One Year Later: How Madonna Badger and ex-husband Matt Badger are losing their three daughters fire last Christmas

One year after losing their three little girls in a tragic house fire on Christmas Day, ad exec Madonna Badger and her ex-husband Matt Badger are speaking out to the media about how they’re coping with their grief.

Madonna is consoled by dreams of her daughters, and her belief in heaven; while Matt firmly believes that there must be a reason why everything in their lives led up to this horrific fire.

Madonna told Matt Lauer on The Today Show that she’s been comforted by a book written by a neurosurgion called Proof of Heaven, and further buoyed by dreams and visions of her daughters Lily, Grace, and Sarah:

“I’ve seen my children in my dreams. When I pray, I see my children. Lily came to me very early on and said, ‘Don’t worry, Mommy, I’m right there in your heart and I love you.’ Once when I was having a level 10, the worst sort of crisis, (where it) feels like blood is coming out of my eyes, Sarah came to me in the mirror and she said, ‘Mommy, there’s nothing to be afraid of. Everything is going to be OK.’’’

For a while Madonna struggled when she felt any feelings of joy or happiness, and was suicidal for a while. She stayed with her friend Kate Askew for for four months during the roughest period, and was able to recover


“I was gray, half my hair had fallen out, I was a disaster, and they made me promise I wouldn’t kill myself. They brought me back to life.’’

Now Madonna is okay with experiencing positive feelings, because she associates them with her children, and she no longer feels suicide is an option because she thinks there’s a chance it wouldn’t reunite her with her girls.

She’ll be spending Christmas this year in a “Santa-free” zone, helping out at a girls’ orphanage in Thailand, and giving them her daughters’ toys.

Her ex-husband Matt spoke to New York Magazine in a long interview, and (according to Today, we couldn’t find this part in the article) at one point revealing that he had wanted to murder Madonna and her boyfriend. Although Madonna has expressed doubt about it, officials believe the fire was started in a paper bag of embers that her boyfriend at the time, Michael Borcina, set aside while cleaning up the fireplace for Christmas Day.

Madonna responded her ex-husbands reported statements with a great deal of grace and understanding:


“I thought it that was perfectly normal.  I would’ve felt the same way. I don’t judge Matthew’s grief. I don’t judge the journey that he’s on, and in fact I’m incredibly proud of him for what he’s done with the Lily Sarah Grace Fund.’’

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They are both struggling to understand why this happened. Matt has set up a fund in honor of his daughters, the LilySarahGraceFund, that’s so far raised almost $500,000 toward supporting the arts in underfunded elementary schools. He’s currently suing Madonna’s ex-boyfriend Michael Borcina and the City of Stamford for incompetence and negligent building practices.

Matt is fiercely connected to the fund because it represents his daughters to him, and in the New York Magazine piece, becomes distraught when an Norwalk, Connetictut event raises only $1200. He tells the state senator Bob Duff he needs at least $20,000 to make his relationship with the city worthwhile, pleading “I put my three daughters out there. And this is what they’re worth?”

He’s since apologized for the misunderstanding telling a local news source “I would like to apologize to the people who donated their money. I would like to say that any donation to our fund is fantastic.”

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