*originally posted to Facebook on 7/6/16
It has been a day since the worst moment of my life... My sweet Melissa crossed to the great unknown yesterday afternoon. It is something that I will never understand, and nothing I wish on anyone.
Melissa was the absolute light of the world. The most pure-hearted person I ever hope to know and love.
Thank you all for your thoughts, prayers, and well wishes. I am living my life one second at a time right now. I know it will get better in time. I don't know how. But I do know that it will be through the love, friendship, support, and generous sharing of memories from all of you.
We don't know yet where to go from here. I will post more as I work through this. We will likely do celebrations here in Phoenix and in Herndon, VA so that we can all celebrate her together free of time and distance.
Please pray from Melissa however you know how. Hug those close to you. Play with your dogs, cats, donkeys, horses, and children and remember her.
I lieu of flowers, cards, or food, please consider a donation to one of the following:
Defenders of Wildlife: http://www.defenders.org - dedicated to protecting plants and animals native to North America in their natural habitats. In particular, Melissa was a big supporter of their effort to protect native wolf populations.
Southwest Wildlife Conservation: http://www.southwestwildlife.org - SWCC rescues native wild animals that have lost their homes to development, or are found injured, orphaned, or abandoned. When possible, the animals the there care are rehabilitated and released, healthy and wild, back to where they belong. They are local to Phoenix. This is a charity Melissa knew well and visited personally.
ASPCA: https://www.aspca.org - The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Reservation Animal Rescue: http://www.nrcprograms.org/site/PageServer… - dedicated to providing resources for care and rescue of homeless animals on American Indian reservations.
Alley Cat Allies: http://www.alleycat.org - Advocating trap/neuter/return as a method of reducing feral cat populations.
US Humane Society: http://www.humanesociety.org - National and local animal protection agency, providing care and services to more than 100,000 animals every year.
With Love, Peace, and Understanding -