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After Losing Daughter in School Shooting, LDS Mom Finds Way to Protect Families from Similar Tragedy

Despite the heartbreak of losing her daughter, this mom found the courage to turn her experience into a way she could save others from similar heartbreak.

It had only been a month since my daughter Emilie had been taken from this world at the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut and I couldn’t sleep. Not sleeping was nothing new, but the feeling and thoughts I was having were. I was remembering the moments right after I heard there was a shooting. I had jumped in the car and was speeding toward the school to get my daughter. I couldn't believe there had been an actual shooting at an elementary school.

In that moment, my mind had drifted back to a conversation my husband Robbie and I had as we walked the halls of Emilie’s elementary school together just a few months earlier. We were pointing out all the school’s safety flaws to each other. It had been such a casual conversation. We said it so matter-of-factly, dismissing any real danger. And there I was, in the car, racing to that same school in terror, wondering why I had never said anything.

As I rolled around in bed that night, unable to sleep, I couldn’t stop thinking about those safety flaws over and over again. I was thinking about them because I knew most schools had the same problems. I wondered, was there something I could do? And I knew there was.

The idea scared me. I was a grieving mother who could barely get out of bed. But maybe, just maybe, if I used my voice and spoke out this time instead of dismissing my concern, I could make a difference. I could help prevent another tragedy like this from happening. This sleepless night was the beginning of my journey to becoming an advocate for our children.

Lead image from Time Out for Women
Read the rest of this story at tofw.com
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