- Have you ever had a friend who’s light shines so bright you know she is a designated Earth Angel?
- Have you ever had a friend who knows exactly when you need her and you will get a message from her?
- Have you ever had a friend who when she leaves social media, you feel it because of all the positivity and authenticity she brings?
- Have you ever had a friend who’s friendship has surpassed the years and distance like time doesn’t matter at all?
- Have you ever had a friend who you thought deserved the absolute best in life because of the strength of her faith?
- Have you ever had a friend whose belief in angels could make even the biggest non-believers see beyond what they knew to be real?
What happens when this friend, the one who truly represents so much good in the world gets hit with one of the worst possible tragedies any person can imagine?
February 9, 2020: Texting back and forth expressing complete and utter joy about where her life is right now. “It goes to show that God answers prayer with the most amazing gifts as long as you keep doing the next right things and keep the FAITH.”
February 10, 2020: Unknown number calls and is followed with a text, “Hi Rachael, this is Julie, Erin’s friend. She wanted me to reach out to you, please give me a call when you have a chance.” I call her immediately. I’m not going to lie and tell you I remember every detail of this call. Julie had to repeat herself multiple times before I could even process the words. “Colton’s dad killed him, then killed himself…Erin found them.” My heart dropped. Right now there are tears pouring out of my eyes as I type the worst words I’ve ever had to type, hear, and absorb. At 8:30 AM, Erin goes to pick up her son, and instead found two lifeless bodies. It’s reported that neighbors heard her excruciating scream (link here).
Whatever reaction you are having right now, it was felt across the globe. As friends and former classmates realized the 5-year old in the news was Colton, I started receiving calls, texts, and messages with people aching to know how they could support Erin and her two surviving boys. Many of us feeling completely helpless, we waited in hopes to be guided to how best serve our friend. Again, this is a woman who gives so much love, light, and faith to the world. How can we possibly help lift her right now? How can we take away even a little of this pain? How can we help her keep her amazing faith right now?
Erin is the biggest believer in angels that I know, both Earthly and Heavenly. Angels and her faith in God will be what will EMPOWER her to carry on. I didn’t feel right about starting anything or even talking about this until I knew what she wanted.
February 11, 2020: Erin told me that it is too painful to go home and that her friend Julie was going to be setting up a Go Fund Me campaign to help her to raise the money to get out of the duplex where she currently lives—ANGELS UNIT. Through the help of Meredith Meller #ErinsAngels444, Help Erin & Her Boys Find a Home After Tragedy went live and Earth Angels began showing up in droves.
Seeing this has helped me to remember that one unhealthy man committed this unthinkable act, but for every ONE of those people who are capable of committing such a crime against humanity, there are countless people who show up in all different ways to help lift others with their love, faith, compassion, empathy, and genuinely good hearts. Thank you to ALL the EARTH ANGELS in the WORLD!!! You are all apart of what is good in the world, and I know Erin and her boys feel it. You are what shows her FAITH and belief in angels will carry her through this, and with that I cannot thank you enough.
We started with hopes in raising enough funds to put Erin and her boys in a new apartment. Honestly, most of us who know and love her and the boys would love to see them in a permanent home. A home where they can honor Colton’s memory in a way that will lift them in the knowing of all the Heavenly and Earthly angels whose love, compassion, and empathy supported them when they could not support themselves.
This piece was written with the blessing and permission from Erin and Julie. Pictures were provided and taken by Erin (Enderland) Petersen.
One of the most beautiful things about Erin is that even in this situation, she KNOWS the power of prayer, so if that is what you can do, she would be as grateful for your silent prayers as she is for anything monetary you could give. She really is that FAITH-FILLED. She really is one of God’s most wonderful Earth Angels and all her boys are a reflection of that. Colton’s joy for life was palpable. Please help us to lift her and her family through this Faith challenging time. Keep her believing in angels.
Read more about the Surviving Petersens and Donate Here if you feel driven to do so.
With Love, Grief, and So Much Gratitude,
Rachael Wolff ©2020