This time last year, Alissa Parker was preparing to celebrate Christmas with her husband and their three daughters. This year, she’s spending her second Christmas without her daughter Emilie, who was killed in the horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. There will be vigils and news specials to remember the 26 people that died that day, but Parker is taking a different route.
In a Huffington Post article, she says she’s opting out of the inevitable reliving of the tragedy:
I choose to turn it all off.
I choose to reflect on what I have learned about myself and my journey through grief.
I choose to quietly remember the sweet loved ones that were lost that day.
I choose to spend this sacred time with my family.
And I choose to be at peace.
Still, she knows she’s learned a lot in her year of grieving–about herself and the power of God’s love. Parker worked with Shadow Mountain to create an incredibly touching story about the year following Emilie’s death and how she’s grown during it. It might make you cry, hearing this a mother talk about the daughter she lost, a happy little girl with interests and a big heart, but it’s inspiring to hear she knows “evil didn’t win that day”.