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.