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Issue 16-102 — June 11, 2016
Starshine Galaxy Foundation is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to sustain the memories of children who have died. To this end, we support the Tributes to Lost Children Community Page on Facebook as a place to post, share, and comment on activities to honor our departed children and to celebrate their lives. The biweekly Tributes Digest presents highlights from this community page along with other items of interest. Please feel free to forward this on to others you know who might be interested, and direct any comments, questions, or concerns to starmaster@starshinegalaxy.org.

HIGHLIGHTS:
(click on title to link to the original post)

LETTER FROM SON
Something Very Good Will Come From This, Dad (June 8) – That heart-wrenching line, taken from Barry Adkin’s ‘Letter From Heaven’ – the letter he imagined his son, Kevin, would have written to him if hed had the chance has guided Barry’s actions since Kevin died at the age of 18 of alcohol poisoning. After his son’s death, Barry chronicled a 1,400-mile trek to carry Kevin’s ashes to Montana in a book called ‘Kevin’s Last Walk’ and has shared Kevin’s story with more than 100,000 people.

SEPSIS
Your Star Is the Brightest in the Night Sky (June 9) – After Paul and Melissa Mead lost their 1-year-old baby, William, to sepsis, Melissa has made it her mission to increase awareness among parents about the life-threatening condition resulting from inflammation in the immune system. She also hopes to get medical professionals better able to recognize symptoms of sepsis and to categorize it as a medical emergency.
 
TRUCK RESTORATION
He Was a Hero – He Was My Hero  (May 28) – In honor of his son, Ben – a recent high school graduate and soldier who was killed in a car accident just before his first deployment – Mike continues to restore his son’s ’58 Chevy panel truck, a project that the two had begun together in 2005. Ben’s dad says: “…on the hood of the truck will be a painting of the U.S. flag with the stripes forming flames…. In each of the 50 stars of the Flag, I want to put the name of a fallen warrior…. The stars will be gold instead of white, to represent Gold Star Fathers, who have also sacrificed.”
SUICIDE AWARENESS
We Have to Live; We Have to Love – All For Ollie! (June 6) – After 17-year-old Ollie died by suicide at the age of 17, his family made it their mission to increase awareness about issues surrounding suicide, including depression. Their mission statement: “Ollie left us with lots to do; we have to raise awareness. We have to live! We have to love! We have to STOP SUICIDE. All for Ollie.”

ELECTROCUTION IN LAKE
We Just Ask Ourselves – What Would Alexandra and Brayden Do if They Were Here? (May 31) – Brian and Angela Anderson have done many things to honor their children, Alexandra and Brayden, who were electrocuted when an unseen electrical current from an ungrounded power source entered the lake they were swimming in. The parents have planted trees, continued to celebrate the kids’ birthdays, released doves to mark the anniversary of their deaths, and shared their story with the world – as Angela says: “if we don’t do something [about this], then we’re no different than any of the people that we’ve been so angry at for not doing anything.”
 
ORGAN DONATION
Tabitha Saved Seven Lives; Her Wish Can Save Many More (June 7) – Tabitha’s story is tragic and heroic. By happenstance, the 12-year-old became a registered organ donor when she took out a state ID; just over a week later, she died suddenly of a rare brain bleed, and her organs were able to save the lives of seven people. In honor of Tabitha’s Wish, Tabitha’s father wants you to know that you, too, can save a life – or many lives – by becoming an organ donor.

SCHOLARSHIP 
Every Parent Hopes Their Child Will Love Life As Much As Beth Did (June 3) – The date of July 3, 2016, will mark the 9-year anniversary of the day 24-year-old Beth died in a bicycle race. Her mom, Vickie, wants Beth’s legacy to carry on into the future. Beth was many things – bright, engaged, and giving; she was a high school valedictorian, an honors student in college, an athlete, a world traveler, a Habitat for Humanity volunteer and an organ donor. Beth’s mom set up a scholarship fund in honor of her daughter, hoping to foster those strong qualities in others.
 
MADD
How 13-Year-Old Cari Lightner Has Helped Save Over 330,000 Lives (June 2) – Some of the most powerful and proactive child protection organizations were created in honor of children who died. MADD, or Mothers Against Drunk Driving, is no exception – the organization was founded by Candy Lightner in 1980, after her 13-year-old daughter, Cari, was killed by a drunk driver. Since its founding, MADD has been a major force in cutting drunk driving related deaths in half, helping to save an estimated 330,000 lives and counting.
COLUMBINE+
The Tie That Binds All Bereaved Families (June 10) – The Columbine massacre remains one of the most horrific events in recent American history, leaving many bereaved families in its wake. For these families – and for bereaved families everywhere – honoring the lives of their lost loved ones presents an opportunity to create goodness from loss. Love never dies, and neither does hope.
DO YOU HAVE TRIBUTE INFORMATION TO SHARE?
Post it here:
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The complete netbook version of Tributes to Lost Children – a snapshot of how 147 families have honored their children who have passed away – is publicly available for FREE. Click on the cover image above to navigate to this powerful, heart-warming compilation of tribute stories.
Based on results of the Tributes Survey, three general motivations anchor bereaved families in their tribute activities. See the organizing Tributes Framework that serves as the backbone of the new book Tributes to Lost Children.
Copyright © 2016 Starshine Galaxy Foundation, All rights reserved.


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