Loving My Niece, Mikaela Lynch

I’m an author, I write for a living. But aside from Daughter’s obituary, this is the hardest thing I have ever put on paper.


Last Sunday, on Mother’s day – on a Facebook post no less – I learned that my beautiful niece, Mikaela Lynch – was missing. The beloved daughter of my brother and his wife was gone from their house.

Do I need to describe how my blood turned to ice-water? The way that panic beat so hard in my chest I thought my heart would burst? Those horrific dark days of searching that turned into a tragic loss.

But this isn’t about me at all.

This is about showing love for the Lynch’s – my blood, my family. This is about remembering Mikaela, and how many people she touched.

I have never in my life met two people who were more in love with their child. Every single time they looked Mikaela, their faces lit up from within. It was a beautiful thing to witness. A gorgeous child that took after both – a perfect blend of love. She was cherished.

They say that special children pick their parent’s – and Mikaela couldn’t have chosen better. From the time she was a baby and began having seizures, Michael and Bari were on it. The doctors, the specialists, the care givers – and woe to the ones that crossed her in any way.

They never gave up hope or treated her any differently. They were told horrible things by insensitive people who thought they were trying to give them a dose of reality about Mikaela’s condition.

Michael and Bari dressed that baby up every day and included her in everything. Everything. She went everywhere with them, regardless of what they were told. And that never changed as Mikaela grew. Their entire household, and each minute of their lives revolved around Mikaela and her needs.

They have a village, literally – for her. Over the years, friends, teachers, caregivers, and family were all drawn to this special little girl, and fell in love with her.

Was she challenging? Yes. To not acknowledge that wouldn’t be honest – but Mikaela was never shut away, or out of the family’s everyday life. It was heart wrenching to see her hurt herself, locked away in her mind. Clothes? Forget it. She couldn’t stand the fabric against her skin – but she had an entire wardrobe, and she would be dressed patiently each time she stripped them off.

When she began climbing – things that couldn’t be nailed down and or braced to wall – were taken out of the house. Barriers were erected onto all railings, locks and alarms installed on all the doors. Seven foot fences were installed. Sling swings hung in the living room in every house they owned. Anything and everything that could be a comfort for Mikaela, was provided – in any space in the house she wanted to be.

Mikaela sang, laughed, and learned to communicate. She gave big hugs and awesome kisses. She was smart too. She knew where the cookies were in the cupboard and how to get to them! She learned to sign, and loved taking baths, as the water comforted and soothed her. She loved horses, and riding.


And she was loved beyond measure. Having witnessed this for myself, and being blessed by spending time with Mikaela, how on earth is it even possible to offer comfort to my brother and sister-in-law? To Ryan, my nephew?

To Billie and Gerald, her maternal grandparents?

To my mother and Papa, who have now lost three grandchildren?

To my sisters, and their children.

To the friends who have supported Michael and Bari, the teachers who adored her?

To the thousands of people who have shared their prayers, condolences, and their own heartbreaking stories over the last week?

How do I grieve myself?

To say I want take it all away is an understatement. To say I’m sorry – seems so insignificant. But I sincerely would do anything in the world to lessen the pain her loss has caused.

All I can share is my love. It is here, for you – and freely given from my soul. It’s all I have to give.

You know, I always thought that my niece had a great secret going on with the Angels. I believe she could hear them, and they sang to her. I believe she is happy, talking up a storm, and dancing with her cousin, Dezi.  I can only think of that as wonderful.

Mikaela Renee Lynch came into this world naked, through the water of life. She left us the same way.

And our lives will be never the same.


I would like to thank everyone involved. But again, are mere words enough?

I can only tell you that I have a new cause in my life now – and a personal passion to get behind  and run with as hard as I can.

If you would like to know more about Mikaela – please visit  MIKAELA’S VILLAGE.

Or visit her on Facebook HERE.

Published by Yvonne Heidt

Yvonne likes to describe herself as being a charismatic and amusing Libra Goddess. On some days she writes like a fiend, but admits that other days, she's just as content to wrap up in a blanket and cuddle with her dogs while watching "one more episode." on Netflix. In between those, she's managed to be a three-time Golden Crown Literary Award winner for Best Paranormal, Lambda Literary Award Finalist, and both a Rainbow Award winner and finalist.

