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Lizzi's legacy; Love of life shone.

COLUMN: In our opinion

In recent days, local residents have followed the developments in New Hampshire, and shared in the grief felt in Westboro.

Elizabeth Marriott, a 19-year-old student at the University of New Hampshire, is believed to have been strangled or suffocated Oct. 9 by an acquaintance.

From those spare details alone, community bonds pull tighter. Those bonds, senseless events such as this remind us, are always there.

Lizzi's father, Robert J. Marriott Jr., had the grace and presence of mind at a vigil in Westboro last weekend to thank the community for all the ways it had helped raise and influence his lovely daughter. Words like that are a gift, and they're true; it is not only parents and other family members who have strong ties. We all create them and work them, often unknowingly, every day in many ways.

And so an untimely death of this sort brings hurt to many households. We don't need to have known this teenager, who graduated from Westboro High School in 2011, to know how precious and promising her life was.

Now we do know her, a bit. She liked to help others. She was one of those kids who adored the Harry Potter books. She had a fondness for bugs, snails and other creatures. She delighted in volunteering at the New England Aquarium, and wanted to be a marine biologist. In her college application essay, she wrote that she embraced all animals as "colleagues."

Lizzi was like so many young college students: excited and appreciative to be where she was, and laying the groundwork toward a long adulthood of learning, working and giving.

Many describe her as having a certain sparkle. Now, that light is lost. It's up to those who remember her to keep a ray of it and carry it forward.

Letting go - from watching your shy little child take a seat among preschoolers, to sending him or her off confidently to college - is such a difficult and necessary part of parenthood. Letting go of a child in this way, though, is unimaginable for any parent.

Thursday night at the campus in Durham, N.H., Mr. Marriott advised young people to give their parents a "giant hug" the next time they see them.

Genuine hugs leave an impression. In a way, they can be felt forever. We never know when we're leaving our last one on someone. So, go hug your parents, your kids, your spouse, a friend, and don't be in any hurry to let go.
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Title Annotation:EDITORIAL
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Oct 20, 2012
Words:419
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