FARMINGTON HILLS (WJRT) (05/15/18) - A father, still grieving the murders of his two young children at the hands of their own mother, is trying to move forward by honoring their young lives.
At just 3 and 2 years old, Mikayla and Dariel Walker were being taught lessons that many take a lifetime to learn, such as how to value and believe in themselves.
"When you do it on a regular basis it can have a very positive effect on your life. It can even be a life-changing even if it's done on a regular basis. It's something I believe in and I started to instill in my children. It's something that I like to spread to everybody," said Dariel Walker, father of Mikayla and DJ.
Tragically, those life lessons were cut short in February, when Mikayla and DJ -- along with their mother, 31-year-old Nikkita Langdrum -- were found dead in Bay County's Bangor Township.
Police say Langdrum shot and killed her children and then killed herself.
At times, Walker thought the grief over loss of his two children would overtake him.
"I've gone from being in shock to going to a really dark," Walker said.
But instead of letting the darkness consume him, Walker wants to help bring a message of hope to others.
"To use those video to reach out to other people and have them also post positive affirmations based of the videos the kids made in a way of honoring their legacy and also spreading the importance of positive self images, " Walker said.
He also wants to shine a light on mental illness.
"A lot of people don't know, but 1 in 5 people are affected by mental health issues at some point in their lives, even from something as small as anxiety disorder and stuff like that. We are just trying to bring awareness to that through Mikayla and DJ and honor their legacy by having them be a part of something that can reach out and help a lot of people," Walker said.
This campaign, "My Little Champions," has offered Walker a bit of healing. But he said that's not why he started it.
"They were very wonderful. I know that they had a very promising life ahead of them, I knew that they were going to touch people lives because they did when they were here, so with their lives being cut short I feel like it's my responsibility to show the world how great they were going to be, so none of this is really me. Mikayla and DJ birthed this entire project," Walker said.