Life After Tragedy
Tragedy happens, without warning, without compassion and when you least expect it. It will change your life in the blink of an eye and steal your soul if you let it.
I am choosing to tell my story here in hopes I can touch someone who has gone through a similar tragedy or thinks they are going through something similar. It is NEVER to early to ask for help or ask the hard questions to someone who has been there or equipped to help.
It’s been 2 1/2 years since we lost her but in fact she was lost to us far before that. Here name was “Sunshine” and damn that girl would light the room – no joke. She would be 25 now. On the surface our family would appear just like any normal middle class family. The ups, the downs, the divorces, the problems and the unconditional love. All pretty normal.
Sunshine loved life, soccer, family, her cousins the beach and big family events. She was in beauty school with big aspirations. What we dd not see and did not know until it was too late were that these things started to become less important to her. You may think it is the age because 19 is a time for independence but PAY ATTENTION!! There is independence and there is turmoil from within that sits silent and confused until it reaches for something. Sunshine reached the wrong way.
When people tell you to pay attention to the sudden change in friends and groups your kids hang out in PAY ATTENTION!.
It didn’t take long before tragedy happened in a series of events that were our living nightmare and then our girl was gone, I will share more on that later……Let me just tell you our family will never be the same, loss of young life is the hardest to stomach, matter of fact it just sits with you always. Everyday you live with the pain, the hurt, the guilt and the confusion of why this happened to us. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t cry or a memory crosses my mind and i think what could have been.
On the 2nd year of her death, July, 2018 it became crystal clear what I needed to do. My own healing has begun by finding solace in helping young adults who are lost and need a helping hand up. There is a line they sit on before crossing to the dark side – its cold, lonely and a very vulnerable place. If I can throw that life-preserver and pull them back before it’s to late that is the difference I want to make. If in helping one sex trafficking victim, one run away or one homeless teen then I am honoring her memory. Sunshine’s death will not be in vain – it is my vision, my passion and my word to make a difference in her memory.
In my area there are over 525 homeless youths that will sleep outside tonight?
I am very humbled and proud to share that I have partnered with S.A.Y – Social Advocates For Youth here in our very own Sonoma County. I have been able to set up a fund in honor of Sunshine who was lost too soon to our family and turn our nightmare into hope so that another family doesn’t half to suffer our pain. You will hear more about the Sunshine Fund in the upcoming days. Programs like this make a huge difference and this is where I will be spending my efforts, my time and I will be the voice for those trying to find their way.
Did you know within 48 hours of becoming homeless, 1 in 3 young people are approached for or kidnapped into human trafficking….
Did you know SAY operates the only dedicated emergency shelter for 18-24 year olds between San Francisco and the Oregon border? Since last year’s devastating wildfires, our shelter has been 100% capacity every night. This critical resource is largely dependent on private funding from caring community members like you.
To donate: https://www.saysc.org/sunshinefund/
It is my mission and my vision to be able to help provide what this program needs to continuously help the youth in our community. How am I doing this you ask? For those of you that know me know I operate two very successful businesses, I have dedicated a big percentage of my online business to the Sunshine Fund. Those doing business with me and who have partnered with me know it’s not just skin care – it is a vehicle for change, hope and promise.
I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your friendship your trust and even your compassion. Reach out to me if you would like to know more about the organization and how you can get involved.
Let’s turn tragedy into triumph!