ForeverMissed
This memorial page was created in memory of our loved one, Melissa Rae Parkes (Blatt), 29 years old, who was born December 2, 1991 and passed away on June 21, 2021. We will remember and love her forever.

Melissa's father, mother, and brother are hoping that this page will help us to keep a vivid memory of our beloved Mel in our hearts and minds until we are able to be with her again.

We have begun to hear precious memories of Melissa and the way she made you all laugh, feel loved, and feel heard the same way she did with us. We ask that you please use this page to share as much as you can on your favorite moments with Melissa as we hope to cultivate an ever-blooming memory of our Sweet Melissa.
Posted by Dylan Blatt on June 21, 2022
A year ago today I was reminded of our world’s unrelenting impermanence.

The loss of my sister Melissa occurred just hours before we were supposed to see each other after being apart for many months.

Years of us living on opposite coasts had produced a “pick up where we left off” type of relationship, in which we did not maintain close communication while we were apart. Melissa was not interested in displaying her life on social media, which meant staying connected amid this type of relationship had to be very intentional.

We had decided together that we need to stay in closer contact on a more regular basis. We missed each other. We intended to miss each other less. We were getting better at staying touch, but still had a tendency to save deeper connection for when we were together. This tendency of ours made the time we had with each other on my visits back home all the more important and valuable. I could not wait to see my sister.

Still anticipating her arrival, I watched through the front windows of my mom’s house in the Cape as state troopers approached the front door. I recognized they were holding Melissa’s purse, and somehow I immediately knew what that meant.

The events and emotions that ensued over the next few days are both painfully enduring and annoyingly fleeting. Moments that I would love to forget entirely are diabolically mixed in my memory with moments that I would do anything to remember more clearly.

A year of being caught in between those forces of memory has taught me that we have no control over what was and what will be. What we are left with is an invaluable ability to operate within the now. Right now you can call them. Right now you can go to them. Right now you can hug them. So do it.

Love you Mel. I have never missed you more.
Posted by Dan Holt on December 2, 2021
Happy birthday Melissa ! If only I could hold you one more time....
Posted by Keith Charles on July 7, 2021
“What we once enjoyed and deeply loved we can never lose, for all that we love deeply becomes part of us.” — Helen Keller

While I only knew Melissa for the first few years of her life, it was clear to me that she was a bright. cheerful child with a contagious smile. Reading the above tributes it is obvious that she remained that way into adulthood. I cherish the times we had together. Melissa, maybe some day we will meet again and perhaps finally finish that best of 35 rock, paper, scissors tournament we started so long ago.
Posted by Mary Harrison on July 2, 2021
We held a beautiful and peaceful family service for Melissa the other day. It was in a lovely room made mostly of windows with views out to the trees, stonework and gardens. We were surrounded by soothing nature. There was a large section of the roof made out of windows through which Dylan and I watched a small flock of birds pass repeatedly and rapidly inches above the glass. Melissa's aunt and her cousin both saw deer outside, fitting as Melissa's middle name, Rae, means deer. Several of us spoke some beautiful words about her. The feeling of Melissa's loving presence was intensely surrounding us in that moment for each of us have a portion of our heart that is Melissa.
Posted by Sara Fix on June 29, 2021
Melissa, my cousin closest to me in distance, age, and appearance. But how I wish we were closer still.

When we were little girls we played pretend (I think we were spies/gymnasts) Our names were Sophie Gold and Jessica Silver. I don't remember who was who. We performed, we made up games, we dressed up, we shared secrets, we tried to stay up late, we teased Dylan, we took scooters to the beach, we went on the Flying Unicorn Rollercoaster, again and again. We had so many fun playful times together.

Every time you were at a family event or holiday, the occasion was made so much more special with your company and your humor. I always hoped you would be there.

As an only child, I could never be a sister, and never understand what it's like to have a sibling. But I could be a cousin. You made me a cousin. And thats the next closest thing, right? It was an honor.

You expect to go through life together. Even if not side by side, we were growing up together, sharing life experiences. We had more growing to do. Why couldn't we have more time? Could we have been closer? Do you know how much you mean to me? I have so many unanswered questions. There is so much more about you I wanted to know. Your fate is unfair, unresolved, and so unthinkable.

