For more than a week, we came together in order to comfort each other, and raise much needed money so Loretta Saunders' family could fly to Halifax and look for their loved one.
As soon as I awoke I got a text message on my phone from a friend, informing me that Andrew wasn't answering his phone.
A beautiful young woman, three months pregnant, murdered while on her way to becoming a lawyer; a full life ahead of her.
Editor's note: Derek Montague is a reporter/photographer at TC Media's The Labradorian and is a friend of Loretta Saunders. We've lost one of our own, in the most tragic way possible.
The night of Feb. 26, 2014 will always stick out in my mind. Never before have I seen such a dark cloud hang over central Labrador. Never before have I seen such a public outpouring of grief and anger.
She had such a kind soul. She was intelligent, lively, bright, and had one of the most beautiful smiles you'd ever see. It was very easy to befriend someone like her.
But we drifted apart as we got older. Now I wish I had been able to stay in touch longer, so I could have a few more memories of Loretta to bank on.
several days telling each other stories of Andrew out loud and writing them down on paper. Each memory was so invaluable during those first few days of grief, and it was important to share every one of them.
My billets in Postville let me use their snowmobile to get around town. I remember coming across Loretta and some other friends while riding on their machine.
It was Sunday, Oct. 24, 2010, when it all happened. I awoke that morning to lay out the sports section of the Saint Thomas University student newspaper for the next edition.
a hospital waiting room, being told that Andrew, whom I loved like a brother, was gone. I screamed, and I cried, and I pounded the floor with my fists.
After meeting Andrew's wonderful family for the first time, we were able to swap stories. They told us about Andrew's childhood, and we told them about Andrew's life in university. Combined, Andrew's life story became more complete.
Loretta and I were friends as teenagers. We met at an LIA Youth Symposium in Postville. I was 16 years old; she was just 15. As soon as I met her, I was enchanted.
Remembering Loretta Saunders
The search was over. Loretta will be coming home, but not in the way we had wished for.
Between Feb. 17, when Loretta was reported missing, and Feb 26, our hearts and minds were focused on brining Loretta home. We had hope. But that hope came crashing down on Wednesday, Feb. 26, as media reports quickly spread through Facebook of the discovery of her body.
Loretta asked me to hang out and take a walk around Postville with them. I was so happy with the invite that, when I went to drop off the snowmobile, I parked it outside the wrong house. I can still hear Loretta laughing at me as I ran up the hill to get the snowmobile back.
After the initial wave of sadness, came a numbing sense of shock and disbelief, followed by numbed silence. Until one of us spoke up and asked, "would anyone mind if I told a story about Andrew?"
Andrew was young (only 21 at the time of his death) and was a post secondary student with a bright future ahead of him.
So what can I say that would help anyone, even myself, feel any better? Right now I feel like throwing my laptop across the room. I feel like yelling and screaming. But what good would that do?
We remained in touch while we were teenagers. I would stop in and visit with her Under Armour Micro G Toxic 6 while she worked at Burger King from time to time, and we spent a lot of evenings chatting on MSN Messenger.
Most of that morning is a blur. But after making several frantic phone calls, my friends and I were in Under Armour Curry 3 Low Release Date
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