After the brutal and malicious murder of her husband on August 28, the wife of Deputy Darren Goforth has spoken our in a heart-wrenching thank you note to her community. A GoFundMe Page set up by Deputy Goforth’s friend, Deputy Brandon Herlong, has so far received over $350,000 in donations to help support the family during their time of crisis. Many local business showed their support in various ways and a local park was renamed after the fallen police officer.
The following is a beautiful “letter of gratitude” penned by Kathleen Goforth:
People are extraordinary; I’ve had the privilege, throughout my life, to see that. Being a teacher has taught me much. It has taught me that each individual, regardless of circumstances, has limitless potential. It just takes the internal realization that they are important; that they matter.
Earlier this week, a deputy made a comment. The comment was that she had never before seen such an eclectic, diverse group of people. These people of whom she was speaking are my friends.
Friends that I love without thought to their socioeconomic status, gender, race, ethnicity, political affiliation or sexual identity. Actually, the comment took me off guard as I had never before noticed it. I then looked at all these remarkable people that had gathered to love and comfort myself and my children. And then I realized something; it was true. It made me smile because all my friends were in one spot, meeting one another, comforting one another, connecting with one another.
And so, on the day of my husband’s funeral, on a much greater scale, when I witnessed so many different human beings, standing united together to honor Darren, it filled me with great emotion. Just like my friends, they were meeting one another, comforting one another, connecting with one another. It was extraordinary; all of you were extraordinary.
The great waves of sorrow and grief that I have experienced since my husband’s death have consistently been mitigated by an overwhelming feeling of gratitude. Tremendous gratitude that Darren is being recognized as the exceptional human being that I’ve always known him to be. I feel so blessed that I was given eighteen years with him … so appreciative for all the memories that I have.
This entire experience has been extremely overwhelming and surreal. I don’t think I’ve yet completely processed that he’s gone from this life. Since he passed, I have been living in a constant state of shock, but also one of awe. Awe at the beauty and love that we’re all capable of. Awe at the countless individuals who have generously and selflessly been giving, not only in laying my husband to rest with great dignity and respect, but in their diligence and dedication in the protection and care of my children and myself.
And it is to everyone that I say thank you. Thank you for your tremendous outpouring of love and support … in whatever form it came. All was deeply appreciated; every last one. And finally, thank you for uniting together to honor my husband and the best man I’ve ever known … Darren.
It is my highest wish that more compassion and empathy will evolve from all this. That more and more individuals will come to realize that all the labels that we give ourselves and to one another … they just don’t matter. People matter.
There is one more thing I’d like to express, and likely, it is what will carry me. You gave me hope. And it is hope that sustains, on some level, each of us. Gives us the strength to keep going, believing that somehow, someday, we’ll be okay. Hope that we’ll come together as a nation and turn around this hostile tide of sentiment towards our men and women in uniform.
We’re getting closer, I believe, closer to the place where everyone will know. They will intrinsically understand it as a truth within themselves … to the point that it is no longer a conscious thought. We will all just instinctively be cognizant of the fact that all lives matter. ALL LIVES.