Joel and Diana met three years ago—to this day he still says it was her sweet smile and even sweeter personality that caught his attention. Even Joel’s mother fell in love with her—demanding to her son that if they ever have a kid “make sure she has Diana’s smile.”
After a year of falling in love, they married in the Dominican Republic where Diana grew up. Joel is proud to say that his wife was selfless: “Sometimes I would say, ‘hey you gotta be selfish from time to time.’ If you needed something from Diana, Diana was always there for you. She wanted to help the world.”
When she wasn’t trying to help the world though, Diana was a devoted mother who cherished their daughter Gianna. Joel’s two girls shared a special bond—always laughing, smiling, and full of energy. Every night, Diana put Gianna to bed and comforted their little 15-month-old girl, until she was soundly and peacefully asleep.
Diana had professional dreams too though, and last week she made Joel judge all of her work outfits for a business trip. She wanted him to help her find the most professional options to look her best on this trip. She was excited for the opportunity and the responsibility: the PEBB Enterprise Group was going to the Midwest to scout properties.
Diana kissed Joel and Gianna goodbye, and constantly kept checking in with them from the road. While traveling, Diana facetimed Gianna so they could share remote kisses, and called Joel to talk at least once a day. Diana texted Joel Tuesday morning, shortly before she was expected to return home, saying she missed him and Gianna, and was excited to come home.
When Joel came home from work Tuesday, he found a note from PEBB on the door with a number to call. He had heard news of a plane crash, but until he saw the note, he did not even consider it could be Diana’s plane. Tragically, the Castillo family would never be the same.
Family and friends have been on hand since Diana’s plane crash: making food, helping around the house, and trying to ease Joel and Gianna’s pain. Her funeral service was held in November at Palms West Funeral Home in Royal Palm Beach. Every night Joel struggles to put Gianna to sleep, as she aches for her mother’s comfort and love.
Nobody can erase the pain Joel and Gianna are feeling, and nothing can replace a mother’s love. However, sometimes a day full of new happy memories can help ease the burden of loss. Gethrr is planning a day of fun for Gianna and Joel—a day to help them let go of their worries. A happy day that gives this father-daughter duo a temporary respite from their troubles, so that when they go home at the end of the day, the house feels a little less empty, and maybe bedtime can be a little less painful.
Sometimes a day to escape your troubles makes a world of difference in recovering from loss. While none of us can replace a mom or a wife, we can pitch in to create a day of fun and happiness for Joel and Gianna.