The Murdered Child Club

I’m part of a club—one I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy, and yet one I wish everyone could join.  The members have learned to take the worst that life can throw at them and still thrive…such an amazing example for all to see.  This club should be called the “resiliency club” but, of course, it’s not. It is the murdered child club.

Over three days I participated in a forum hosted by the O.P.P. to address best practices and mistakes made in homicide investigations.   I must say that it took a lot of courage, especially for the investigators of each case, to face their mistakes in an open forum for the benefit of future victims.

I have met other homicide survivor families over the years but these I had not yet had the pleasure of meeting.   Any interactions I had with the mums I’d met previously were on a professional or social level.  Although we discussed our cases and our children, we were always careful to keep our deep pain from surfacing.

But this forum was different.  The purpose was to educate the officers, and no one held back.  The raw, gut-wrenching wounds were opened up for the greater good and we were all left somewhat sick inside—or, at least, I certainly was.

I can only liken it to the movie “The Green Mile” where the character, John Coffey, was able to ingest the illnesses within people so they could heal, and then later exhale the evil and continue on.

This is how I’ve been feeling for the past 2 days except that I couldn’t free myself from the unsettled feelings within me—until this morning.

As I went for my morning walk in the beautiful sunshine I started to think about how amazing and resilient my fellow club members are.

Through the worst situations imaginable, these people are champions for their own families, their communities and Canada, in general.  They are true heroes.

There were a few reccurring themes for the police, some good and some not.  But what was evident in all the families was the desire to help others in order to make sense of the evil that had visited their lives.

One mum has a prison ministry. Believe it or not, she visits with people already convicted of violent crimes and talks to them about how their actions impact their victims, and helps them to change their ways.

Another family fought for eleven years to bring the provincial and, later, the federal sex offender registry into existence.  The list goes on and on but each found advocacy of some kind to be a healing force.

Looking beyond ourselves and focusing our energy on others might not bring about complete healing, but the positive influence we have and the difference we are able to make in the lives of others somehow helps us to deal with the horrors our loved ones faced. If their suffering was senseless, we can, at least, make certain that it was not in vain.

It was so humbling to be in the company of such wonderful people, and I have never felt so completely validated in my feelings and actions before.  But more importantly, I am re-energized to step up my fight for the fair treatment of victims everywhere.

Congratulations to the O.P.P. and all the participants—victims’ families and my fellow officers as well.

This entry was posted in Giving of yourself, Hope, Positive thoughts. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to The Murdered Child Club

  1. Lesley Parrott says:

    Patricia – this so well captured the reality of how we can all move on and make the legacy of our children’ horrific deaths be something that can make a positive difference in the life of others. With much admiration and thanks for all you are doing and being.

    • patriciahung says:

      You’re one of my heroes Lesley! It’s people like you who give the rest of us strength to move forward!

  2. Very well said and beautifully written. I admire how you can look beyond your own pain by focusing on others, and acknowledge that this cannot bring complete healing but somehow with your positive influence on others it helps you deal with the pain and loss of your daughter.

  3. Sharon says:

    I would like a little advance notice before you do these things so I could be sitting on the front step when you get home.

  4. Annie McKay says:

    Patricia,

    I am simply a Canadian, who’s Dad was an RCAF who fought for our freedoms and rights: I love Canada and want to do my part to make it the best country. It’s our duty to continue the fight for the rights of all Canadians including victims of horrific crimes and their families.

    Good to hear that you and those unfortunate enough to be in your club are making headways. Very positive that the police are able to have ‘open’ communications with mistakes that we ALL make. This is a huge step as I believe that the police culture is generally not open to this kind of “communication”.

    What stories astound me are stories about victims of crime/violence that reach out to the criminals. There is a woman in the states who’s daughter was killed by another kid and she asked the judge in the sentencing that that kid tour with her to speak to other kids about the dangers of guns for 1 full year. She also asked the judge to revoke his somewhat light sentence should he not fulfill his end of the “sentence”. I thought that Mother was profound. I thought she was carving a new ground. I thought>what courage, what conviction.

    I have just recently been aware of the case of the trial for the BC multiple murders with Cody Legebokoff’. It broke my heart. I reached out to the father of Loren Leslie and told him that I cared. He replied and thanked me. (Wow)

    I think there are a great number of Canadians that really care and harbour great sadness for such horrible pain and suffering that these people inflict upon the victims and their families. WE as CANADIANS need a forum to help the process of the courts, the laws etc.

    Mostly I wish you and your family and your Murdered Child Club, peace, support, love and understanding. May you all rise and fulfill what your mission is, may you facilitate the communication that will get the ball rolling. May your spirits be one and may Stefanie be in your dreams with her beautiful soul. She is right by your side.

    Finally….hope you like this poem / not sure who wrote it

    WE REMEMBER THEM.

    At the rising of the sun and at its going down
    We remember them.

    At the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter
    We remember them.

    At the opening of the buds and in the rebirth of spring
    We remember them.

    At the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of summer
    We remember them.

    At the rustling of the leaves and in the beauty of autumn
    We remember them.

    At the beginning of the year and when it ends
    We remember them.

    As long as we live, they too will live, for they are now a part of us as
    We remember them.

    When we are weary and in need of strength
    We remember them.

    When we are lost and sick at heart
    We remember them.

    When we have joy we crave to share
    We remember them.

    When we have decisions that are difficult to make
    We remember them.

    When we have achievements that are based on theirs
    We remember them.

    As long as we live, they too will live, for they are now a part of us as
    We remember them.

    Best
    Annie

    • patriciahung says:

      Thank you so much Annie. A lovely poem but more over your sincerity is profound. Thank you for all you do as well.

  5. Dale Johnson says:

    Great article Patricia…

    It is quite obvious that you’re moving forward with your life in a very positive way and you’re doing a great job helping others deal with the unbearable pain and suffering associated with the unimaginable loss of a child.

    I think of you often and continue to pray that you someday find the peace you deserve. The work that you do is critical for your healing as well as for others in similar situations. You are one of the strongest individuals I’ve ever had the the honor of knowing. Keep up the great work!

    I will comtinue to keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers…

    Take care and please keep in touch.

    With deepest admiration and respect,

    Dale Johnson

    • patriciahung says:

      Dale, you know I feel the same about you! Thanks for keeping us in your thoughts. I’m definitely better off for having met you – who knew what the GCA could bring?

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