We are standing with you on this longest night

Tonight, the longest night of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, we stand with everyone for whom this year has been immensely and extraordinarily difficult, including Melanie, whose former husband and the father to her three beloved boys, Tim, died from COVID in March.

In her words, “even though he was the farthest thing from an exemplary father, our boys loved him… I hadn’t spoken a word to him in years, but I’m heartbroken because my babies are heartbroken.”

Melanie longed to give her boys’ father a final resting place — a niche at the cemetery where his mother is buried — but with her boys relying solely on her, including two in college, she couldn’t afford to. Tim’s ashes were in a plastic box, tucked in the back of her closet, which was “especially hard to bear because in the year prior to him passing away… he was homeless. The thought of him not having a final resting spot after not having a place to rest in life is just so heavy.”

Melanie couldn’t bear that thought alone — nor should she have to — so she turned to Together Rising, which she said was the only place she felt safe asking for help.

You, through Together Rising, provided assistance for the niche, enabling Melanie and her babies to finally lay Tim to rest. Melanie wanted to give her boys the gift of peace, especially her Jack, who she so thoughtfully requested be the recipient because he had an “especially strained relationship with his dad and [Melanie] wanted him to be the one to give their dad this final gift.” Because of you, Jack and his brothers have that long-deserved peace.

To everyone who is hurting, and to those whom the shattering, immeasurable, relentless pain of this year feels too heavy to bear alone, we are standing with you on this longest night and forever, together. 

*Names changed to protect the family’s privacy.