For most of us, events like the weekend’s deadly Orlando shooting evoke feelings of shock, sadness and anger. But for Nelba Márquez-Greene, the mother of a child murdered during the Sandy Hook massacre, they stir tragic memories.
The mother of two was tragically forced to bury her six-year-old daughter, Ana Grace Márquez-Greene, in 2012 after a heavily armed 20-year-old named Adam Lanza mercilessly shot her and 25 other students and staff at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
After hearing of the bloody slaughter of 50 at gay night club in Florida on Sunday, Márquez-Greene penned a powerful open letter to the victim’s families and posted it on a Facebook page in memory of her little girl.
“I am sorry that our tragedy here in Sandy Hook wasn’t enough to save your loved ones. I tried, and I won’t stop trying,” she wrote. “Don’t you dare listen to even ONE person who may insinuate that somehow this is your loved one’s fault because they were gay, or any other reason. Nor is it God’s wrath.”
Instead, she encouraged them to dismiss the detractors and to embrace the message that “love wins”.
“You will receive love from a million places,” she wrote. “Embrace it. Take good care of yourself. This will be a forever journey. Some ugly will come your way too. Delete. Ignore. Let it go. Your loss today will bring out the worst AND the best in all of us. May we commit to being our best selves in honor of what you now bear.”
As she laments the birthdays and BBQs the families will miss, Márquez-Greene commits to learning about the lives and legacies of their slain loved ones.
“We will not forget. We will say their names out loud. We will remember your children. As you remembered and learned about ours.”