The affects of violence.

“I admire your strength. I’m still bitter and angry after all these years and not a holiday season will go by in my lifetime without me thinking about your daughter and Jane Creba and all of the other innocents whose lives were cut too short. You’re a better person than I, and if the rest of us had your outlook we might not be having this conversation at all. Peace to you and your loved ones – we think about you always.”

What a thoughtful message left for the post titled “Grief’s gifts”, October 7th.  Thank you.

There is no doubt that violence, even when it’s not first hand, can affect us profoundly and for a very long time.

A few years ago I was working a particularly vile child abuse case where one of the forms of punishment for a 6 year old was a washcloth taken from a pot of boiling water and placed on the child’s face.  Every time I touch a washcloth that is too hot, I remember, the outrage resurfaces, and at times the tears return.  But it has never stopped me from going on and living my life.   Stefanie’s murder ended life as I knew it, forever, and I didn’t want to go on.

I am certainly no better a person than anyone else, just someone who has been forced, against her will, to build a new life.  It is the act of rebuilding that has allowed me (and most people I suspect in similar situations) to be grateful for all the things we once took for granted.

When gratitude is the center of ones focus, life becomes much brighter and goodness flows towards us.

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