Today is the one year anniversary of the murder of Lea Porter. You may not know Lea, or her family – they are from Colorado and today is a day they never thought they would have to endure…the one year anniversary of the most horrible day in their lives. Lea was a 19 year old young woman who lost her life on June 3, 2014. Her murderer confessed and is in jail, but her family has still never been able to locate her body. They want desperately to be able to bury and mourn her. They are asking everyone & anyone that may have any information to help them locate her and my heart aches for them. You can read a little about it in the following article: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/cops-former-classmate-admitted-to-killing-colorado-teen-lea-porter/ or on Facebook at Help Find Lea Porter
If you are a mom, you can only imagine…there are no words. When your child is murdered your whole life changes, you are no longer the same person you were before.
Below is a poem that pretty much sums up what it is like to lose your child.
“Do not judge the bereaved mother. She comes in many forms.
She is breathing, but she is dying.
She may look young, but inside she has become ancient.
She smiles, but her heart sobs.
She walks, she talks, she cooks, she cleans, she works, she IS,
but she IS NOT, all at once.
She is here, but part of her is elsewhere for eternity.” `~ By Anonymous
I read something like the following quite a while ago, and it rang true for me. I sometimes have a hard time explaining how much it has meant to me to have certain people in my life after Morgan was murdered. People that would just sit with me and let me talk without judgement. People that would tell me wonderful stories about Morgan, using her name, letting me know how alive her memory still is with them.
How can anyone even begin to understand the magnitude of the loss of a friend’s child? So many people can be heartbroken, as death is very difficult for anyone. But they don’t fully understand how they can help. So many people feel uncomfortable, they don’t know what to say, they don’t know what to do so they start to avoid the grieving parents. But what they really just need to know is that the same strong bond they have is motherhood. They may have never experienced the pain that comes along with losing a child, but they do understand the same joy that she once experienced from holding her child. And to lose that? There are no words.
If you have never felt the pain of trying to hold back a tear while with a group of your friends, or the immense gratitude as an old friend tells you that she thought of your child today, or the feeling of happiness your heart gets when it hears a friend say your child’s name out loud you simply cannot know.
Parents of murdered children need to hear, “I am here for you – whatever you need.” My friend Hilda says this to me, she is one of the truest friends around. When parents of murdered children hear those words from others they know there is someone that is there for them. They don’t feel so alone in their grief, they don’t need to only be around other families that have lost children, they just need to be around people that care. I am grateful that I had some friends, as well as family that did just that, they said here I am – whatever you need…and they meant it. That got me through the hardest times after Morgan’s murder – and I will never ever forget what they have done for me.
So if you really want to be supportive of families that have lost a child just be there for them. Whether it is in physical presence or in spirit across the miles. Mean it. Own it. Even if you are pushed away. Take these words and use them to breathe life back into the person who will likely find it hard to even comprehend waking to one more day without her child in her arms. Keep trying, every day will be different for them, some bad, some a little better, but they really do need their friends.
Be a light during their darkest moments. Find a way to offer support and to show that your heart is also breaking, because I know that it probably is. Even so, know that no matter what the circumstance, unless you have lost a child yourself, you will never, ever know this pain. And know that this is alright. Parents like us do not expect you to know this pain, or to carry it for us. In all honesty we would hand it to you in an instant of we could, but unfortunately it is ours alone to bear. Walk alongside us, even if you no longer recognize the person you thought you knew. We are changed, we are shattered, we will never be the same person that we were before. But in time we will walk again and see the world with an entirely new set of eyes.
I hope that you hear my words. Because unfortunately I know how this feels. And I wish more than anything that I did not.