LYNN — As Lynn still mourns the loss of a young mother who lost her life while giving birth to her twins, the community has come together to ensure her family gets everything they need.
Four weeks ago, Molly Bishop-Ramsay died during childbirth, leaving behind her husband Brian, their two-year-old daughter Olivia, and Logan and Theresa, their newborn twins. Shortly after the tragic news spread, Mattie and Bailey Bollen, friends of her and her husband, created an online fundraising page that raised well over their initial goal of $20,000 in just 24 hours. Now, the page is more than halfway past its goal of $50,000.
“She was an absolute blessing in the lives of so many and her passing leaves a massive hole not only to her friends and family but to the entire North Shore community,” said Bailey Bollen. “I think the funds raised for Molly are a small testimony of the person she was, the love she shared, and the people she touched during her short time on Earth.”
The two women met in 2011, thanks to their husbands being best friends since high school, which led to the two couples becoming inseparable. When Molly and Brian wed in 2014, after falling for each other in the early years of high school, Mattie Bollen was the best man. The Bollens were even there while the Ramsays celebrated the birth of Olivia, their first child.
“From the moment I met her, I knew I was lucky to have her in my world by virtue of luck and it was clear from seeing Molly and Brian together that they shared something unique, the love between them was inspiring and beautiful,” she said. “Molly exemplified pure, beautiful, and bright joy, added lightness to anyone she met, and had an endless bounty of love that she shared freely.”
Mattie Bollen has memories with Molly that date all the way back to 2003. The two Lynn English High School alumni were in concert choir together and Molly continuously encouraged Bollen to have confidence, which ended up influencing him to get a BA in music from Salem State University. Mattie always told Molly how much her positive words meant to him during those years.
“One thing about Molly that I love is that she always told her family and friends how much they mean to her,” he said. “When something tragic happens, we say to hug your loved ones and tell them how you feel, and Molly did this on a daily basis.”
Kate Rebidue met Molly during their years at Sisson Elementary School, and they had been best friends ever since. Rebidue and her sisters grew up calling Molly their fourth sister. Whether it was deaths, life changes, or even the celebration of new life, the two women went through it all together.
“She was just very gentle, a gentle soul,” said Rebidue. “She was pure and kind, she was never angry, never fought, she was just easygoing, always happy, always more than delighted to do whatever group activity we wanted to do, always up for whatever, and she loved everything and everyone.”
Rebidue remains in shock at the outpouring of support Molly’s friends and family have received since her death. In the next few months, she hopes to initiate a karaoke night to raise money for Brian and the kids and start a community page online that would let people know what the Ramsay family needs as time goes on, as a way to keep everything organized.
“It’s truly amazing to see the outcome of everything and I know Molly would be so humbled,” said Rebidue. “She was such a simple person, I never thought her story would get this big but it’s so humbling to know how many people she has touched.”
During Molly’s services, handmade pendants that signified “Molly’s Angels” were given out to anyone in attendance as a way to honor someone still so loved by the community. They were made by a group of ladies who were friends of Molly’s mother, the late Margaret O’Brien Bishop. The group of women created similar pendants for Margaret’s funeral last year and felt it was the best way to honor their friend’s daughter.
One of the many people Molly touched was Ron Comeau of the Lynn English Drama Club. Comeau worked with former drama director Larry Lowe for decades as the assistant drama coach. He met Molly while they shared singing lessons and they have been close friends ever since. She even stood by Comeau’s side the last few years as he endured chemotherapy treatments for his bladder cancer.
“Brian is going to have a whole community to raise those kids and the theme has always been we are in this for the long haul, not just for this week,” he said. “I promised Molly before when she was worried about me, I told her she could count on me to be there for Olivia, Theresa and Logan.”
Comeau and the LEHS drama club alumni have begun discussions about putting together a cabaret, in either late fall or early winter, as a way to raise money for Brian and the kids and celebrate the beautiful life Molly lived. Another idea they shared is having people send in their reflections of Molly which would be passed to Olivia, Theresa, and Logan once they turn 18.
“It hits every single person personally whether they know them or not because we are mothers, sisters, friends, neighbors and it could have happened to any one in our families,” said Kathy Parker, a Sisson Elementary teacher who graduated high school with Molly’s older brother Sean.
Parker heard about Molly’s sudden death and got the OK from her school’s principal, Jane Franklin, to host a day where students paid $5 to dress down with all proceeds going to Molly’s family. Other schools and businesses have taken the time to donate money to the family as well, but there is still a dire need for diapers, and baby wipes as the Ramsay children will continue to grow. Enfamil, the formula company, donated a lot of formula to help Brian and the babies get through the first few months.
All donations are going directly to the family. To donate, please go to youcaring.com/honoringmollyramsay.
“This is not an effort with an end-point, however, but we have faith that the community will support Molly’s family and loved ones in this time of grief and will continue to support them for years to come,” said Bailey Bollen.