Michelle’s daughter, Rachel, was just 17 years old when she died unexpectedly in a tragic accident. Packed in those 17 years, however, was a lifetime of profound wisdom. From a young age, various people who were exposed to Rachel called her an ‘old soul’ – she looked at the world differently than other children, in a deeper, more thoughtful way. In third grade, inspired by a teacher, she began to write down some of her thoughts in journals.

In the days and weeks after Rachel’s tragic death, Michelle began to find pieces of Rachel’s inspirational writings all over her room – on her computer, notebooks, even on small slips of paper tucked away in the deep recesses of her closet. Michelle was amazed by what she read. She had always known that Rachel was a talented writer, but these writings were so powerful and inspirational. One quote read, ‘I can’t tell you what happiness is, it’s different for everyone, but I can tell you where to find it, within yourself.’

Michelle took a break from her career as a therapist and focused on Rachel and her writings. She wanted to share them with the world. Rachel’s writing inspired her as well as many others. Some of her quotes quickly became ‘viral’ after being shared on a local TV station. Michelle compiled some of her writing into one book and later a second. She founded a non-profit organization, Rachel’s Writers to help inspire other young writers. Sharing these writings helps keep a little bit of Rachel alive for her mom, her family and all of us.