I will take it as the greatest compliment when I am told that I resemble you, or that I share some of your traits. I will hold close to what I do know to be true, that I am grateful to be your cousin, and that you are so loved. ❤
Posted by Katrina Akrivlellis on June 29, 2021
Dear Melissa,

Since as long as I can remember, you were my best friend. I kid you not, I set all my security questions online to ‘Who was your first Best Friend?’. The answer has never changed, ‘Melissa Blatt’. My first memory of us was waiting for the school bus heading to our first day school. There we were, two babies with our large backpacks that hung down to our ankles and sporting even larger name tags (like somehow, we were going to get lost between our homes and the bus stop). Throughout elementary school, we were inseparable. Despite our differences, we did everything together whether the other liked it or not. During recess we would meet up and you would force me to play soccer (which I hated) because you were naturally the more gifted athlete. After school you would suggest we go on a “run”. I never made it past your incredibly long/steep driveway but, even though I was winded, you never made me feel bad. Quite the opposite, actually. Whenever I would struggle you would come back to where I was and walk with me the rest of the way. You even went so far as to convince me that walking is as equally a good workout as running (I still trust you one this one!). That was one of your greatest gifts, never judging anyone on their lack of ability to do something and always making them feel like they were good enough. You took people for who they were and allowed everyone to be unapologetically themselves around you.

When I first found out about what happened, I instantly thought of your huge smile that brightened up any room. I can still hear your laugh as we stayed up late in your princess canopy bed while Dylan would yell at us to go to sleep through the wall (sorry Dylan). Though we lost touch after high school, I never stopped thinking about you. You were the prankster, risk taker, the funny one, the baker, the adventure seeker, and the caring soul. We could all benefit from living life more like you did. 

To the Blatt and Harrison Family: Though the grief you must be feeling is unfathomable, I hope you can find a sliver of peace in knowing how loved she was and how her memory will live on through all the people she touched. 
Posted by Erica Wexler on June 28, 2021
Melissa was a bright light whose rich laugh and thoughtful questions added a sense of optimism and curiosity to our conversations throughout her transition from childhood through young adulthood. While we only intersected during family events every few years, her inner gifts of warmth, compassion and intelligence shown through consistently. She had much to offer this world and will be deeply missed by all those who loved and knew her.
Posted by Kristina Kostakos on June 27, 2021
Melissa was a shining light of our grade at Dover Sherborn. She was always the one to include everyone and with her beautiful smile and infectious laugh, you wanted to be in whatever room she was lighting up. The kindest, goofiest, most genuine friend of so many, you will be incredibly missed by us all. All of my love to the entire family and the friends she made everywhere she went.
Posted by Dean Allsopp on June 26, 2021
Melissa,

I've been thinking about how to write to you. This letter is the hardest goodbye I've ever made.

Our friendship began in middle school. Back then, our social circles were split by gender. Our classmates were often skeptical when we would establish that we weren't dating, just friends. By high school, we became inseparable. We would spend every break, every lunch, every study period together. As soon as we got home, we'd spend hours and hours on the phone, only to be interrupted by dinner or an angry family member who had calls to make. High school passed quickly, and I never had to question who I would eat lunch with or who I would partner with for a school project because it was always you. Our classmates voted us for the "inseparable" superlative. I don't think we had much competition, if I'm honest.

We would rarely get invited to the cool parties on weekends, so we spent our Friday and Saturday nights alone together. We'd drive around the suburbs in your Grand Wagoner, stalling out countless times before pulling into McDonald's at 11 pm for dollar burgers (followed by the meat sweats!). We would turn on the sub and blast the Britney Spears Circus or Blackout album and scream "Gimme Gimme More!". She was our icon, fitting because you shared the same birthday (a fact you never let me forget).

