood was so much fun, she wishes that she could do it all over again. We rarely get to see her due to physical distance and one of course can never repeat a life. I check back her every once and a while and I pray for your family which has truly been redefined. God Bless you all. You are definitely a lesson in perseverence and refinement in the face of such tragedy. Eventually, her soul will be able to rest in peace when this monster is caught. Not soon enough.

  11. Gina says:

    I hope you are looking into the possibility of UVA giving Morgan a diploma pr certificate at the graduation ceremony. I know this may be too late since most colleges graduate i early-mid May. Derek Jeter is going to receive an Honorary Doctorate for his philanthropic work which he truly deserves. Please take this down since this is privately from me to you.

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