*~Ashlyn Michele Fancher Pena~*
12/27/10 – 3/8/12
Words fail me. Instead I stare at her sweet little face and sob. I cannot yet process that I’ll never again be able to give Ashlyn a hug, that her precious smile will only be in photographs. Although I am profoundly affected by the loss of a young life– and have written about the unimaginable grief of friends here– this is the first time it has happened to a child I know and love. I’m completely and utterly devastated.
I cannot even imagine how Chrissy, her mother, must feel. A horrific accident with their television claimed the life of her second child and only daughter. Poor, poor Chrissy. May God be with her.
Ashlyn and her brother, Xander, transformed the women’s shelter from a house to a home. Adam adored his new playmates and doted on ‘Princess’ as he called Ashlyn. Literally: “Does Princess need a bottle?” “Is my little sister going to be like Princess?” Being able to cuddle a precious baby girl helped build my anticipation for meeting Tatum. I loved the times where Chrissy had to swap out laundry or grab something from her car and I’d watch the kids.
How will Xander process? He won’t understand but he’ll certainly notice his sister’s absence. Will he remember her? He’s barely 2. I just can’t believe she isn’t with him physically anymore. Adam has a very limited comprehension of death and I’m not going to share this with him, not yet. But when he sees Chrissy, and especially when he sees Xander, he’ll demand to know where Princess is….
I’m so grateful that Chrissy and the kids stopped by the church two days before I got my vehicle. They gave me a ride back to my apartment as we talked about getting everyone together for Adam’s birthday. Xander was chatty while Ashlyn slept. I caught a glimpse of her as I opened the door– she was sound asleep and looked so peaceful. Just like a little angel. And now she is one.
Rest in peace, sweet Princess Ashlyn. ❤
With infinite love, gratitude, and respect,