And how can I not mention Adden? In middle school, we called ourselves the Lizzie Crew, an homage to the Lizzie Maguire show. I was Gordo, you were Miranda, and Adden was Lizzie. By high school, we had new nicknames, a little more pointed, but our humor was self-deprecating. Adden was Shrek, you were She-Hulk, and I was "tink" short for Tinkerbell. Adden was the third member of our trio, the one we loved to poke fun at and complain about the most. She was always hanging out with other people, and we were jealous and wanted her to ourselves. Nothing made you happier than to laugh at her outrageous stories and antics.

Remember when you convinced me to go on a month-long trip to South Africa? I think it was because you had a crush on a boy on the trip, but I can't confirm that. Only for you would I work cleaning a veterinarian hospital to save up enough to afford the trip.

Later in high school, you started to lean into your talent for cooking, making me try your various experiments. We would post up on your living room couch for hours watching the food network, and I'd hear your critiques of the decisions made by the amateur chefs on Chopped.

We had the goofiest sense of humor, often laughing at our embarrassing moments. You would ask me to sing to you sometimes, and I remember one time, in your parent's basement, I was in the middle of belting a song when your dad poked his head down the stairs to see if everything was all right. You laughed so hard at how embarrassed and red I got.

Do you remember how we loved to prank Dylan? One time, I went with your family to Nantucket.m. One night, after watching a movie, we had the brilliant idea to spray a layer of water in his bed. We made the bed perfectly so he wouldn't suspect. We knew immediately when he discovered his sopping mattress, as the indignant screams were impossible to miss. You were conveniently off the hook, as you were the mastermind behind the operation, and I was the henchman who carried out the act. Dylan was adamant that I needed to be kicked out of the house and sent back to Sherborn. You laughed the whole night long.

Even if we never said it, we loved each other deeply, in only a way you can do as a young teenager without boundaries or self-limitations. I don't know if I will ever experience such intense platonic love again. It is a particular type of friendship that I think can only happen during one's coming-of-age.

In addition to the sadness and mourning I have felt hearing of your passing, even stronger is my feeling of gratitude for you and your family who raised you into the loving, outrageous, and goofy person who could be my partner for five years. We lost touch as the years went by. No matter how long we went without speaking or seeing each other, I always had warm feelings for you. The intensity of our friendship made those feelings permanent for me.

I hope, when you left this world, it was quick and painless, and you didn't suffer. I'm sorry that this world couldn't have offered you more time. I wish the world were a kinder place.

I've spent the last few days telling folks here in Seattle about you and the crazy things we would do. Adden and I have been having a few good laughs going through the memories. Maybe it's wishful thinking, but I like to think that we could have reconnected. It would have been different, sure. But I believe, in our cores, we could have picked up where we left off.

I will love you forever. Thank you for everything.

Rest easy.
Posted by Mary Harrison on June 24, 2021
Melissa Rae Parkes

Sweet, sassy, strong, vulnerable, determined, kind, chill, focused, aware, emotionally intelligent, hilarious, perceptive, calculating, practical, dramatic, complex, gorgeous, empathic, loyal, caring, grounded, compassionate, cautious, warm, courageous, wonderful, precious, competitive, vivacious, insightful, generous, pragmatic, loveable, interesting, patient, cool, deep, authentic, multi-faceted, natural, sneaky, understanding, resourceful, spunky, bold. Melissa was all of those and so much more!

We’ve been beyond lucky to have her in our lives for almost 30 years and it is so incredibly difficult knowing that she has moved on from this life and is no longer with us. I personally have been blessed by her presence as my best friend. I believe she stayed with me far longer than anyone would imagine to be my supportive companion, listening and offering the sagest advice based on her keen insights and observations.

Many of you have asked what you can do to help us cope with this tragic unimaginable loss. We ask that you help us by sharing your pictures, stories, music and memories of her with us as it helps us by bringing back little pieces of her, some we never saw or heard before. (What’s this about basement parties??)

On Monday afternoon Dylan and I were hanging around, chatting, waiting for Melissa to arrive home when I looked out our front windows and saw two police officers approaching the house, slowly walking towards the front door, slower than I’ve ever seen a cop walk. I ran toward, and then out of, the front door. I knew the biggest fear of my entire life was unfolding in front of me at that very moment. My legs felt like someone had stripped out the supportive bone structure and I sat down hard on the red brick front steps. But suddenly Dylan was there, with me, holding my shoulder, shaking alongside me. The most supportive best person in the entire universe to be next to me at that moment was right there.

