Kudos to Sheila Hagar and the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin for your courage in sharing the loss of her adult child Ashton, known to dedicated readers as 'Strong Hearted,' who suffered from prenatal drug impacts and mental illness in many forms throughout his too-short life.

Thank you for writing and sharing his complex story over the years. Thank you for adopting Strong and doing your best to give him the home and family he deserved. Thank you for finding him options when they were none close to home. Thank you for revealing his gender-affirming choice.

Please accept our condolences on the loss of your son. May your memories of him sustain you during the years to come. Take time off, and please come back to write again when you're ready. The community needs your words.

The U-B is a richer community newspaper for publishing your voice.

Barbara Hetrick

Walla Walla