The basic assumptions we held about our life are wrong now and must be remade and adjusted. Like we have no daughter anymore. It is painful and hard to reconfigure our reality. I have to watch myself and not let that pain turn me bitter and sour. I started to go that way working in the yard the other day cleaning up some of the debris and twigs from a very long winter.

Usually this task is fun for me. I enjoy seeing the greening of the earth and feeling the burgeoning life that spring brings forth. This year I didn’t allow that quickening of joy in myself. Instead my internal dialogue was “ the very dirt is coming alive today, but that box of ashes on the coffee table is as dead and inert as it was a week ago, and as dead as it’ll be a year from now. It isn’t right.” Not a good direction for my thoughts. The pit falls and pity parties are everywhere.

Our new life is devoid of much joy- perhaps we will find it sometime in the future. We are still working on survival. The caring and love of others pulls me from despair the path to survival. Once we have mastered survival we can encourage the blossoming of joy again. Someday.

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16 Responses to “Gil Harrington's thoughts from March 22nd, 2010”

  1. Tomm Cook says:

    I love you Harringtons! 2 4 1

  2. Barbara says:

    Dear Gil,
    I have been following your family’s story and visiting your website since your dear Morgan first went missing. I cannot imagine a more devastating, heartwrenching story. I am amazed over and over again by your strength and willingness to reveal your most personal thoughts and feelings; but I believe that this is what will see you through this heartbreak. It will never end but it will change and some day will be more bearable. I pray for you and your family and that the person who did this unspeakable thing is caught soon.

  3. Rachel says:

    My heart goes out to all of you who have suffered such a senseless loss at the hands of a yet nameless monster. I was friends with Johnia Berry (see website url) and her family had to wait almost three long years – of fliers, marches, meetings, public appeals, many things you’re going through – before the guilty loser was pinned…and he was pretty much in town the whole time. With all of the people who loved her and all of the resources allocated, the monster will be found and held liable, I know it must be so. I wish you strength every day.

  4. Penny says:

    Dear Harrington Family –
    I think of you often and ask God to ease your pain. I know that doesn’t help right now – I only hope someday soon you will find you are able to breathe again without feeling the deep ache inside of you. Blessings to each of you.

  5. Cara says:

    Dear Harrington Family,
    I have family in Charlottesville and I know what a beautiful place it is and I can imagine what a beautiful daughter you had (and have in heaven). I felt so shocked to know this sort of tragedy could take place there. Please know you have someone praying for you in CT. As a parent of one child, it’s hard to fathom the frustration that might come from this type of tragedy. I do know though, that it’s important to grieve and give yourself time. And I will never forget such a sweet and perfect, beautiful face! Morgan has touched me and I will pray for her justice to be served.
    Love, Cara

  6. Jule says:

    Dear Gil,
    Every emotion you go through is a step in the right direction towards a spirit of hope, love, and peace. Anger is necessary right now. Just as the leaves change its colors, so does the perpetrator, if only for a moment. But, he is a predator and like the devil who walks this earth seeking the vulnerable and innocent, he will take a wrong step and be cornered by a higher authority into answering to his actions. Keep your faith in God and hold on tight. Try and look back on this uninimaginable time and see two footprints in the sand, where God carried you.
    God Bless you.

  7. Doug says:

    God help humanity. I do not understand the amount of evil and corruption it took for whoever participated in this sad and destructive behavior of ending the life of a lovely young woman from a very loving family who was just starting to live as an adult. The person or persons who wreaked this havoc and created this awful void in this family’s loving hearts deserves the worst punishment God and man can levy. I am so sad for your loss, Mrs. Harrington, cannot imagine what it is like, and wish not another family, especially such a kind and loving one, should suffer a similar fate. The news media that introduced me to this tragedy reminds me every day how fragile and corrupt the world of living people is, how evil is pervasive in our world, in sharp contrast to the incredible beauty and harmony that abounds in nature and creation and the love that often prevails. A life that by all accounts was extremely well nurtured, should have been allowed to blossom and would have, but was destroyed. The natural order of birth, reproduction, and death was interrupted at the hands of a savage human; a person or persons with the potential for saving a life who instead chose at some point in time to carry out great evil. God please do not let the destruction that has tragically affected this loving family spread any further within this family or any other. Please bring justice for this wrong and please bring peace and healing to the hearts and minds of this loving family. I feel your pain as a newsreader and now blog reader from hundreds of miles away. Wish reality were what it could be if God and nature’s laws were followed by every living person not what it is. I am so sorry for your family’s horrific loss and the unavoidable grief you are living.

  8. W.C. says:

    Following your blog, I have no doubt in my heart that you again will discover great joy in your life, whether it be the near or distant future. The love and hope you continually express and extend toward others would not allow otherwise. The joy, of course, will be different from the joy Morgan brought your family, as all things are inherently different post-Morgan. New happiness will never replace the joy you had ripped from your life – as that is an impossible joy to duplicate. I would anticipate that your undiscovered joys will appear and make themselves known at unexpected times and from unexpected places, places, I believe, Morgan will guide you to when you are ready.

    Gil, your ability to share and survive is truly inspiring. Everyday you teach strangers, myself included, how to survive and persevere, and for that, I thank you.

