This Christmas season has been especially sharp for me. I couldn’t figure out exactly why. It wasn’t just the feeling that we are so outside the celebratory jolly-ness of the holidays. That exclusion is a bit sad, but not painful. It finally dawned on me yesterday; it’s the cold, the pervasive bitter cold. Last year Morgan’s body had not been found by this time. We desperately clung to the fantasy that Morgan was alive somewhere and each cold night or snowfall was a torture as we imagined Morgan exposed to the elements and suffering. She was indeed exposed to the elements, but her suffering was long past. I am so very grateful to have that knowledge.

There is almost a PTSD quality to our feelings right now. We’re cycling fast. Initially, shock and disbelief are like insulation and protect you from feeling too much. As those feelings have dissipated we’ve been hit full on with much emotion over Morgan’s death this winter. The extremely low temperatures and strong winds also leave me breathless with eyes and nose streaming every time I dash outside. The sensation of secretions pouring down my face has me constantly feeling like I am recovering from a crying jag and it hurts like before. It seems that the tissues of my eyes, the skin of my cheeks don’t differentiate between wind driven tears and tears of heartbreak. Both leave me spent.

People want us to get over it. Hell, we want to get over it. But we are different people now, irrevocably changed by the murder of our daughter. The constellations of friendships are reforming based upon other’s comfort level with our discomfort. That’s OK.  I’ve heard “get better or be bitter” I don’t think we are bitter, but know we are not better – at least not yet. We are working hard and I am immensely proud that we have survived the first year of our separation from Morgan. It may be that as those years stack up, the loss won’t feel as sharp, though I doubt it.

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6 Responses to “Gil Harrington’s thoughts from December 9th, 2010”

  1. Karen says:

    Being attacked the way your family was is not something anyone could ever get over. Anyone who tells you to get over it obveously has never lived through what you have been through. You will never get over it but with God to lean on, you will get through it. Mrs. Harrington, you are only seperated from Morgan in the physical sense, but nothing can seperate the love you have for your daughter because your love for her will live on through all eternity. Her spirit will live on forever. For the rest of your days on earth, you will never comprehend why you have been given what feels like an insurmountable ocean of pain, suffering, and loss (you’ve been robbed in so many ways). The fact that you are not bitter means that something greater is at work inside of you. God is carrying you now Mrs. Harrington. Please lean on Him and stay close to Him. I believe God was with Morgan that fateful night and quickly protected her from pain and suffering.

  2. Oh Gil ,
    God Bless you ! You are not “bitter” , you are grieving, without answers , without the perp, with so many facets of this still unsolved (legally unsolved). If anyone dares to say “get better of get bitter” to you again , please tell them matter of factly , “Walk in my shoes” & walk away & pray for God to Bless the Ignorant!
    Yes, your shock insulated you to a degree for a while. I suppose hope carried you until Morgan’s remains were found. But to be found in such a way , I know that you remained in shock over the ugliness of it all . Now hope carries us for answers . Many continue to pray & hold on to hope with you & maybe even at times we hold on to Hope For you.
    *But What I have seen is a Mother , a Father who carry on out of Love for their daughter. Who are seeking answers for the love of their daughter, who speak out about safety of others since they cannot bring their own back , they are hellbent on doing all they can do to prevent another family from feeling this amount of pain.
    * I pray that your friends before Morgan was murdered will dig a bit deeper to look a bit closer & to see you & Dan for the incredible parents that you still are to your 2 children. You are still & always be the Parents of TWO ! And with that , you can also say 2~4~1 as 2 for 1 (Two Parents For 1 incredible beautiful bright & shiny girl forever)

  3. Christie says:

    How can a parent ever get over the loss of their child? Someone told me once, when you have a child it’s like walking around with your heart on the outside. You all have experienced unimaginable pain. How do you put a time limit on pain? Lean on God. He knows what’s it’s like to lose a child. I continue to pray for you all.

  4. joe guthrie says:

    Gil, I haven’t been on your site for a while…I apologize. You, Dr. Harrington and Alex are the strongest people I know. I can’t imagne the pain you all have had to endure these long grueling months. Sometimes, I sit here trying to come up with words to say but what can I say that you all haven’t heard over and over again? But, when people love and care, sometimes that’s all we can do…

    Peace and Love,

  5. Stacy says:

    I have not commented for some time, but have read your posts regularly and am always touched. This time I’m angry – how anyone could dare suggest that you should get over it or get past it is, frankly, outrageous. I can’t imagine anyone who has children being able to do so. I desperately hope, with time, you can find a measure of peace and serenity through your suffering. I think of you, Alex and Morgan frequently. With such random horrible things that happen to such wonderful people, my faith is shaken. Wishing you strength, peace and love in the new year.

  6. Cavall says:

    Dear Gil
    I am so sad to hear of your loss and the grief that you continue to endure. I feel so touched by your beautiful words which you have so generously given to those who read your blog. Amidst all this personal tradegy you still have kindness and beauty coming from within. I just watched your story as it appeared on our television last night and I was so touched by your grace that I felt I had to learn more about you. You have openened up my heart to know that the simple frustrations I often have with my own children is nothing compared to the enormity of the tradegy that you and your family face daily. I will light a candle for you and my family tonight.
    Peace be with you
    Sincerely Cape Town South Africa

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