18 thoughts on “Loving My Niece, Mikaela Lynch

  1. Thank-you for so elequently showing the rest of the world just how loved she truly was all of her life, and how special and amazing her and her family is. My deepest condolences to you and your entire family during such a heart-breaking time. I have 2 sons with Autism and our house is locked like Fort Knox but that still hasn’t stopped both of them from figuring out a way out at times. I’m crying just thinking about the times I’ve raced after one of them in a desperate attempt to keep them safe. the heartbreak your sister-in-law and brother feel, it IS inadaquate but it’s all I’ve got to say “I’m so extremely sorry for the loss your family must endure”


  2. You know, I always thought that my niece had a great secret going on with the Angels. I believe she could hear them, and they sang to her. I believe she is happy, talking up a storm, and dancing with her cousin, Dezi. I can only think of that as wonderful.

    Very beautiful and loving. You have put into words many cannot, You have expessed how much love that all feel for Mikaela. So very sad for the loss Mikaela I can almost see the excitement on her face as she saw Jesus. Prayers for you all.


  3. My heart breaks with yours. I am Mom to three daughters with autism, very much like Mikaela. I am also a writer and blogger (HuffPo and elsewhere.) I can share with you that one way to honor your niece is by spreading the world of the National Autism Association Big Red Safety Box and Project FOUND. Wandering is a huge terror for all of us with kids on the spectrum and there but for the grace of God go any of us. Another little boy wandered and drowned this weekend. Owen Black. His mother emailed me to please tell people to look for him. And a 2 year old in Akron – Autism Soc of Akron is raising money for his funeral. Autism is a profound problem, as deadly as any childhood disease, and we simply MUST face up to the needs of families, so that many more hearts are not shattered. I am so very sorry. Kim Stagliano, Mom to Mia, Gianna and Bella.


  4. Such a beautiful tribute to Mikaela and her and your family, Yvonne. The courage you all have displayed is remarkable in these circumstances. My heart goes out to each of you and I wish you all peace and love.


  5. Such a beautiful tribute to Mikaela’s short life here on earth…I didnt know this angel but my common link is with her aunt, Suzie A. Krelle. Through her post’s on FB I feel like I have known Mikaela her whole life! My heart was sadden that aweful day and I have been praying for the family through this horrific tragedy! I know Mikaela is with Jesus now and that gives me peace. I just pray that the family also recieve peace knowing she is with the one and only that is making sure she is highly taken care of. Mikaela will get to see everyone of her family members that she lost one day again..and what a day for everyone that will be! I want to thank Suzie Krelle for making me a part of this familys loss, because Mikaela’s story has put Autisism awareness a priority in my heart and in my prayers! Thank you all for sharig your story because it has changed me in a special way…Im a mother of two wonderful teenagers and If I lost them I dont know what I would do…But the out pouring of love and kindness from family and strangers I know would mean alot to me and know the Lord had a part in the overflow of LOVE! To the family of Mikaela, she has given me a new outlook on life and I pray God gives you the peace and comfort you long for during this time. Thank you little angel Mikaela for changing my life for the better…<3 Shelley Brooks (Suxie Krelle's friend through FB) I cant wait to get to meet you one day, ANGEL! ❤


  6. My heart aches for your family because the way you wrote about Mikaela is the way I see my children – their beauty, their innocence, their love. What a tragic loss but her memory will shine as bright as her smile.


  7. You say it all as you say she ” came into this world naked, through the water of life. She left us the same way.” What a beautiful way with your words in a time where words so easily fail us. From a fellow autism parent, I understand this love. It is a different kind of love. Not less than or better than any other kind of love, but watermarked especially for the children whose spirit we have learned to read where words fail them, too. My heartfelt condolences to everyone who feel her loss.




  8. Oh Yvonne. It’s so wonderful to hear the true story of little Mikaela. So many of us relate to her story because of our own children..the ones that are alive and the ones that are in Heaven. There aren’t any words to convey my sorrow for you and your family. But we’re here standing with you.


  9. My dear friend Vonnie. Although we have never met in person this DarkSideAngel feels that I have seen inside your sole when Dezi left this earth. You have inside a heart filled with love and compassion. I know how this tears at you… just close your eyes and listen. I believe you will hear your precious Dezi and Mikaela’s soft laughter as Dezi teaches her to reach down and let her mom and dad know that she can now play with all the other children as they run and jump along with the giggles that only children make.


  10. I am sitting here in tears reading this because you are describing the way my son Will has touched our family and I can only imagine a glimpse of the hole that Mikaela has left in her family.
    My heart is broken for you all and I hope you can feel the love and prayers surrounding you as you seek peace that passes understanding.

    Much love.


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