This is a copy of what I wrote on the Find My Eyes Facebook page.
Mikaela Lynch... I have never met you. I have never had the chance to hear your story. I never got the opportunity to listen, yet I feel I know you so well.
When I was a younger man, I witnessed two little girls drown at Lake Tahoe. One was revived and, unfortunately one was not. It was very crowded and the girls were probably about 100 feet out in the water. Someone shouted and literally dozens, dozens, of people ran and swan to the floating bodies. The jet skis got to them first. And I watched from the water as two lifeless, limp bodies were pulled to the hood of a jet ski and shuttled ashore. There was an incredible response and several people attempted CPR while the ambulance pulled up on the beach and whisked them away.
The entire affair lasted maybe 7 minutes.
But the image has lasted a lifetime.
When I heard of missing Mikaela Lynch, I cried. It was one of our own... in a city known for its lakes and creeks.
Find My Eyes has long been advocates of water safety for autistic children. More autistic children drown every year than are killed in auto accidents and that is an amazingly terrifying statistic.
I do not have words for the parents and family of Mikaela. They're not mine to give. The right words do not exist. Maybe only a tearful hug and an "I'm sorry this has happened". Everything else is too personal.
But I will offer this to Mikaela's family... from someone who hurts, understands, and cares.
There are no mirrors in Heaven because you are beautiful in everyone's eyes. There are no demands. Inclusion is empowered to you. A place where you do not need to wear clothes, you do not need to talk, you do not need to behave, you do not need to struggle. A place where you are angelic, and, at long last, understood.
Mikaela, your story on Earth was unfortunately too familiar. But your beauty has transcended all of us to tears and unrequited empathy. You have touched millions... And very few people can say that.
Rest in Peace sweet angel.