Having the constant backup of (four!) wonderful older brothers, each of them a role model in different ways, and parents that told me I could do anything I wanted in life (except all the fun stuff I really wanted to do) instilled in me a belief that I could probably figure out anything that came my way. But coping with the loss of a child, well, I sure don’t know how to do this. Figuring that out is a new life goal. I have to work hard, be strong and help Dylan figure out how to do this. 

So now, instead of spending my early mornings talking, laughing, plotting, planting, weeding, watering and dreaming with Melissa, I go sit on those same red brick front steps. When I’m there I’m right next to the rose bushes that she pruned and tended and loved more than any other plant. I can see and smell the petunias she loved to deadhead. Melissa couldn’t walk by a window box without stopping to deadhead! When I’m on those brick steps I’m surrounded by the red twig variegated dogwoods and the hearty blue geraniums she planted, the pale yellow day lilies and the massive, dramatic hydrangea paniculatas that Melissa said she’d never move.

Melissa is still with me there and everywhere. That rose bush is bursting through our front window with blooms this year right over the couch where her beloved Auggie and Dubs sleep.

I love her and she is there.

As ephemeral as a morning glory, as complex as a passionflower and as perfect as a rose.

Our Sweet Melissa. 
Posted by Bruce Mannes on June 24, 2021
Melissa's personality lit up the room. Such a kind person that would help anyone and she would have a smile doing it. She never had anything negative say, shes truly one of the kindest and genuine people I have ever met. I remember she would always give me a ride home in that wood paneled beach cruiser, that station wagon was legendary. It was one of the nicest thing anyone has done for me because we lived in different town. She would even think twice about it and she would have do it for mostly anyone. Its rare to find person like Melissa in this world. I truly can't find the words express how sad of a loss this is for everyone who knew her.
Posted by Ashley Piemonte on June 23, 2021
When I think back to my memories with Melissa, I remember her contagious smile that spanned ear to ear. It has been several years since I last spoke with her, as distance got between us, but we shared so many great memories together in middle school. I believe my last time with Melissa was riding around in Nantucket in the Jeep Wagoneer in 2009 with Christy Savery. We placed the Nikon camera on the dashboard and took selfies as we drove around (I even found the photo!) Melissa always reminded me to live life to the fullest; To laugh, to smile, and to have a good time. I am so sorry for your loss. Your family is in my thoughts. 
Posted by Katheryn Goldman on June 23, 2021
In going through my photos, I came to the realization that to this day, over 11 years later, I immediately could identify the photos that were taken in the Blatt basement. Melissa’s effortlessly hilarious and easy to get along with personality was the glue that brought so many of our classmates together, and she is responsible for what I think many of us would argue were some of our best memories in high school. I know I speak for many of us when I say that we are forever indebted to Melissa for the memories she created and for the time that we shared on account of her bringing us all together. My deepest condolences go out to the Blatt family and may you find comfort and peace in the love that so many of us will always hold for Melissa.
Posted by Callie Welch on June 23, 2021
One of my first friends from Girl Scouts on- there was never not a time I felt lucky to have Melissa in my life. A laugh that lit up a room and was contagious to everyone. Thank you for the laughs, the cry’s, the indoor soccer games we both dreaded and for crimping my hair that one time to make us both look like we’d been electrocuted. You are a once in a lifetime person and friend. Love to the Blatt family and all those lucky enough to love her.
Posted by Adden Laughlin on June 23, 2021
It is with such a heavy heart that I sit down to write this, and at a loss of how to express in words how much my friendship with Melissa meant to me. I cannot stop thinking about her, and have found myself laughing through tears as Dean and I recount our countless hilarious memories we have with her over the years. We’ve started to write them down and we will be posting more of them here for all to enjoy (although apologies in advance for the many inside jokes only Melissa and us will get).

