In a video that is simultaneously heartbreaking to watch and impossible to turn off, Alissa Parker, the mother of Sandy Hook victim Emilie Parker, narrates the harrowing journey that she and her family have lived through since December 2012. There’s nothing easy about this — not the pictures of Emilie smiling with her sisters, not the vision of Emilie’s parents remodeling a crawl space in their house as a Christmas surprise never to be enjoyed by Emily, not Alissa’s choked voice as she explains how:
We’d received a box from the police of Emily’s clothing. I had to see how she was hurt, and that pain is indescribable. I felt consumed with how evil can be so powerful, and that evil won.
That, however, is not the end of Alissa’s story — or Emilie’s. The work Emilie’s family now does in her honor includes working with school safety groups, children’s art programs, and supporting medical care for people in need in Guatemala. Alissa Parker names the source of her strength as a belief in a loving God; for those who have no truck with that kind of sentiment, it’s still compelling to watch a woman who suffered the senseless murder of her beloved daughter find a reason to get up in the morning.
The video (get the Kleenex ready) is here: