Dear Mr. and Mrs. Mueller,
As a humanitarian worker, I say that Kayla was too young and too promising to be foreshortened in this way, but that she and her work matter to people here in the last place where she lived and worked. She lived the life we all wish to live – a life that had meaning. A life of generous wishes and action for others on the planet not blessed with the opportunities that she enjoyed.
As an American, I say that Kayla represented what makes me proud of being American and things of which I am grateful to be reminded. Her sense of fairness and activism and her unquestioning courage to just get up and out and to try to make a difference – this quality isn’t unique to Americans but it is a distinctive attribute. No, her innocence and her good will failed to protect her. But they stand in testimony to a young American who cared about inequality and suffering.
As a director, I say that Kayla was the kind of young professional that we all cherish. Her price is far above rubies, the staff member who is inspired, passionate, caring, creative, and committed. Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.
As a mother, my heart breaks with yours. All these months of her ephemeral presence at tables and in meetings with us, we wondered where she was and how she was. Our pondering could only have been a shard of yours. And now as I am grieved that she will not be coming home to watch the daffodils push up from the spring ground, I know that for you she will eternally be your daffodil, pushing up from the spring ground of a parent’s heart that can never, ever forget.
Mr. and Mrs. Mueller. My deepest condolences.