Ellie was our daughter – but she was everyone’s daughter – everyone’s friend. You’ll hear a lot of references to diamonds today because Ellie was a diamond. She brought a bright light into the lives of everyone she met. But let’s never forget that diamonds are made of coal and it’s the pressure that makes them beautiful. Ellie shone brightly on the outside, but there was a darkness within her that no one could see – that we did not see. Ellie’s life was very full…of friends – of family – of experiences… and she knew it – but the darkness within her was overwhelming. Our only solace is that Ellie has finally found the peace that she was looking for. Our sole wish now is that no family has to go through what we’re going through – and that Ellie’s death has as much meaning as her life.
Parents: Love your kids. Hug your kids. Talk to your kids. Talk to your kids about Ellie and what happened.
Kids: love yourselves, love your parents and tell them everything – reach out if you’re in pain. Let’s come together as a community to ensure that this tragedy does not happen ever again.
Lastly – the weather today could not be more appropriate – Ellie loved the rain – when she was little she used to love to play in the rain and jump in the puddles (making her mother crazy). Sherry and I want everyone to think of today’s rain as Ellie’s tears because we know that she is missing us as much as we are missing her.