In her father’s words, Gabby Petito “touched the world.” That certainly rings true in the aftermath of her initial autopsy results. Her homicide sparked many big feelings for a lot of people. Leading up to her death, though, Gabby also made an impact. A music project she was involved in almost a decade ago is resurfacing and its message is heartbreaking given the current circumstances. The music video comes from Deb Henson for her “Irreplaceable” song, which warns against violence against children and families.
A Young Gabby Petito Advocates for Awareness
The music video in question actually appeared as a sort of tribute inspired by the horrific Sandy Hook tragedy. For those that don’t know, the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut lost 26 people including 20 children to a shooting carried out by one man. Deb Henson, the song’s writer talked to The Sun about how the song took on a new meaning in the wake of Gabby’s passing:
“The lyrics are almost eerie now. It’s ironic and tragic that she’s in this video and that this happened to her. This song isn’t just about violence against kids. It’s also about domestic violence and violence in general. It’s just God awful really what happened to Gabby.”
Like Henson, Gabby called New York home for much of her life. They met through a family friend who specifically recommended Gabby for the project. The video shows a notably younger 14-year-old Gabby with her two younger brothers. She holds a sign that reads “I’m Irreplaceable.” Deb remembers filming the project with Gabby’s warm presence.
“It was a magical weekend. And Gabby was just, just the sweetest kid, she was just so full of love, she just wanted to help and be involved in any way she could…Gabby was an artist. [Our mutual friend] calls Gabby her flower child. She was just one of those people that was just so lovable. I think that’s why her story has resonated the way it has.”
You can watch the full music video here. Gabby Petito appears shortly after the 3-minute mark.
Deb Henson is Heartbroken and Finds It ‘Difficult’ To Re-visit That Video Now
While Deb Henson remains proud of the project, the music video proves to be difficult to watch now. She tells reporters:
“It just breaks my heart. It gets me. It’s just so sad. I have so many people reach out to me saying the same thing.”
In terms of gun violence and domestic violence, Henson says “nothing has changed in the eight years since we filmed [the video].” Moreover, “The whole Petito family are really just wonderful people. They really don’t deserve this. I really have to think that something great will come out of this tragedy eventually. Only the good die young, I suppose.”