Deputy's Widow Reads Final Love Letter to Husband at Funeral


On Dec. 31, 2017, Sheriff’s Deputy Zackari Parrish was killed in the line of duty during a shooting involving a domestic disturbance. The same shooting injured three other deputies, a police officer, and two civilians.

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Parrish, 29, was the father of two and had been married to his wife, Gracie, for over eight years. But on Friday, Jan. 5, the family said their final goodbyes when Parrish was laid to rest.

Hundreds of friends, family, and fellow officers filled Cherry Hill Community Church for the funeral. People were wrapped in lines outside, waiting to pay their respects to the deputy and his family.

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During the service, Gracie took the stage. She read a love letter to her husband.

“I’ve written many letters to Zack,” she first explained. “Some were love notes while we dated. Some were letters tucked inside of his suitcase when he traveled. Others were emails that I’d write to him when my words couldn’t seem to make the cut.”

“Letters have always been a way for me to process and express my heart, so it only felt right to compose this final letter to the love of my life.”

“This is a letter that I never thought I’d write,” as her voice started to crack, overcome with emotion. “It is one filled with grief and sorrow, pain and heartache. But it is also filled with pride and joy.”

Gracie continued on about the “amazing ten years” she had with him, and “pride for the man he was.” She also hoped that one day their daughters could read the letter and what a great father he really was.

“So to my hero and the love of my life: you are my once in a lifetime. You are my hero and my best friend.”

“I promise to raise our girls with the Lord as my focus. I promise to raise them in a home that bleeds blue.”

“I promise to tell them every day that their daddy loved them to the moon.”

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“So save a seat in Heaven for me, and meet me at the gates when the Lord calls me home. I can’t wait to be held by you again.”

Then, through broken tears, she said her final goodbye. “All my love, forever and always.”

Parrish also received a 21-bell salute. His procession stretched for more than one-mile long.

Thank you Deputy Parrish for your service. You will not be forgotten.

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Keeley is a former contributor to The Western Journal.
Keeley is a former contributor to The Western Journal.