Sarah With an “H”

Today I have a guest blogger.  Well, a guest writer.  That would be my wonderful husband.  He asked me today if I would please post this for him so without further ado, here is the open letter he wrote to Gordon and Jan Burke, parents of the late skier Sarah Burke.

Driving home from work late one night last week I was listening to the car radio.  The program that I was listening to was 680 The Fan, a sports talk radio station in Atlanta.   It had been a very hard day and I really wasn’t paying much attention.   Then my heart stopped.

On the radio I heard “Sarah Burke has just passed away”.  You have to understand that our middle daughter is named Sara Burke.  At first in the moment of confusion I thought I was talking to my wife on my cell phone or something.  Then I realized I didn’t have the phone in my hand so it had to have been the radio.

Sarah Burke (with an H) (Image from Wikipedia)

But for a few confused seconds I felt a surge of indescribable sadness.  I know that I would not be able to deal with the loss of any one of my children and to hear those words on the radio was something so awful I can’t even describe it.

Sara Burke (without an H)

To Gordon and Jan Burke, I can truly say, I know how terrible you must feel, even if my pain was so short lived, it was so completely and totally debilitating and numbing.  I only wish that I could help relieve the pain of your loss.  I wish I could take that pain away.

My wife and I live through our daughters.  Life without any one of them would be unthinkable.  Knowing that you loved your Sarah as much as we love our Sara, I know that there is now a huge void in your life that will never be filled.  I don’t know how I would deal with a loss so great.  I only hope that you can.

Know that your daughter passed away doing what she loved.  Know that she loved you with all her heart.  Sarah, in her short 29 years on this earth, lived her life to the fullest.  She gave all, enjoyed all and loved all.  No one could have packed more life into such a short time.

In closing, I hope that you can find some consolation in knowing that your daughter gave more than she took, lived for all of us and will never be forgotten.  I will hug MY Sara (without an “h”) and think of you and YOUR Sarah (with an “h”).  I only wish you and Jan strength in these very sad and hard times of your life.

From one loving father to another,

Dwight Burke


About pegbur7

South of the Mason/Dixon Line
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20 Responses to Sarah With an “H”

  1. terrepruitt says:

    Awww. Poor Dwight. How scary for him. Also, awww. Sweet Dwight writing a letter to parents. I had to pop over and read about Sarah. Sounds like she left a lot of wonderfulness behind. She was the driving force in her sport being included in the upcoming Olymipics (2014). She was also an organ donor. Even in death she is doing great things!

  2. suzicate says:

    Awe… holding my heart and wiping tears…

  3. Angelia Sims says:

    Awh Dwight, you got me all teary. What a beautiful and heart-felt letter to write. I can’t imagine the pain of losing my child. I had a few scary moments of not knowing after the car accident in April. Don’t want to go there again. Seriously this is a post full of love and heart. You are a tremendous father.

  4. This is so lovely, I need to go give my Sprite (without an h) an extra hug.
    Thanks, Dwight, for sharing this.

  5. Jen says:

    As a parent who lost two incredibly wonderful children I’d like to suggest that you send this letter to her grieving parents.

    My kids died together in a highly publicized accident. I received many lovely letters just like this one from strangers who were touched by my kids deaths and by our loss. I cannot tell you how much they meant to my husband and I that they cared enough to reach out to us.

    You asked in you letter how parents deal with this type of thing. It’s the little things that kept us going…like a kind word from a stranger who cared enough to write a letter and put it on his wife’s blog. It means everything when your world is crushed beneath your feet.

    • pegbur7 says:

      Jen, I am SO sorry for your horrible loss. Your comment is greatly appreciated. You have me in tears. My heart goes out to you. I admire you for your strength. I know nothing can take away the pain you’ve had to deal with. Just know that others DO care.

  6. Carol says:

    I have goosebumps all over now – what a beautiful letter!

  7. Ron says:

    ” I will hug MY Sara (without an “h”) and think of you and YOUR Sarah (with an “h”). I only wish you and Jan strength in these very sad and hard times of your life.”

    *very teary-eyed*

    Dwight, this letter was so beautiful!

    Even though I am not a parent, somehow I know/feel in my heart, that losing a child has to be THE hardest thing ever. I wept just thinking about it.

    Thank you for sharing Dwight’s letter, Peg.

    Thank you!

    X to you both!

  8. NikNik says:

    Holy moly I am crying at work again! Yall should look into sending this to her parents like Jen suggested. You never know when someone just needs some kinds words. I love you both so very much!

  9. eof737 says:

    Oh this is so generous even as it is so sad… I followed the story from when she had her accident to when she passed away. I rooted for her survival and my heart goes out to her parents. TY for sharing your hubby’s heartfelt letter.

  10. Penni Ogle says:

    I know exactly how Dwight felt. When I hear sirenes, tv newsbreaks of a fire, flood, explosion or a fatal car accident…my heart instantly drops to my stomach with this gut-wrenching feeling thinking it could be Brett or Heaven Leah. I know when Dwight heard those words over the radio it must have been deafening. I feel certain the family who did lose their Sarah will never forget such a heart felt letter. He is truely a wonderful person with a beautiful soul. NOW…THAT’S PAYING IT FORWARD IN 2012

    Penni Ogle

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