In the year since her three daughters and her parents died in a house fire, Madonna Badger wonders why she survived.
Badger, a Fifth Avenue advertising executive until the Christmas Day 2011 fire in Stamford, made it through the funerals for her children and parents. But she then disintegrated.
Her hair turned gray and fell out in clumps. She waved a fistful of pills in the air and threatened to swallow them.
In February, Badger traveled to Little Rock, Ark., to stay with a friend from her college days. The only requirement, she says, was that she promised to not commit suicide.
"I don't know why I survived," she told the Stamford Advocate. "I told everyone I was going to kill myself."
Now Badger says she was able to pull through the darkest days because of love -- the love she felt and shared with her children, and the love her friends showed her in her darkest moments.
"I do believe that the only legacy that my children will ever leave is their love," she says. "They're not going to write a masterpiece or a symphony. This is really it. What saves you, what saves us all, is love."
Badger reiterated that belief in a Facebook post she put up after the Newtown, Conn., school shooting massacre that killed 20 children, including two the same age as her twins, and six educators.
"I know they will scream out thousands and thousands of times that they want their children back," Badger wrote. "The most powerful words anyone said to me was `I LOVE YOU.' And that was all I needed to hear. I love you all and pray for you all."