For her children

Dear friends,

I keep wanting to sit down here at my computer and write about Sarah.  I want to replay the past three years and write it down so I don’t forget.  But every time I start to think about it, I fall apart.  I want to sit and copy and paste three years worth of emails from her into a word document, print it, and bind it.  But I can’t yet.

I think I hurt a friend’s feelings yesterday because of my manner on the phone with her.  I’m keeping it together right now because I have to.  There are those who are suffering far more than I am.  This friend commented that I was in “Admin Ginny” mode.  Yes, during the day I am.  At night, I sob.   I hear her voice, her words to me on the telephone, just hours before I got another phone call, from another friend, telling me that Sarah was on her way to the hospital, no pulse, not breathing.

Sarah’s funeral is on Friday.  Her birthday is Saturday.  Last night, together with Sarah’s husband Eric, their family, and a few close friends, we planned her funeral.  I’ve attended my fair share of funerals, but I’ve never played a part in planning one.

I am reading your emails, your comments, all of it.  I know how hard it is to reach out to someone, especially someone you only know via the internet, at a time like this.  It’s impossible to know the right thing to say, and it is brave to reach out with your words, however imperfect and inadequate they might feel.  I get it.  I’m with you.  And your words are helping to hold me up.

Last night while we sat around the table, Sarah’s parents choosing readings for her funeral Mass, me writing them down, her younger brother was working to set up a fundraising site for the future of Sarah and Eric’s children.  Their children are my children’s friends.  Their future is very important to me.  So, I am going to ask you to give, even it all you can share is five bucks.  Eric needs our help.   Sarah’s babies need us.  They need strangers to do the brave thing and give, and write that they care.  They don’t fully understand what has happened.  They are still babies.  I watched them say goodbye to their mommy, with innocent smiles on their faces.  I don’t know if they noticed that all the adults in the room were crying.  I helped Sarah’s oldest son, seven years old, tape a card he had made for Sarah on the wall.  It simply read, “Mommy and Liam.”  He had drawn two stick figures, the taller one sheltering the smaller one with her arm.

One day they will look back at this time, and they will realize that people from all over the world banded together to pray for their mommy, for their daddy, and for them.  They will know that God used all of us, together, to carry them through this.

Thank you so much for caring.  Thank you so much for giving.



(photo credit Lori Elizabeth)

(photo credit Lori Elizabeth)

(photo credit Eric Harkins)

(photo credit Sarah Harkins)

my girls

(photo credit:  a stranger.  On our last girls’ night out together)

And finally, from that same night, a photo of my best girls taken by me:


  1. Praying and trusting that you will be comforted and surrounded with the peace that passes all understanding as you remember and mourn the loss of your dear friend, Ginny.
    xo Lisa

  2. My best friend was killed eight years ago (today) when a tree fell on her car as she was passing under it in a freak accident. She was in hospital for three days with her injuries and in the end it was better for her to pass – her injuries were so severe that had she lived, it would have been as the smallest shell of her former self.

    It took me about six years to say her name again, and only in the last few months have I been able to accept what happened. It has been the hardest journey I’ve had to go through, and I can’t actually remember a single thing about the first few months after it happened. But I have slowly got through it – I am still wanting to cry writing this, but I did finally complete a scrap-book of her story and although it hurt like anything to make it, it was a big healing step for me.

    I have been thinking about your family and Sarah’s family, and sending you the best wishes I can possibly send. I hope that you know how well supported you will be over the coming years.

  3. Oh my my my. I can’t fathom this. I will definitely donate to the family. Much love and condolences to everyone.


  4. Bobbie D. says:

    Hi Ginny
    I have been feeling very low for Sarah’s family. Wondering to myself, why didn’t God spare Sarah? This morning at church , our pastor was quoting a verse, “God didn’t spare His own son”. I have my answer. Praying for ya’ll and I am so thrilled for all the money that has been raised. I just checked and it’s $206,127 for both accounts. God is so good.

  5. “Death is not the end. Death is really a beginning—another step forward in Heavenly Father’s plan for His children. Someday, like everyone else, your physical body will die. But your spirit does not die, it goes to the spirit world, where you will continue to learn and progress and may be with loved ones who have passed on.

    Death is a necessary step in your progression, just as your birth was. Sometime after your death, your spirit and your body will be reunited—never to be separated again. This is called resurrection, and it was made possible by the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ (see 1 Corinthians 15:20-22).”

    “Jesus Christ gave power to His disciples to seal families together forever when He said, “And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 16:19).

    Death does not need to be the end of our relationships with cherished loved ones.”

    “Family members who accept the Atonement of Jesus Christ and follow His example can be together forever through sacred ordinances performed in God’s holy temples. These ordinances seal a husband and wife together for all eternity and children to their parents as an eternal family. (See: “The Family: A Proclamation to the World”)”

    Death is not the end, though at times it feels like it is. This family can be together forever.


  1. […] to hear and that Sarah “really lived out the true meaning of the domestic church.” See this lovely blog post to meet some of her friends and see some sweet BFF […]

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