“Reagan to be a fireball. She to be the irradiate in the room. She was complete of life. … give was mine sweet, compassionate, sensitive, very loving and really funny child.”

Melissa mom Karen Sparks sometimes has a tough time detect the appropriate words, but when asked around her children, she’s never at a loss. Four years ago, Sparks lost Reagan, 9, and also Grant, 8, come the home fire set by her estranged husband in the twin murder-suicide that reset she life. The youngsters had invested Halloween v their father and also were murdered top top Nov. 1, simply two weeks after Sparks had filed because that divorce. Now, through ongoing ups and also downs and after a 90-day remain in a trauma rehabilitation center last year, Sparks is working v her sisters totell Reagan and also Grant’s story in her book, “The Eleven Year Burn,” with the really hopes that she can aid bring others through the worst times in your lives. For information and excerpts, visit karenasparks.com.

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Karen Sparks shed both her children – Grant, 8, and also Reagan, 9 – to a home fire collection by she estranged husband in a twin murder-suicide in valve Alstyne.

Courtesy the Karen Sparks


When walk you start journaling?

My 90-day therapy was me journaling every day. I continued to journal also when I got out. I have actually three various journals, and that’s what we’re working off the (for the book) – what i learned, what i went through. 

Obviously, the story is roughly what occurred in mine marriage, what occurred to mine children and where ns at now, and also the journey of how I obtained there. Ns not writing a self-help book. Ns doing this largely for hope and also to help any other mom or dad out there that’s lost everything or is in a negative relationship or simply anything really, any type of circumstance that you’re walking through. I want to it is in the voice for my kids and help someone the end there that doesn’t know what to do. 


So your publication can be for anybody who’s lost hope.

It’s not simply for someone prefer me – the residential violence or the filicide – yet everyone has a story, and also everyone’s stories matter. The doesn’t issue what you’re walk through, i hope and also pray that this is something that deserve to spark the light in someone’s life that they don’t give up.


You talk about your faith, but a lot of of people might revolve their earlier on that.

I didn’t feeling that method in the beginning. I was angry. I was cussing God, and also I was blaming him. Yet knowing that he to be there the whole time (and I know that without a shadow of a doubt), just how was I supposed to think in him? i’ve been v all the various stages. I’m practically to four years in November go this journey. It’s never going come end, and I’m aware of that. It’s favor waves in the ocean, and also it comes and also goes, and also there’s good days, there’s bad days, yet I’m at a point now wherein I recognize the only means that i’m standing and also breathing and also taking a action every work is due to the fact that of him. 

That’s what gets me with every day. Even when i didn’t want to watch it or accept it, he never ever left.


What keeps friend going?

This is your story, I’m just the vessel, the messenger, the voice, and also I’m sharing their story. I’ve to be to the depths. I’ve remained in the pit whereby I couldn’t get out. I’ve to be suicidal. Any type of mom it is gone with something prefer this do not do it survive. Once you look in ~ the statistics, the medical things that can take place to a mom and a dad, yet mainly the mother, i shouldn’t be here. Your body shuts down, her heart is broken. However there are a lot of moms that are still standing and also fighting this, and I’ve met a lot along the way. I’m sad the I recognize these mothers, but I’m grateful at the exact same time due to the fact that I’m not alone and also they’re not alone, and also we can do this together.

There are still days where I don’t want to gain out that bed, but I wasn’t left behind because that nothing, and I know that God has a plan and a purpose. Evil will not prevail, and my youngsters being murdered by your father will not it is in in vain.


When to be you maybe to watch your purpose?

I feeling that early on. I started boxing, I began running. I wanted to begin a nonprofit. Then all of a sudden, i crashed and burned. Then I had actually to get assist and went to treatment for 90 days. Ns come out and here ns am a year later. Ns knew when I gained out and I acquired a job, and also I felt in the middle of that task in May, I type of felt the in my spirit that there was something much more for me and that I needed to step out and do this thing, and also I needed to perform it full time. I necessary to do the nonprofit, the book, I essential to tell my story.


What did all the physical activity do because that you?

It was a medicator, a release. That was treatment for me prior to I checked out the actual trauma therapy. It saved me. My kids died in November, and my sister walked me into Title Boxing in December, and I didn’t avoid for choose a year and a half. Me and also that bag, the was probably the ideal therapy I could do in that time. 

I started training and also running for fifty percent marathons and also marathons and also doing some ultra runs here and also there. ... As soon as I run, I can breathe and also I can be alive.


Where go you gain the title of the book?

I have actually to offer credit to mine cousin Tim. He assisted me v that title. He is a movie director, and he’s very creative. 

Eleven years – i was married because that 11 years. In the prologue it talks around a slow-moving 11-year burn. 

Burn – since he take it everyone down in a house fire. He melted my people to the ground. He took my whole life, yet he also took that I was. It’s choose he take it my soul as soon as I to be married to him. That’s what narcissists and also sociopaths do.


So those troubles in her marriage collected until you simply couldn’t remain anymore?

When girlfriend think of residential violence, so many world think that physical, yet mine was verbal and also mental. It was the verbal and also mental abuse the no one can see and no one knew except my family members the were close to me. 

I didn’t desire my kids part of a broken home. The majority of human being stay because of their children, and also that is absolutely, in my opinion, the wrong factor to stay. 

Looking at your life indigenous November 2015 come now, how have you changed?

I lost who ns was – my identity of gift a mom and also a wife – that was my dream. Once that shed to the ground, I had actually no idea that Karen Sparks was. I look earlier and check out all mine memories, and also I can’t think it’s been almost four years. Occasionally I feel like it’s been 10 or more, and sometimes ns feel prefer it just happened yesterday. Mine sister says, ‘This is the Karen I’ve constantly known.’ 

I’ve uncovered my confidence again. Ns stronger. I’m on a mission, and I have a enthusiasm now. I feel prefer I’m obtaining that passion for life again. 

I’m back.


When you were in your lowest period and felt like you couldn’t move forward, where did you find the irradiate at the finish of the tunnel?

Sometimes the light goes out, yet it always slowly comes back on. It’s digging deep. Ns don’t really know just how to put it in words. I simply know the day ns was in ~ the shortest of short that ns was all alone, I called in sick to work, I remained in bed, i didn’t desire to obtain out that bed, and I had a arrangement of acquisition my life v medication and also alcohol. I remember gaining out the bed, crying, and I looked at the pictures of my kids on the wall, and I basically cried the end to them to help me and to intervene. I was praying and also I to be desperate, and also I was scared. I want to go since I to be so tired and exhausted, and I didn’t want to walk on anymore, however I knew I would certainly hurt my family. However I wasn’t thinking about anyone in the moment except me. 

Then instantly my phone starts beeping, and also I get all these texts coming through and start seeing my family texting me stuff. My dad and also my sister get these gut feelings and they present up when I don’t want them to or when I least expect it. The was may 3 the 2018. Ns was in treatment two main later.

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It’s a fight every job in mine head. The a choice. I either select to melt into my bed and also never gain out and also just wither away, or I choose to acquire up and fight because that my kids, my other family, the various other moms and also dads and also children the end there that room stuck. If one voice speak up, and another and another, it’s the domino effect of hope and also love and also goodness.