Melissa and my friendship was one of the most uniquely special, uniquely vulnerable, and formative friendships I will ever have the pleasure of experiencing in my whole life. No one could make me laugh harder no matter what the situation, and there was no greater partner in crime, and no one more fiercely loyal than Melissa. She was right by my side through, what felt then, like world ending moments, and right by my side through everything in between. The love between us, I felt at many moments, knew no limit, and there was nothing we wouldn't have done for each other.

Her laugh is playing over and over again in my head, and as I sit here laughing through tears looking at pictures of us, I am so moved and feel so eternally grateful for having her as such an integral part of my life. It was an honor to be her friend, and it will remain an honor.

I loved watching you (Dylan) grow up for the years I was able to be a part of the torment that comes with an older sister and her friends, you were always such a good sport and became such a part of the gang when we were hanging around your house (even when we weren’t supposed to be). There is no one on this entire planet Melissa loved more than you Dylan- you were her true partner in crime. I remember the days I would beg Melissa not to make me watch you and her play each other in floor hockey in your basement because she would get so into it and determined to win- that god forbid she let me play on her team against you and I messed up- I was toast! And you certainly never went easy on me either...

Melissa had this uncanny ability to make any situation a hilarious one- and she never spared the dramatics, which is a trait we both loved to encourage each other on continuing. My entire recollection of any sort of P.E./ Gym Class experience has to do with Melissa. And not because of her natural athletic ability (which she so had and reminded me of often), but because of our absolute determination to do whatever it took to NOT participate in class. Whether it was pretending one of us was sad and needed to talk anywhere but there, or my personal favorite- us changing into mini skirts instead of our gym clothes in the hopes that we wouldn't have to run the 2 laps around the track that was required of us. Shockingly, our teacher told us tough luck and there we were, the two of us, the last in the class pulling up the rear, looking like idiots running in mini skirts, but laughing hysterically the entire time.

Every big memory I have from middle school through high school and beginning of college she was a part of, and arguably the best part of. I have thought of her often, and my favorite part about thinking about her was the huge smile that immediately comes across my face. I loved and cherished our friendship more than I can possibly express. She is a huge reason I am who I am today, and although I refused to ever admit this to her over the years, she was the funny one in the friendship. She shaped my humor, she shaped what I find joy in, and she shaped how I love people. She was easy to love, and I am lucky to have had the chance to feel that, and to carry that love with me.

To the entire Blatt family, I am sending you so much love. Thank you for the years of support, the years of love, the late night pickups and early morning drop offs, and the many parties we had in your basement (even when we said we weren't) ;) You guys were all such a huge part of my adolescents and in also helping shape who I am today, and to you all I am forever grateful and forever sending my love.

You are all so strong and have been such a force of strength for so long that I know you will find the strength here again. But for those moments it gets hard, please know I and all of us who loved Melissa- and who love you- are here and always will be.

I will be waiting for the moment I’m able to give you hugs in person. If there is anything at all that I can do, it would be my honor and privilege to do. I love you guys, and I will love Melissa and be grateful for her friendship forever. ❤️
Posted by Max Montgomery on June 23, 2021
I met Melissa 2009 when I was in 8th grade and Melissa was a senior at DS. I spent time with Melissa often over the next few years hanging with Dylan in Dover and on Nantucket. Melissa knew she was too cool for us (she was), but nevertheless drove us around, baked and cooked for us, and helped us navigate our fledgling pubescent love lives. I thought Melissa was so cool. Her friends were cool. Her music was cool. She knew about cool stuff. She was going to a cool college. I really admired and looked up to Melissa as soon as I met her.

Honestly, I think Melissa thought I was kind of annoying (I was). Well, actually I know she thought I was kind of annoying. Because she told me. A few times. But she did so with a smile and laugh while a sheepishly smiled back. I never had the confidence to return her mild sass with my own in the way that our friend, Mo, sure did. I remember being jealous of their witty rapport and strategizing ways I could get on their level. I wanted Melissa to like me desperately.

