In the Wake of Tragedy Comes Hugs From Holly Day
Nothing hits quite as hard as figuring out what to do for the first birthday after the passing of your child. To the parents and families every day is a tragedy of course, but the first birthday is just the first in a long list of firsts that a struggling family will have to contend with. Today our hearts go out to Todd (Arizona Cardinal's tight end) and Ashley Heap who have no choice but to deal with the unfortunate list of firsts in the wake of the tragic death of their daughter, Holly, who would have been four years old today. But in the wake of that tragedy they ask everyone to join with them in honoring Holly's life with #hugsfromhollyday.
Although the circumstances surrounding the deaths of our children may be different, my family and I are intimately aware of the struggles this family has faced and will continue to face. Conversations will be uncomfortable as friends and family grapple with their own stress and inexperience with dealing with the loss of Holly, and the parents will suffer the sting of comments meant only as gestures of goodwill . Friendships will be lost and eventually new ones gained though nothing is quite as comforting as old friends being diligent in staying close, regardless of the hoops that might run them through. If you or someone you love are struggling with what to say to a grieving family, please download my free Kindly Consider This printout.
Be kind and comforting and please speak Holly's name for I can guarantee her parents use her name more than just frequently. Holly may have only spent four years on this earth but she will remain with them for all of their lives. If you pray, pray that they seek and receive the professional help they need to make it past this tragic event in both their personal and married lives. It is difficult enough to make it through this kinds of loss but the feelings of guilt and blame often rip open an already bleeding heart.
Todd and Ashley are dedicating May 3 as "Holly-Day" and ask that our community wear pink in Holly’s honor, give lots of hugs and engage in some random acts of kindness. Please visit http://hugsfromholly.com/#learnmore.