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By: Nancy Bidwell
Soul Shaking Grief, Volume 1

Shelly Reed 1966-1983
Shelly Reed 1966-1983

MY DAUGHTER, SHELLY, was born in Anchorage AK on April 3, 1966.

My daughter, Shelly, died in Anchorage AK on November 5, 1983.

She was a 17 year old senior at West Anchorage High School, on the Honor Roll and played the flute in the school band.  She was also a Pink Lady Volunteer at Providence hospital, and she had an after school job at 50 Minute Photo.  She also had a summer job with the Anchorage Daily News in the Customer Service department.  She was a beautiful and happy girl.  She had a boyfriend, but the loves of her life were the animals she took care of.  She talked about being a veterinarian since she was 4 years old!


 She never graduated from High School.
 She never became a veterinarian.
 She never got married.
 She never gave me any grandchildren.

Her life ended the day a 27 year old man chose to drink and drive.

He not only changed my life, my family's life, her grandparents life, and all her relatives lives, but the lives of all her classmates, her fellow workers, and her animal friend's lives.

It makes you wonder how my daughter Shelly would have changed the world.  How many other people's lives would she have touched?  How many animals would she have saved and loved?

Imagine having to attend your daughter's funeral in November 1983, and leave there without her, knowing you will never see her again.

Imagine enduring the trial in April to convict the drunk driver.

Imagine attending your daughter's graduation at the end of May and seeing an empty chair with a rose on it.

Imagine her 19 year old brother accepting her diploma.

Image two days later, the family gathered again, to bury her, now that the ground is thawed.

This is not what I imagined when my daughter was born.