Dear Mogo,

 I have just come back from visiting A. J. in New York to shore him up a bit.  Since you were killed, Dan and I have a lower threshold for traveling to see him.  We all crave the connection of family more now than ever.  Alex is doing really well though, having just remarkable success at work.  I like to think that you are helping push that stone uphill from the other side.  In many ways the impact of your death is hardest on Alex; he will be without you the longest and is destined to be the last man standing in our nuclear family. It is so hard to be the last one holding all the inside jokes.  Allie grieves deeply and constantly, as we all do.  When I was with Alex in New York, I saw many sweet little things, like watching him go out of his way on the way home to walk by a wall with prayer flags flying – so he could better conjure you.

 My coming home to Roanoke was really rough; re-entry this time was brutal. I realize anew that I am returning to pick up the reigns of a life I never anticipated and flat out don’t like; a life that you are absent from.  While away, I can compartmentalize or even confabulate a bit and look away from the fact of your murder.  But Morgan, once home, the screaming vacuum of your empty bedroom makes that impossible. The foreverness of your death is more apparent now; imagining the years devoid of you, stacking one upon the other is just overwhelming.  How can it be?  

 How can we manage to survive this blow?  We have, so far, thanks to the love of so many; it might be that is the answer.  Community and love will carry us when we are unable. NYC was difficult for me to process in part because of the absence of my community.  No one knows us there, or the story of your death, or our pain; an anonymity that felt cold and was hard to bear.  As soon as I landed in Roanoke, a TSA worker came up and hugged me and whispered “stay strong”. That recognition brings its own cascade of emotion and also reinforces the knowing that I belong here. Roanoke is not a perfect place, but a beautiful community to nurture and raise my 2 beloved children in and prepare them to go off into the world – such as it is.  I am so grateful for the precious fleeting time we had together here. 

 We are trying so very hard to soften around this sharp place.  Let it be a needle joining the scraps of our life into a new quilt, not the scalpel that eviscerates.

 So much love my sweetie,




5 Responses to “Gil Harrington’s thoughts for March 28, 2011”

  1. Dear Gil, Your writing here reminds me of my favorite poem by Robert Frost, which pairs with your sense that what holds you up must be myriad threads of support. You will never be without thousands of such silken threads, connections from thousands of us who love you and Dan and Alex and Kirby. 241 Jane

    The Silken Tent

    She is as in a field a silken tent
    At midday when the sunny summer breeze
    Has dried the dew and all its ropes relent,
    So that in guys it gently sways at ease,
    And its supporting central cedar pole,
    That is its pinnacle to heavenward
    And signifies the sureness of the soul,
    Seems to owe naught to any single cord,
    But strictly held by none, is loosely bound
    By countless silken ties of love and thought
    To every thing on earth the compass round,
    And only by one’s going slightly taut
    In the capriciousness of summer air
    Is of the slightlest bondage made aware.

    Robert Frost

  2. ann says:

    Nothing could be more perfect than this poem.

    Relieved to know the family is still strong in its new-found, unwanted future.

    It made me think of Grandmother Spider, weaving the Web of Life in the Native American tradition.

    Here is the story in one page, if you wish:

    From the story: “The Web of Life is a beautiful braid that holds the energy of all life together. Grandmother Spider’s dance of spinning and weaving continues indefinitely, as new patterns within the web are being woven every moment when each new life enters the Earthwalk.

    At the other end of Grandmother Spider’s tapestry, the web is always unraveling, as every spirit essence travels back through the doorway of the Sacred Cave to the Spirit World when life is complete.”

  3. Ann H Tearle says:

    Still and always in my thoughts and prayers. Just know that none of you are forgotten. All of you are as my own. Love, Ann 241

  4. Jill says:

    As I watched Morgan’s story on Disappeared tonight, my heart broke all over again for your family. I wish there were words that I could conjure up that would relieve the hole in your hearts and lives that Morgan’s murder has left, but there are just no words. The only words I can offer are to God, to provide comfort for your hurting hearts and for whoever took Morgan from you never be given a moment’s peace in their life/lives until they come forward and tell the truth. I also pray that this murderer NEVER hurt another beautiful, precious girl EVER again, so that no other family has to suffer what your family has. God bless your family and give you strength to face each new day. Jill

  5. Emily Nghiem says:

    To Alex and the Harrington Family:
    I pray for your extended healing.

    I thought of you because of the Holly Bobo story, yet another nursing student abducted who had natural talents and gifts for helping and nurturing other people.

    I asked a friend if we could start a prayer circle for the people responsible to turn themselves in, and donate the reward money to medical charity outreach in honor of Morgan and others like the Petit family in Connecticut.

    I would especially urge medical research and development to be focused on earlier diagnostic screening, intervention and treatment of criminal illness, addiction and abuse to prevent other people from suffering injury or death.

    There is so much more we can do as a society to honor people like Morgan who are truly an inspiration, and to stop this tragedies from happening that can be prevented!

    My prayers go out to you, your family and the incredible community of friends you have called together. Thank you for making this world a better place. We can heal more people by forgiveness, correction, and restitution than we can with punishment and retribution. May the people who are responsible be called forward and receive full support to do the right thing with love and courage, and without fear.

    Thank you for all that you do and all the sacrifice you have born in not letting this tragedy destroy your good purpose.

    My heart, mind, and spirit are with you, and I pray that all barriers to the truth be removed, and the best of God’s plans come to fruition for the betterment of all humanity.

    Yours truly,
    With Love and Thanks
    Emily in Houston

    My friend’s prayer hotline is 713-829-0899
    Please call and pray for this person to come forth

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