Grief after a guilty plea
The guilty plea does nothing for the pain and sorrow I feel about losing Carly, especially in the way she was killed. There is not enough justice on earth and nothing will bring her back. She was an innocent pedestrian following the rules for walking and was hit and later died at the hospital from her injuries. It makes me sad that a person doing the right thing was killed by someone who was doing everything wrong. The best way to share the impact that this tragedy has had on my family and I is to share my impact statement as follows.
"The evening of September 21, 2019 was the last time I had the privilege and honor of holding my beautiful daughter's hand, kissing her cheek, and feeling her warmth. I will never forget that day and how painful it was to say goodbye. As tears ran down my face, I desperately did not want to let her go. I begged God for a miracle to keep her on earth and not to let me live without her. Tragically, this was not the outcome for me, my family, nor Carly.
There is no greater impact on a family than the loss of a child. Parents are not supposed to outlive their children, it's unnatural and shatters everything you thought you knew about life. It leaves a gaping hole and emptiness that will never be replaced. The sadness never ends. The what if's never end. The heartbreak never ends. The longing never ends. Life as we knew it has ended, it has changed forever. Our beautiful, sweet daughter's life has ended. No matter how hard we try nothing changes. We can't wake up from this overwhelming nightmare!
There are those special moments in life that will never be the same for us now: holidays, birthdays, special moments that should have been with Carly. I will never see my daughters face again, touch her hair, feel her hug, hear her say “I love you”. I will never be able to give her advice, comfort her, and watch her flourish. She will never hear me say again how much I love her and how proud I am of her.
We will never get to hang out and have another girls’ day, go to the movies, go shopping, or simply just get up in the morning, have a cup of coffee together and enjoy each other’s company. This has all been taken away from me. Carly was my best friend and only daughter. We were a team, Carly and I, and now she will always be missing.
Carly was so young and had so much life ahead of her, she had just recently turned 19 years old. I ache for the joy she had in all things she did and am shattered knowing she will never get the chance to experience those things again.
A few days before she was killed, she told me that she was happier than she had ever been. She felt like it was going to be her best year ever. Then, suddenly, she was gone. She will never have the chance to make her dreams come true, to make more memories, to have a fulfilling career, or get married and have children. Nor will she have the chance to watch her own brothers, whom she loved and adored, get married and be an aunt to their children.
Carly had her life all figured out. She graduated from high school with honors. She had early acceptance to Texas A&M and at the end of her freshman year had a 3.9 GPA. She was working hard towards her dream of getting accepted into Texas A&M Veterinary school. She wanted to save animals and give them a chance to experience love, she wanted to help stop animal cruelty, protect those without a voice, and change the world. She had a family that loved her more than could be explained. She had plans, goals, and dreams that she was accomplishing one by one. There was nothing that was going to stop her, except you! You stole all that away from her and took one of the most beautiful souls from this earth.
You took all that from her and us. You robbed us from our daughter, the future we planned together and our ability to share her accomplishments. You took the life of a beautiful, sweet, young woman. With one decision, you took our joy and sunshine away that night, not just for us, but for so many others as well. Her death sent ripples of pain and devastation spreading out through generations of people who had known her and loved her. We will carry this pain for as long as we live. This grief is a life sentence for us. There is no parole, no early release, only years and years of pain and sorrow.
Intoxicated driving is not an accident, it’s a choice! A vehicle is not just a car, it can be a deadly weapon. You decided to drive while intoxicated. You chose to not stop and help her or even call 911. You made several selfish decisions. You violently stole everything from Carly and all of us that loved her! I wish you could feel this kind of pain and sadness. It’s not the kind of sadness where you cry every second of the day, it’s more of a sadness that consumes you. It leaves your heart aching, your stomach empty, your soul longing, you feel weak and exhausted physically and mentally. You can’t sleep because the sadness is in your thoughts and nightmares. It consumes you all the time and there is no escape from it. The tears come with no warning, a song, a smell, a picture, a location, a memory, or a thought that she should be here with us.
One day you will probably have a child of your own, a little girl and/or a little boy. Every time you look into those precious eyes, every time she/he calls you Dad, every time you feel overwhelmed with love for your child, I want you to remember that you killed someone else’s precious child.
When you are full of joy watching your child grow into a beautiful young women or handsome young man, when you are overcome with pride of their accomplishments, I want you to remember the life of the young beautiful, precious woman that you killed.
As your child lives life, and fulfills their dreams, I want you to remember the young woman you killed who did not get the chance to live a full life and fulfill her own dreams! "
Unfortunately, for those of us who have lived through this type of misfortune, it's a life sentence. My life has changed forever, I am not who I used to be. The world goes by, but I am barley aware, sleepless nights are endless, I continuously look for distractions from the sorrow and avoid things that I know will trigger pain. Each day is a fight, some are very difficult while others a little easier, but never gone. No matter how much support I receive, I still feel alone. I'm trapped in a strange reality that few understand.
I have lost the ability to truly be happy. Yes, there are moments of joy, but never full happiness like before Carly's death. As much as I want to be happy and celebrate in other people's happiness, I just don't have the capability anymore. It's hard to comprehend how evil can come into your life so fast and destroy it. I was always so proud of Carly and her choices. She put others first and brought happiness to those around her. She never shied away from helping others and had a big heart. She did what was right and made the best choice possible. None of those things mattered, evil found her.
Fiercely love family, friends, and those around you, for no one is promised a tomorrow and evil can find you where ever you are.