On the anniversary of her death, the staff went out to remember her life. That night, they decided to celebrate her birthday
instead of her death day, Mullins says. Her birthday is in January.
And then, this January, another young veterinary technician, Lauren Whitestone, was killed in a car accident.
"When Lauren died, we didn't ask, we just brought in the grief counselor," she says. "It was just too, too much."
The emotional reaction among the staff was different this time, and it bothered Newman because his reaction was different
too. People were not showing as much emotion. That's where the counselor's advice helped.
"We were all somewhat shocked and numb from what happened a year prior," Newman says.
The practice owners brought in catered lunches daily until the day of the funeral. They closed the office on that day.
Newman says the staff is still deciding how they'll honor Lauren Whitestone's memory. Photos of Grace and Lauren remain on
the practice's Web site — a silent memorial to them. The women are not identified, but leaving their photos on the Web site
seem to say that they'll always be a part of the practice.
"They were beautiful girls and the doctors really provided an environment where they were both nurtured and given opportunity
to grow and be loved," Mullins says. "They were lucky that they were allowed to grow up in the place they did. And I'm happy
that was a part of their life experience before they suffered such a cruel loss."