tragedy

‘Wen, we’d like to adopt you.’ My body was burned and abandoned on a doorstep. I was given a second chance at life.’: Burn survivor adopted from foster care system, ‘I’m so lucky to be alive and in a loving family!’

“It all started with a fire. My biological parents had bills to pay. They gave me up, knowing they may never see me again. A family reached out. I had no idea what adoption was. They didn’t look like me or talk like me. Why were they handing me gifts? Why were my foster parents crying? I didn’t know what was happening. How could I? I was only 6. Soon, I was taken away.  Little did I know that plane ride would change my life forever. I was halfway across the world.”

‘I chose to wear headphones. I didn’t want to hear or see Lily, afraid she would die. I kept my eyes affixed on my husband.’: Parents who lost twin daughter navigate marriage through tragedy, ‘We weren’t remotely prepared for what lay ahead’

“My husband encouraged me to look at my 1-pound daughter. If Lily died, we agreed to sell all our belongings and move to a beach in Hawaii, disappearing until we felt strong enough to return – but Pat knew Lily was strong enough to survive. I had intense, terrifying thoughts. This is not what we anticipated when we took our vows, but we faced each day together. We’ve come so far from stupid teenagers breaking curfew for 5 more minutes together, but if they could look ahead, I know they’d be pretty damn proud of us, too.”

‘Will you be my wife?’ You never emerged from the water to hear my answer. ‘Yes! A million times, yes!’: Man tragically drowns while proposing, ‘please love each other hard, while you can’

“Just days before you died, you said to me, ‘We are so blessed.’ My perfect love, my angel. Yes, we were. In the cruelest twist of fate imaginable, we never got to embrace and celebrate the beginning of the rest of our lives together. I will carry the love we shared with me forever. I will find you and marry you in the next lifetime, and the next, and the next, and the next.”

‘I greeted her at the door with tears in my eyes. We couldn’t look past the horror of that day.’: Young widow becomes ‘soul sisters’ with late husband’s cousin after witnessing traumatic death together

“A stray bullet killed my husband 3 days after I delivered our son. His cousin Shelby was holding my baby boy moments before he died. She started sleeping with me that night and over the next year moved into the room with my son and I. For us, this PTSD was life. We couldn’t see past the blood, hear past the screams. Our brains were frozen in time, and the only way for us to climb out, was to be with each other.”

‘Mama, please!,’ my daughter cried. She got in the tub, held me in silence, patting my back, giving me kisses.’: Daughter’s intuition picks up on mommy’s ‘debilitating anxiety’

“My husband swiftly removed her multiple times, as I said, ‘Mommy will be done in a minute baby, I am right here.’ I need someone to look me in the eyes and say, ‘I know you’re not okay.’ My daughter did just this for me. I try to hold it together for my child, but she knows. We sat like this for an hour. It was one of the most beautiful gifts anyone could give me.”

‘My best friend was supposed to marry her soulmate. Instead, she spoke her vows at his funeral.’: Woman loses fiancé to ‘work accident’ before wedding, creates touching hashtag to ‘honor’ their love

“It was later on, after an ‘accidental Facebook message’ to the ‘wrong Danny’ that fate would bring them together. 107 days before what was supposed to be the happiest day of her life, her wedding day, she got the most heart-stopping phone call. Her fiancé was in an accident. One he wouldn’t make it out alive from.”

‘Candice, you’re an orphan now.’ I was pulled out of class at 8 years old to be told my dad had killed my mom, then himself.’: Woman loses parents to domestic violence, finds ‘peace, healing’ 21 years later

“Earlier that day, my mom had stolen my father’s gun and packed our bags. She knew she had to get us out before he killed us all. Soon, the police called. ‘Return the gun.’ She begged the police not to return it to him after he threatened her life, but they did it anyway. I was dropped off at my friend’s house. She was supposed to pick me up at 5 p.m. Never would I have imagined that I’d never see my mom or dad ever again.”

‘What would we do if someone started shooting?,’ I wondered in church. I could feel my heart racing.’: Mom says her fear can be ‘crippling’ following mass shootings, but knows there will ‘always be light’

“Where were the exits? How would I protect my kids? I hate that my mind was in a place of fear in church of all places. I often run to the grocery store or Target with all 3 of my kids. How will I protect them if someone started shooting? How can I keep them safe? How can I teach them to protect themselves? Fear can be crippling. But there will also always be light.”

‘Mom she’s gone, I just know.’ I sat on my stairs with my front door open, in shock.’: How this ‘broken’ mother helps other parents of child loss heal after her own tragedy

“Seeing my sweet baby girl laying in a huge bed, much too big for her, made me fall to my knees. A nurse said to me, ‘Get off the floor, it’s so dirty.’ I was angry at her, I was angry at the hospital chaplain placing his eerie hand on my shoulder with no real comfort. No parent should have to write their child’s eulogy, or decide between a casket or an urn. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing.”

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