No matter the time that passed since I saw Melissa, she would ask about my family, dogs, sports, and ambitions. Despite my early high school annoyances and persistent questions, she cared about me as she did about all of Dylan's friends. While she never failed to tease us, her care and affection for us was always evident. What was also clear to me even then was that her kindness to us was an extension of the love she had for Dylan. She truly loved her little brother. Melissa extended her protective and older sister instincts she so clearly had for Dylan to all of us.

So when I remember Melissa, I remember her tough and sassy outer shell that thinly veiled a warm, compassionate, kind, and loving core. I'll remember her as a sister who wore her love for her family on her sleeve. And finally I'll remember her as my best buddy's really fricken' cool older sister who I looked up to, emulated, and hugely respected.
Posted by Emily Dolan on June 23, 2021
Dylan, Mary, and Louis - It breaks my heart to reach out and extend my profound heartbreak over hearing of Melissa’s passing. She was one of my very favorite people to be around. She had the wittiest, funniest sense of humor, the best laugh, and was always up for a good time. Her love for cooking and her deep connection with your dogs were some of my favorite things about her. She was the ultimate ping pong competitor with amazing one liners to have everyone roaring. I always admired her awesome taste in music and her talents with beautiful makeup - she taught me so many cool things at a young age and had such a mature soul. Melissa shared in some of the most fond memories I have of my teenage years, and I feel privileged to have spent so many great times at your house. Life is so precious and fragile, and I wish I had the chance to see her again to tell her all these things. Though time and distance led us to drift apart she always remained someone I would be thrilled to see and catch up with. Please know that I am thinking of you all now and in the tough times ahead. I loved Melissa, or Melly B as I always liked to call her, and will cherish my memories with her forever. ❤️

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Recent Tributes
Posted by Dylan Blatt on June 21, 2022
A year ago today I was reminded of our world’s unrelenting impermanence.

The loss of my sister Melissa occurred just hours before we were supposed to see each other after being apart for many months.

Years of us living on opposite coasts had produced a “pick up where we left off” type of relationship, in which we did not maintain close communication while we were apart. Melissa was not interested in displaying her life on social media, which meant staying connected amid this type of relationship had to be very intentional.

We had decided together that we need to stay in closer contact on a more regular basis. We missed each other. We intended to miss each other less. We were getting better at staying touch, but still had a tendency to save deeper connection for when we were together. This tendency of ours made the time we had with each other on my visits back home all the more important and valuable. I could not wait to see my sister.

Still anticipating her arrival, I watched through the front windows of my mom’s house in the Cape as state troopers approached the front door. I recognized they were holding Melissa’s purse, and somehow I immediately knew what that meant.

The events and emotions that ensued over the next few days are both painfully enduring and annoyingly fleeting. Moments that I would love to forget entirely are diabolically mixed in my memory with moments that I would do anything to remember more clearly.

A year of being caught in between those forces of memory has taught me that we have no control over what was and what will be. What we are left with is an invaluable ability to operate within the now. Right now you can call them. Right now you can go to them. Right now you can hug them. So do it.

Love you Mel. I have never missed you more.
Posted by Dan Holt on December 2, 2021
Happy birthday Melissa ! If only I could hold you one more time....
Posted by Keith Charles on July 7, 2021
“What we once enjoyed and deeply loved we can never lose, for all that we love deeply becomes part of us.” — Helen Keller

While I only knew Melissa for the first few years of her life, it was clear to me that she was a bright. cheerful child with a contagious smile. Reading the above tributes it is obvious that she remained that way into adulthood. I cherish the times we had together. Melissa, maybe some day we will meet again and perhaps finally finish that best of 35 rock, paper, scissors tournament we started so long ago.
Recent stories
Shared by Dan Holt on June 24, 2021
I made a brick walkway at Melissa's home last summer with my cousins and at lunchtime Melissa and i thought it be funny for me to walk outside wearing her bathrobe kinda like I was a stand in for the sopranos and yell at them as a joke . then Melissa nudged me out and shut the door behind me and made me run around the outside of the house in her robe and boxer shorts trying to get back inside lmao together we were trouble but we had a lot of good memories and I cherish the love we had . i miss u Melissa so much and I won t ever forget how Greyson took to you. We love you