“My August break abruptly began with a death in my family,” Maria, 63, wrote. “It was sudden and heartbreaking, and it stopped everyone and everything in its tracks … As I sat with my thoughts, I found myself furious at God for taking my cousin Courtney’s only child away. It doesn’t get any more brutal than that, as many parents know all too well. I found myself holding onto my own children tighter, only to realize that if I hold on too tightly, I might inhibit their ability to live. So, I’ve checked myself and am focusing instead on just being with them.”
Saoirse, one of Senator Robert F. Kennedy’s granddaughters, died on August 1 at just 22 years old after she suffered from an apparent overdose, The New York Times reported at the time. She passed away at the family’s compound — where her grandmother, Ethel Kennedy, lives — in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts. “Our hearts are shattered by the loss of our beloved Saoirse,” the Kennedy family said in a statement to the outlet. “Her life was filled with hope, promise and love.”
Now, her family is left to pick up the pieces and heal. Katherine Schwarzenegger, for instance, shared a touching tribute on Instagram following her cousin’s death the day after she was laid to rest. “After wiping away the tears, after the beautiful sunsets, there is always a new day,” the 29-year-old captioned a photo of a sunset in Hyannis Port. “It’s not the big events or pretty things that hold you up at the end of the day, it’s family. I feel so incredibly blessed to be part of such a loving, supportive and strong family that shows up in good times and in tough times.”
Echoing that sentiment, Maria wrote in her post, “Today, as I sit in my special place on my back porch, I reflect back to the beginning of my summer and the marriage of my daughter. I think about the transformational power of love and new beginnings. I reflect on life with its joys, its celebrations, and, of course, its unbearable pain. It reaffirms to me the importance of slowing down so one can take it all in and be there for those you love — in the good times, and in the deeply sorrowful times.” Our hearts are still with Saoirse’s whole family as they mourn her — and as they try to continue on in their lives without her.
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