Angel's Story: Surviving & Thriving After the Loss of a Child

As I sat on set preparing to film I could feel the anxiety and tension beginning to build in my guest. I watched intently as she stood, tucked quietly at the rear of the room clutching a personalized blanket peppered with photos of her daughters milestone moments. Looking around the room I watched the busyness of the crew setting up cameras, doing microphone and sound checks, shuffling about amidst the watchful eyes of staff and onlookers. In that moment I was gently reminded by the Spirit of God, a scripture that He had given me to share with my guest via text earlier that morning. “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” - Phillipians 4:7. As my guest made her way over to be seated next to me I could now literally feel the stress exuding so strongly from her presence that I immediately knew what to do. Reaching over, I took her hand and said “let’s pray”. She nodded with what I could see to be tears near welling up in her eyes as she firmly grasped my one hand with both of hers in a clutch that felt as if she was hanging on for dear life. I, in return, clutched hers even tighter to affirm that I would not let her go. As I allowed the Spirit of the Lord to guide His prayerful words through me the same scripture came out again. Peace. Peace. Peace. I could feel the burden of heaviness begin to lift in my guest and the air around us seemed lighter. As God instructed me in giving clarity to the purpose of this interview, my guests’ grip lightened to a gentle touch and I could hear her breathe out a slow sigh of relief as the prayer was made that this interview would bring joy and enlightenment to all the good memories and things that her daughter was. How she had impacted so many lives at such a young age and how my guest, as her Mother had picked up the torch to carry on the legacy of a life that still lives on in the hearts of her family. Her story would impact so many that needed to know that they too could live on after suffering the loss of a child.

Friday, November 21, 2014 at 7:11am, 24 year old Christina Ryan-Henegar, a professionally trained Dancer affectionately known as “BlackButterFly”, took her final curtain call due to sustaining third and fourth degree burns over her entire body. The burns were the direct result of a fire in her home just three days prior, yet Christina fought hard and long enough to be surrounded by loving friends and family. An avid activist, humanitarian and passionate teacher, Christina’s memory lives on through her 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization – “BlackButterFly - The Christina Ryan-Henegar Foundation. An organization in which her mother, my guest, Angel Ryan brings to life with passion, pursuit and the total presence of her daughter, Christina.

You can read more about Angel's Story in the next issue of “Lady Lowcountry” magazine and watch the entire interview on “Inspired with Takiya La’Shaune” airing on WHHI-TV. For local listings and airtime visit