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Her name was Pam. She was so beautiful, so full of life, so encouraging. We knew she had dark things in her past. Foster care, abuse, cutting. But I think most of us thought she was on her way up. We didn’t know the things she was hiding.

The eating disorder, the continued cutting, the secret girlfriend. She pulled away from the community at the Rock. But she was so busy, and so independent, a free spirit by definition. I guess a lot of us thought she needed a little space, and she would come back when she was ready. Very few knew when she went away to a recovery clinic for her eating disorder. So it was quite a shock when we heard that she had run away from the clinic, snuck out and drove to a motel to end her life.

It all sounds, maybe not reasonable, but understandable, when I lay it out like this. But if you had known her… if you had seen her play with Honduran kids for whom she had such compassion & empathy. If you had climbed trees with her, had handstand competitions, played soccer, you would never have guessed it would end like that. She was a bright light in this world.

Some of her ashes were spread in Estes Park, and some were put into the foundation of a house in Honduras.