I mentioned yesterday that one of Trinity’s classmates had been missing since Saturday. I want to thank everyone for their prayers, positive thoughts, love, and light for Autumn. Unfortunately, the story doesn’t have a happy ending.
They found her body last night around 10pm in a recycling bin, which is basically a large, blue trash can. No word yet on the cause or time of death. Her autopsy is taking place this morning.
I just have no words. I can’t even begin to imagine what that family is going through. My heart is just breaking for them. Autumn was 12; her 13th birthday is next week. That’s too young to be taken from this world. She had her whole life in front of her. From everything I’ve heard, she was an amazing child: bright, smart, beautiful, sweet, and so full of life. She didn’t deserve this, no child does.
I broke the news to Trinity this morning. She opted to go to school and seemed to be handling the news ok. I think she just doesn’t fully understand, and it hasn’t sunk in yet. She wasn’t close friends with Autumn, but she did know her and was friendly with her at school. I’d characterize their relationship as friendly acquaintances.
I feel selfish for worrying about Trinity when a family is grieving the loss of their child, but it’s my job as a parent. I’m worried about how this will affect her. I’m worried that this will haunt her for her whole life. I was around her age when TWA Flight 800 crashed, and I carry scars from that tragedy still. I always wanted better for Trinity.
Then I think about all the children I see out alone riding their bikes, playing, walking, whatever on a daily basis. Some of these kids couldn’t be more than five. This town has always felt so safe. Parents didn’t think twice about letting their children walk to a friend’s house, ride their bike down the street, or play basketball at the neighbors. I’ve let Trinity walk Spike around the block alone before and never gave it a second.
That’s all changed now, though. We’re such a small community, and no one thought something like this could happen here. The truth is it can happen anywhere. This world is a disgusting place sometimes, and you never know who has the capability of doing something horrible.
Who did this to her? Do I know this person? Did I pass this person at the store or on the street? All of these thoughts keep running through my mind. I don’t know who I can trust anymore, and that scares me.
It just feels wrong to be continuing on with life as usual, to be finishing projects and getting ready to go running. I feel like the world should be stopping, just like it probably has for Autumn’s family.
Life doesn’t stop, though, it just keeps moving forward. I can only pray and hope that her family finds peace, and whoever did this to her gets what he/she deserves.
How do we go back to our normal lives after something like this hits so close to home? To quote Megan, ‘You don’t. Normal isn’t the same anymore.’
So, hold your children a little tighter, watch them a little closer, and pray that Autumn’s family finds peace, healing, and justice.