“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
 with your wild & precious life.”


Those words by poet Mary Oliver graced the program cover for Saturday’s Mass of Christian Burial for 15-year-old Molly Conley of Magnolia. The Mass was held at Bishop Blanchet High School’s packed gymnasium, where she was a freshman.

Oliver’s words reflect the way Molly lived her life — a life of courage and kindness — and represent a challenge to the rest of us.

A 4.0 student who starred in lacrosse and soccer, Molly made a positive impact on those around her. She even found time to start, with her mother, the Mother’s Helper organization, which provides diapers, formula and other necessities for mothers in local domestic-violence shelters who have babies.

Molly was taken from us by the all-too-familiar streak of nihilism that plagues our society and makes hostages to fortune of our loved ones. However the search for the drive-by shooter plays out, whatever legal proceedings follow, there is no justice available in a case like this. If, as the Greek playwright Aeschylus wrote long ago — “pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, until, in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God” — such wisdom comes at too high a price.


We can honor Molly’s spirit the next time we push ourselves beyond our comfort zones to do something extra for others. It’s how she lived her precious life.

Molly’s family has designated three charities for those who wish to donate in her memory:
•Mary’s Place, Molly’s Mother’s Helper Fund, P.O. Box 1711 Seattle, WA 98111-1711 (www.marysplaceseattle.org/support-us/donate-now);
•Victim Support Services, P.O. Box 1949, Everett, WA 98206; and
U.S. Lacrosse Washington State, 8213 Overlake Drive W., Medina, WA 98039.