Condolences are pouring in for the 49 Orlando shooting victims. Beyoncé dedicated "Halo" to them during her June 14 show in Detroit, MI. Vice president Joe Biden penned a beautiful statement about tolerance in the aftermath of the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. There have been emotional tributes at New York's Stonewall Inn and the 2016 Tony Awards.
Still, no matter how much support we provide, many of us can't imagine the grief gripping Orlando after such a horrific act of hate-fueled violence — unless you've experienced a similar mass shooting.
Nelba Márquez-Greene lost her 6-year-old daughter, Ana Márquez-Greene, in the 2012 Sandy Hook shootings. She knows the pain of losing a loved one — her child — to a gunman, and has rallied behind the Orlando victims by writing a moving letter of support.
"I am sorry. I am so, so sorry," Márquez-Greene wrote on a Facebook memorial page for Ana. "I am sorry that our tragedy here in Sandy Hook wasn't enough to save your loved ones."
She addressed the letter to the families of those lost at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, and offered tips for how to cope with such tremendous loss.
"But my message was and is and always will be 'love wins,'" Márquez-Greene wrote.
Based on her own experience, she also offered those grieving some nuggets of advice: "Don't you dare even listen to even ONE person who may insinuate that somehow this is your loved ones fault because they were gay or any other reason. Nor is it God's wrath."
She also shared how she hopes traveling to different cities, like Wisconsin, will help her spread a message of love, for her daughter and for the Orlando victims.
"I am going to Wisconsin to spread the message that love wins. In honor of your loved ones," she wrote. "Because hate, ugly, evil and prejudice cannot silence love, courage, good."
Márquez-Greene also plans to teach her son about these victims, and why their lives mattered.
"My son will learn about your loved ones. And we will not forget," she wrote. "We will say their names out loud. We will remember your children. As you remembered and learned about ours."
Above all else, she wants the Orlando families to know they and their loved one will never be forgotten.
"Your loss today will bring out the worst AND the best in all of us. May we commit to being our best selves in honor of what you now bear."