A Letter to the Families of the Orlando Shooting Victims

Dearest loved ones,

During times of extreme hate, and devastating loss, there are often no words left to describe how large and excruciating your pain must be. We as humanity are overwhelmingly sorry that you have been made to endure this. To all the mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, partners, coworkers and friends of all the victims who’s lives were stolen, we are sorry. We are sorry that this failure of love and togetherness has been used as a catalyst to further political agenda and implicate blame. We are sorry that during your time of anguish, fellow humans are attempting to convince you of what love and goodness there is. You should not be made to swallow this sorrow and find a silver lining. You are allowed to grieve, and you are allowed to be angry. Moreover, we are sorry that many of you will lay awake in a half empty bed, missing smells, laughs and smiles. We are sorry that tomorrow and for all the days to come, there will be a missing seat at the table, one less for Tuesday coffee. We are sorry that you will have to pack up boxes: running shoes with holes in the soles, age-weathered photos in cracking frames, toothbrushes, glasses. All the mementos of lives brutally ended, too short and without warning. We are sorry that you are made to brave painful conversations, funeral arrangements and an emptiness in your hearts. And to the victims: We are sorry that your hearts, fingerprints and faces have faded from our earth. We are sorry that you will no longer grace us with your presence, your talents and your love.

My dearest loved ones, dream of your lost ones. When the time comes, fondly remember all that they may have given you, how full your heart once was, and how a piece of your heart will always remain with them. Know that they are near, should you ever hear their laughter or be reminded of them in the face of another. More importantly: experience your pain, and when you are ready to come out the other side, we are all standing together, with you.

All of our love,

Humankind


May your presence live on in the hearts of others:

Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34 years old
Stanley Almodovar III, 23 years old
Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20 years old
Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22 years old
Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36 years old
Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22 years old
Luis S. Vielma, 22 years old
Kimberly Morris, 37 years old
Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30 years old
Darryl Roman Burt II, 29 years old
Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32 years old
Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21 years old
Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25 years old
Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35 years old
Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50 years old
Amanda Alvear, 25 years old
Martin Benitez Torres, 33 years old
Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37 years old
Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26 years old
Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35 years old
Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25 years old
Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31 years old
Oscar A Aracena-Montero, 26 years old
Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25 years old
Miguel Angel Honorato, 30 years old
Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40 years old
Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32 years old
Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19 years old
Cory James Connell, 21 years old
Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37 years old
Luis Daniel Conde, 39 years old
Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33 years old
Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25 years old
Jerald Arthur Wright, 31 years old
Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25 years old
Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25 years old

Click HERE to learn more about each victim of the Orlando shooting.

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