To the editor,
On Dec. 12, 2016 my son-in-law Eli Beecher, 29, passed away unexpectedly, leaving behind his wife, Natalie, 36 weeks pregnant with their first son, and two beautiful daughters Abigail, 9, and Sophia, 5. Less than 30 hours after his death, Natalie gave birth to their little boy, Ryan. Although almost a month premature, he was born healthy and mom physically well.
Within hours the donations and gifts began to arrive. I came home from the hospital after being with my daughter to find boxes and boxes of food, huge bags of gifts for my grandchildren and the phone calls didn’t stop. I eventually found that Officer O’Barr, of the Beacon Falls Police Department, was the spearhead behind the deliveries. Laurel Ledge School, where my two granddaughters attend, immediately began reaching out to our family with additional supplies, gift cards and monetary donations, along with counseling for the girls. An anonymous source had my daughter’s oil tank filled, without even so much as a card. Meals upon meals were delivered and are still arriving. Girl Scout parents, classmates’ parents and strangers alike have not left my daughter’s side.
Upon conclusion of making arrangements for Eli’s funeral, John Zaleski, director of Wakelee Funeral Home in Ansonia, announced to Natalie that two donors had made donations large enough to cover the cost of the funeral, that she had nothing to concern herself with, it was all taken care of. Mr. Zaleski went above and beyond to insure every wish and detail was covered. The Episcopal Woman’s Group of Christ Church Quaker Farms in Oxford hosted a repass after service and arranged everything so Natalie only had to take care of her three children and herself.
Having no life insurance, Natalie’s sister began a Gofundme account to help with future obligations my daughter is going to incur. The unbelievable response is truly humbling. Within days $10,000 has been donated. Donations came pouring in, many of which are anonymous, while many came from friends and still others from local businesses and clubs. In addition, Greenleaf Energy Solutions of Oxford raised an additional $6,000 alone, by way of employees donating their Christmas bonuses.
Through this very difficult and trying time it has become blaringly clear, the presumption that there is no good left in people today is a fallacy. The outpouring of warmth, compassion and support is both humbling and filled with hope. The hope that others don’t have to go through such tragedy to have their eyes opened to see the beautiful souls and generous hearts of people everywhere.
Our family will forever be indebted to the kind souls and wonderful people who have reached out to my daughter Natalie and her three children, Abigail, Sophia and Ryan.
Yes Virginia, people really are good.