Today, the jury has spoken. They have sent the message that if you drive drunk and kill somebody as a result, it will not be tolerated, excused or ignored. Our family will forever pay a much higher price than any sentence you have received.
When we received the news that our 22 year old daughter, Krysta had been killed in a car crash - sadness, anxiety and pain controlled our minds and body. We realized that we were suffering the most horrific loss that a parent can endure. We have lost our child, the person to whom we always gave unconditional love and who loved us back the same. For 22 years, 5 months and two days she was the light of our lives. To find out that her death was 100% preventable is unforgivable. To find out that you were 3 times the legal limit is despicable.
Many of our friends and family told us that everything happens for a reason. They meant well and were trying to give us some sense of why this happened, but truthfully it gave us little comfort. I am not sure what the reason is for the greater good, but the reason my daughter, Krysta died that night was because you made the irresponsible, selfish decision to get drunk and then drive. You were sober when you made the decision to get drunk. You knew the risks and dangers, and because nothing has ever happened to you when you drove drunk on numerous occasions before, you decided that it would be ok for you to drive drunk once again. And in the end it was our daughter Krysta who paid the price for that decision. Driving Drunk is a choice….and you chose to do it. A cab would have cost you $40.00 or less and you chose not to call one. A designated driver would have cost you nothing, and you chose not to have one.
I understand that my daughter meant nothing to you and that it wasn’t personal, but you need to understand that she meant everything to us and it is very personal. You were responsible for the death of Krysta, unintentional or not. When Krysta came into our lives, it changed us profoundly losing her has done the same.
For Josh, you took away true love.
For her friends, you took away their “best friend”. The person who never judged them, the person who was always there for them.
For her sister, Krista you took away spontaneous trips to the beach, Dave Matthews concerts, yearly bridal extravaganzas, and weekly trips to the movies.
For her sister, Dee Dee, you took away late night conversations sitting on the porch, silly shopping trips, the song Linger and their dreams of opening a hair salon together.
For her big little brother Eric, you took away the one person that always had his back, the person that was so proud of all his accomplishments. Who attended all his baseball games and was his biggest fan.
For her niece, Isabelle, you took away an Aunt that loved her so much, you took away visits to the park, lunches at Willies, visits to Santa, and the person who danced and giggled with her all the time.
For me and my husband, you took our child. Two people who would have changed places with her that night, if only given the chance. Whose bodies ache with the pain of our child’s death. Who cry at the injustice of this horrific loss. A child who had just become an adult, who had an entire future ahead of her with endless possibilities and dreams. A child who was full of life, who lit up a room just by walking in it. The song I hope you dance is my song for our children. It was played at her funeral. Krysta no longer has the chance to dance with her father at her wedding.
Our journey of grief has been relentless in this past year. As we struggled through all the “firsts”… holidays, birthdays, Krysta’s birthday, special events and the first anniversary of her death, we also try to adjust to our new normal. We are learning to live our lives in a different way, to place value on understanding and hope.
The death of Krysta will forever be the defining moment of our lives. The circle of life has been broken and the void that remains is very painful. Extreme, numbing sadness is now a part of our daily life. Tears stream down our cheeks at the most inappropriate of times. We take anti-depressants to make it through the day and sleeping pills to make it through the night. I visit my daughter weekly at the cemetery, while my husband visits her cross at the crash site.
We miss her company, we miss her conversation, we miss her presence. We face constant reminders of her absence – her bedroom, a piece of mail with her name on it, a truck that looked like hers, a favorite song, a favorite TV Show, Sunday family dinners or a memory that we shared with her. We all have what we call Krysta moments…..those moments that just thinking about her becomes so painful, so unbearable, that you begin to cry and feel as if you can’t breathe. If we see someone that looks like Krysta or hear a song that makes us think of Krysta or find a momento while cleaning out a drawer we are blindsided by a wave of grief.
We have found a way to honor and memorialize our daughter Krysta. Through Krystas Karing Angels, we hope to bring awareness and educate people about the devastating effects that drunk driving causes.
Do we forgive you? Not at this time, maybe in the future. Right now, it hurts too much, our loss is too great.