Mothers of volleyball star pen note to community after teen's death
BATON ROUGE – The two women who raised a teenager whose untimely death brought a community together voiced their own appreciation for those who have made the last few weeks easier to pass than expected.
Brionna Ross, 15, died of pneumonia on September 26, hours after her team, the U High Volleyball squad, had participated in a match. The coming days were extraordinary – a surprising and huge memorial service unfolded at the next volleyball tournament days after Ross' death, and even more people showed up to support the family at the funeral.
It was a fitting send-off for a teenager whose short life seemed to touch more people than anyone could know. A life, the two married women who raised her are counting their blessings for.
The women - Candace and Kim Williams – wrote a letter to WBRZ.com editors, requesting to share their appreciation for the Baton Rouge community.
It's published below:
Losing a daughter is no easy task for anyone. We were told, “This will be the hardest thing you will ever go through in life.” We find solace, though, seeing everyone come together on our daughter's behalf.
As her mothers, Candace Robillard-Williams and Kim Williams, we –are delighted to see the impact Brionna has left on so many people. It was our goal to allow her to be herself and live life to the fullest, as she did.
We wanted to thank and acknowledge with great appreciation to everyone who has supported us through our daughters passing. Her younger sister, Ciera, has been overwhelmed with the love, hugs and kind words of support. Even though this was one of the hardest things we’ve faced, we couldn’t have done it without everyone.
Brionna was life itself, compassionate, loving, kind-hearted, and comical. Brionna always said she desired to leave an everlasting impression on everything she did in life. Judging by the outpouring of support and love from the community she was able to accomplish her dreams.
Our words of wisdom to other mothers and fathers - please support and love your children while they are here as tomorrow is not guaranteed.
Again, thank you,
Candace & Kim
“We know she was loved and touched a lot of people in her life. I know she is smiling down on us now, saying ‘Oh my gosh,'” Candace Robillard-Williams told The Advocate in a feature on the volleyball game after her daughter's death.
The gym was filled with purple – Brionna's favorite color – for the game.
Services were held at the beginning of October.
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