Read excerpts from Robbie Parker’s official statement on losing his 6-year-old daughter Emilie in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
“I’ve been contacted by so many people and agencies wanting to know how we’re doing. I just thought that this might be the best way to share those feelings with everybody. First of all, I’d really like to offer our deepest condolences to all the families who were directly affected by this shooting. It’s a horrific tragedy, and we wanted everybody to know that our hearts and our prayers go out to them. This includes the family of the shooter. I can’t imagine how hard this experience must be for you, and I want you to know that our family and our love and our support goes out to you as well.
My daughter, Emilie, would be one of the first ones to be standing and giving her love and support to all those victims, because that’s the type of person that she is. Not because of any parenting that my wife and I could have done, but because those were the gifts that were given to her by her heavenly father.
As the deep pain begins to settle into our hearts, we find comfort reflecting on the incredible person that Emilie was and how many lives that she was able to touch in her short time here on Earth. Emilie was bright, creative, and very loving. Emilie was always willing to try new things. She liked to use her talents to touch the lives of everyone that she came into contact with. She was an exceptional artist, and she always carried around her markers and pencils so that she never missed an opportunity to draw a picture or make a card for those around her.
I can’t count the number of times Emilie noticed someone feeling sad or frustrated and would rush to find a piece of paper to draw them a picture or to write them an encouraging note.
As we move on from what happened here, what happened to so many people, let it not turn into something that defines us, but something that inspires us to be better, to be more compassionate, and more humble people. Let us please keep the sentiments of love that we feel for our families and the compassion that we feel for others, even complete strangers, and keep them with us at all times, not just in times of sorrow and tragedy.”
On the last time he saw Emilie:
“I was leaving to work and she woke up before I left. I’d actually been teaching her Poruguese-our conversation was in Portuguese-she told me good morning and asked how I was doing and I said I was doing well. She said that she loved me and I gave her a kiss and I was out the door.”
On Emilie’s little sisters:
“Emilie was a mentor to her two little sisters, and delighted in teaching them how to read, dance, and find the simple joys in life. Emilie’s laughter was infectious, and those who had the pleasure to meet her would agree that this world is a better place because she has been in it.”
“When they needed comfort, usually that’s saved for a mom and a dad. But it was really sweet to see the times when one of them would fall and one of them would get their feelings hurt, how they would run to Emilie for support and hugs and kisses.”
On Moving Forward:
“The only thing I’d say to the other parents is the comfort that we can find in at least knowing there’s other people in the same boat that we’re in. That there’s other people that know how you’re feeling. And even though we’re all going to go through it differently and process this whole thing quite differently, that we’re all in this together and we’re forever linked by this.”