The Legacy


Lori Doggett

Dearest Frankie,

How is it that though I never knew your presence, still I so deeply feel your absence? And though I never knew the sweet melody that you brought to this world, still my heart aches at the quiet? You brought so much goodness and compassion to those who had the priviledge of knowing you. I see that same goodness and compassion in your mother, so in a way, it is as if your life has touched mine through hers. They miss you so very much that there are not words to fully describe thier grief and anguish since your were so violently taken from them. If a person's worth is measured by the void they leave behind when they are gone, than yours far exceeds gold because the hole that is left in the hearts of those who loved you is as vast as The Grand Canyon.

Over the many months that have past, I have come to know and deeply love your mother and your daughter, and in doing so I have come to feel your loss as well. I grieve for your daughter, who still cries for her mommy. I grieve for all the future things that she must now face without you; her first day of school, all the Mother's Days, and Christmases, and birthdays that will cause her to feel the pain of your absence over and over again. It breaks my own heart that she will never again know the sound of your voice or feel the warmth of your touch. She has many to love her, and guide her, and pray for her. I am one of those many. Yet, no one will ever be able to fill the place in her life that was meant for you alone. There will always be that empty place in her heart. I do know that you loved her more than anything in this world, that she was the apple of your eye; and I hope that as she grows, she will always find comfort in knowing how much that you adored her.

I also grieve for your mother, who misses you so very much. I know you were her best friend, and she was yours, and there were so many things in life that she was looking forward to sharing with you. As she tries to adjust to a world in which you no longer exsist, my heart breaks for her. There is something grievously wrong when a parent must bury a child! She must try to answer the questions of a precious three year old little girl who does not understand why her mommy is gone; all the while agonizing within because she has no answers for her own soul. Despite her grief though, she has shown so much strength and courage. Frankie, I know you would be so proud of her! In her, I can see where you obtained all your kind and loving ways.

I promise you, Frankie, that I will do all I can to love her, and support her as she continues on this most difficult journey called life. A journey which is often much like climbing a mountain over broken glass. A journey in which I will gladly walk beside her. I care about your mother and your daughter very much, and I shed countless tears for all they must endure without you.

And in a way that perhaps is hard for many to understand, including me, I grieve for you too. Who knows that maybe our paths would have crossed someday if evil men had not taken you away. You were a wonderful person and I am so sorry I never had the opportunity to know you in this life. Someday in heaven we will meet, but for now I continue to see your beauty in those you left behind.

I come to this fence so often- to reflect, to weep, to leave flowers in your memory. Everytime I stand here, I struggle with the senselessness of it all. You were so young, with so much life ahead of you. That your life should be taken so violently fills me with much sadness and much anger. If I live to be one hundred, I will never understand why you had to die. People say it was an act of hate against the government, but that fills me with anger as well, becuase you were not the "government"! You were Frankie Ann Merrell; a beautiful twenty three year old young woman, a wonderful mother to Morgan, a loving wife to your husband, a loving sister and daughter, and a caring friend to many.

Your death has left much grief in it's wake, but your life has left a legacy of goodness, love , and compassion- and it is that that I pray will always remain and like a seed, take root in your daughter's heart and grow and increase in the coming years.

Until we meet one day in heaven

Love, Lori Doggett

In loving memory of Frankie Ann Merrell (October 25, 1971-April 19, 1995)



You can send email to Lori at: loryd320@aol.com
mail welcome


anniversary date 4-19-95
date of post 3-15-97

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Crisis, Grief, and Healing: Tom Golden LCSW