I have a friend on Facebook that I have not seen in twenty years. We went to high school together, and although I knew who she was, I don't recall ever really hanging out with her back then, but in the way of Facebook, we have gotten to know each other a bit over the last few years.
I saw her posts about animal rescue and pictures of her kids - the usual online stuff. One day I read that her oldest son was killed. He was stabbed to death at his 21st birthday party.
In the wake of that horror, all of us- all of her friends - were rendered powerless. There are no words we can say. There are few actions we can take. I do not know her well enough to matter in her world, and I don't want to become one of those imposing people who latch on inappropriately. Still, my eyes fileld with tears for her when I frist heard, and my heart bleeds for her still.
I follow her more closely now on Facebook, and she is an inspiration. I know that word is thrown about so much it is meaningless, but it applies to her. She is angry, she is sad, but she is still compassionate. Hate has not poisoned her soul.
She asked me unexpectedly if I would help her with her impact letter for sentencing of her son's murderer. I was moved beyond words. It was something I could do - I can write, I can edit and I can encourage her to find her own voice. That's all I can do, but it is something.
I read her letter, and offered my suggestions, which were few. Her voice was her own, her writing strong and clear. Her letter shredded me in its honesty. I mainly just tried to give her courage. If I write no other words in my life, if I never have a blog go viral, I can say that I did something important. There is no higher compliment I will ever receive as a writer than being asked to help her with this.
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