  9. Mona says:

    You are such a brave and strong woman. This became part of my everyday to check here, and see if you and your family are doing alright. Seeing an update here makes me reassured that life is still going on there, so please keep it up here. For me, the better ending to this story is not finding that monster, but seeing you writing with hope and happiness here. You lost your daughter in this ugly story, but this didn’t make you any less mother: you are still worried about all of girls out there that this monster might hurt, and this is adorable.

  10. sam f says:

    I read your blogs often, and I cry, a lot. I’ve never been one to take so much interest in another’s life. But I find myself wondering how your family is handeling things. Morgan came from a very loving, stable and strong family. The makings of a wonderful child, with so much promise. Here I sit, and I feel the anger you speak of so intensely, I can taste it. There is so much evil, so much disfunction in this world, how unnerving to have one of the few in this world with genuine love and potential be stripped away. It rattles my faith. Every time I validate my beliefs on ” we all have a place in this world, no matter how short our time, we are all part of a bigger picture, a better place.” Now I ask how?!!! Why? How can I tell an athiest that god loves us all, he blesses the good, the well intentioned, and at the drop of a prayer, you have your entire future to look forward to, and never fear. Yet I have no answers for them when they ask about tragedies like this. My boy friend Jeremy being one to ask me these questions when we talk about faith, his fourteen year old sister suffered a brain anerism with her father sleeping directly in the next room. Just to wake up and find his beautiful daughter, lost to him forever, when he was just a stride away from protecting her. There is no worse pain than the loss of one’s child, it’s beyond nature. Beyond loss, beyond pain. I find myself selfish to mourn your loss on this level. But I fear for this place when it’s up to this demoralized generation to take over. But I am angry and I am very afraid. The most peace my mind can make of this, is Morgan’s journey was to begin a journey for you, for Dan, even for me. Look at the good you’ve done so far, the kindness you’ve bestowed to children in Africa, and fulfulling Morgan’s dreams. As much as this hurts my mind to wrap around, I know that Morgan DOES have a purpose. In her memory and her goals, and her love. She was a sensitive soul to the world around her, she could feel, I mean really feel. She could feel her father’s concern for his patient on the phone, she could feel the life of other living creatures, ones as simple as a plant. She could feel the pain and suffering of children across the world. There are not many like that, the type of people who can just stop in the midst of drama and life in general, and have such a true, empathetic heart. I am a little over a month older than what Morgan would be today. Morgan makes me want to make a difference. So as I attempted to fathom the hows and the whys as to why god would take such an amazing woman, I see that it was her memory, inspiration, her goals and love. Because now she has fueled a whole new future for all of us. She’s done so much already, and now she needs our help to finish what she started here, and I promise you I will not let morgan down.

  11. Sharon says:


    I can feel your pain through your words. You are one of the strongest women I have ever come across. Your faith will get you through this horrible time in your life as will your family & friends.
    As for Morgan’s ashes… I remember reading, I think in one of your blogs that you were planning to use Morgan’s ashes in a new building in Africa was it? It was one of the many beautiful ideas you had for them as I recall. Morgan will live on, not in the way we would all like her to, but her ashes will be embedded forever in something good.
    God bless you, Dan & Alex.


  12. Gail says:

    Dear Gil,
    I remember so well when my precious Mother was ill and subsequently died. One morning after I had carefully bathed her and was helping her into a fresh gown and bed jacket she asked that I put her ‘guardian angel pin’ on her bed jacket. I did. She looked at me as only a loving Mother can and touched me on my left shoulder and said that soon she was going to be my ‘guardian angel’.
    It was all I could do to keep the tears from flowing. She continued on the subject and said that when I was lonely, sad, in a hurry, whatever the situation to reach up to my left shoulder and that she would be there. That was over 15 years ago and I still remember that conversation as though it were this morning. I do feel her presence, hugging me, sitting on my shoulder, even kissing me on my cheek at times. Years later I had the opportunity to care for her only sister. One day she looked at me and held me close to her and said that she knew that my Mother had secured a place on my left shoulder and she wanted me to know that she would be my 2nd Guardian Angel. Death hurts! We don’t want to lose a loved one no matter what age…but I know I have at least two precious Guardian Angels watching over me wherever I am.
    The pain continues, but I have beautiful memories to lessen the pain.
    I pray that God will give you and your family answers to this horrible crime. My prayers always include your family and I ask God to give you continued strength during this most difficult time that continues to be like a storm cloud.
    Thank you for continuing to openly share your feelings with us.

  13. joe guthrie says:

    Peace and Love to you all.

  14. Jessi says:

    God bless you and always remember you have millions of people to catch you if it ever gets too hard. 241.

  15. Barbara says:

    Hi, just wondering what “awaiting moderation” means? My comment is from March 22nd.

  16. Mark says:

    Hi Rene,Sorry to hear your picture wasn’t inlcedud. Unfortunately we only have room for 25 pictures in our gallery, and it’s possible that your shot maybe was a little fuzzy, so it didn’t make the cut. Mariela the photo gallery is designed to give a picture of what the entire event was like. We do feature video of our two winners only (you can find them in the video gallery).Looking forward to seeing you both at the next round!Brandi.

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