BOSTON - As we approach the anniversary of Sergeant Sean Gannon's death, his wife is thanking the community once more for their endless support this past year.
In an emotional, open-hearted letter to her community posted as an op-ed piece in The Barnstable Patriot, Dara Gannon recalls the pain and suffering that the months following April 12, 2018 ensued and the toll it took on her and her family.
However, instead of focusing on the sadness, Gannon begins by remembering the day of the procession, where she describes seeing a "sea of tear-stained faces lining the procession route" and how the love she felt that day was a gift she will never forget.
She thanks all of those who cared and helped lift her up in different ways, those who checked in, wrote letters, cooked meals and, most of all, honored the hero they had just lost.
Gannon asks the reader to retribute the love she received, putting even more emphasis on how acts of kindness make a world of a difference, highlighting that "no gesture is too small."
Imparting the lessons she's learned throughout the past year, Gannon incentivizes others to reach out like her community did, to show that there's so much power in checking in on a neighbor and making sure they're getting by, even if for a total stranger.
"If you want to remember Sean, find your own quiet way to show someone you care. That note or text you’ve been meaning to write but keep putting off — send it. Take time to ask a friend or a colleague how he or she is doing, and really listen. Own up to a mistake and make it right. Pick up the extra shift for someone who needs the time off. Buy a coffee or pay the toll for a stranger behind you. No gesture is too small. To that person, it could make all the difference that day. We each have a special gift. Please use yours for someone else. I feel that is Sean’s legacy," said Dara Gannon.
While Gannon says April 12 this year will be a private day for her and her family, she stresses the importance of feeling surrounded by her community during those difficult times. Grief happens within us, but Gannon points out how "if we keep showing up for each other, we don’t have to carry the pain alone."
"Thank you for holding Sean in your hearts. Let’s keep taking care of each other."
Sgt. Sean Gannon and his K-9 partner Nero were shot in the line of duty while serving a warrant in Marstons Mills. Nero survived and after months of rehabilitation, he now lives with the Gannon family.
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