One year ago today, an unimaginable tragedy occurred. A little girl, the daughter of one of my “internet friends,” a woman I’ve known virtually for years on online boards, passed away, in every parent’s greatest fear.

The death of a child is a horror no parent should ever have to live through. This little sweet girl should still be here, running and playing with her friends and growing ever older by the moment. She loved color, especially purple. She loved dancing and music. Her smile lit up the room. She can never be forgotten by those who have been touched by her life, too short though it was.

As any other parent, I can’t help but transfer to my own child to try to empathize with the pain her mother and father must feel (I think it’s only natural). There are far, far too many similarities between Emmie and  to make this very difficult. They were exactly, to the day, one year and one month apart. They share a name. Now that Emmie is very nearly the same age she was last year, Emmie’s interests are almost identical to hers. They are beloved only children. It’s only too easy to imagine at least the palest shade of the grief that her family must be experiencing.

Please, hold your loved ones tight, for we never know what direction our lives will take us in. If you have a thought or prayer to spare, please send them toward her parents as well during this time.