January 12, 2011

It is very slow finding your way through a minefield like the holidays.  We did so well!  We had some genuine moments of joy, even though there were also many crying times.  There is a lot of pain in discarding family traditions that are fractured for us without Morgan taking her part in them.  

Like: Morgan was always the best at deciphering the treasure hunt clues for the “biggest” gift.  We won’t / can’t play that game anymore. 

Like: Morgan loved those chocolate crinkle cookies that you refrigerate and you roll in powdered sugar.  I would only make them at Christmas time.  Morgan had a sixth sense of exactly when, and inevitably find the refrigerated dough and would eat the majority before we could get the cookies baked.  We won’t / can’t make that recipe any more.

Like: Morgan had what appeared to be a giant green metallic scrunchie with bells all over it.  She would force our dog, Kirby, to wear his “jingle bell necklace” at Christmas.  Kirby is sort of schizoid and afraid of his own shadow, so you can imagine how funny his response to this Christmas dress up attire was.  Morgan thought it was a riot.  We won’t/ can’t do that anymore.  (Kirby is profoundly grateful for the reprieve; but I will miss the silliness)

Like: Morgan was notorious for taking one little nibble from most of the chocolates in a box, and then putting them back in her quest for her favorite caramels.  Many repetitions of “if you bite it, you eat it” made her change her ways.  Instead, to get around the no bite rule, she started poking her finger in the bottom of each one instead!  We won’t / can’t have chocolates as sweet ever again.

These memories of Morgan are difficult to contemplate.  I tend to neutralize the bitterness of such thoughts here.  Somehow, writing about feelings that are painful is like removing the splinter or shard of glass from a wound before it festers.  As with those excision, writing about Morgan and our grief is perhaps painful, but ultimately promotes healing and growth.

There are not enough words, or paper, or keystrokes to help us “get over” this loss; however, I do see a way through by sharing my feelings to dilute the anguish so that we are able to “get beyond” this tragedy.

Thank each of you for caring enough to carry us as we move through this rough landscape of life with out Morgan Dana Harrington.

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8 Responses to “Gil Harrington’s thoughts from January 13th, 2011”

  1. Julie says:

    Dear Gil,
    Thanks for sharing your memories of your amazing, beautiful, and beloved daughter, Morgan Dana Harrington. Your writings are inspirational and motivate me to appreciate what I have right at this moment.
    We are here with you as you wait for justice for your girl.

  2. BP says:

    Thank you, Gil, for continuing to share your deepest emotions and sentiments, and especially your love for Morgan. It’s a beautiful thing.

    You may not ever “get over” or even “get beyond” this, but you will “come to terms” with it. You’ll know what I mean when you get there, I promise.

    My favorite story above is of the biting and poking of chocolates in Morgan’s search for the caramels. Precious! I used to do that myself, also in search of the caramels. They are the best! I hope someday you’ll consider reestablishing many of these family traditions. It’s OK to remember someone through the delightful things they did in life.

    Blessings to you and your entire family going forward.


  3. Michele says:

    Thank you for sharing your most precious and private thoughts. I pray for your family to find joy in the everyday again.

  4. Linda says:

    I have left messages or tips for the Virginia State Police, the detective in charge of Morgan’s case, and the Philadelphia Police to tell them that the sketch of the unknown suspect in Morgan’s death looks very much like the photos of the newly-arrested Philadelphia strangler. Please check this out.

  5. ann says:

    Last October my grandchild came into this world. I will stay and read here until there is an answer as to who committed the murder of your own precious child.

    Your articulate sharing is deeply moving and may very well help others in such a terrible situation. But the first reason to share is that it helps you. Whatever you need, I hope you find.

  6. Christie says:

    We continue to pray for you and your family. What beautiful memories…they will always be with you. May God bless your heart.

  7. W.C. says:

    May your heart feel Morgan’s love this Valentines Day as you are forever connected to her beautiful soul.

    Thinking and praying for your family always.

  8. Ana-Lisa Randall says:


    I’m a 23 year old woman living in Perth Australia and I want you to know that because of your very poignant writings I am inspired to be bold, to live strongly and to always appreciate what i have
    I am very truly deeply sorry for your loss but know this, Morgans attitude towards life is truly a light in this sometimes dark and crazy world and I will never let it go out in my life.

    Thank you Mrs Harrington and Morgan


    Ana-Lisa Randall

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