By: Homicide Survivors
COVID19 has presented a unique perspective on life, it is showing us how important it is to live in the moment for tomorrow is not guaranteed. I keep asking myself what is the lesson that I need to learn? What does humanity need to learn? What I realized is during this intense environment growth can be cultivated. We are being faced with our own individual truth and we can’t look away. My journey of growth is taking place in difficult times yet, I know that when I find my reemergence it will be beautiful. My response to COVID is to be in the moment, choose kindness and joy. Now, all of this is easier said than done, it’s a struggle that I have with myself as some days are easier than others. Yet it’s the little things that need to be celebrated so my attention can be redirected. To be reminded of being gentle to myself when I don’t have the energy to be present. To keep searching for kindness in each other.
When HSI (Homicide Survivors Inc.) and Ben’s Bells Project decided to collaborate on the kindness challenge it was exactly what I needed without realizing it. It was something I could physically do to document all of the positive things that are still happening in our community. Humans can get very creative when faced with adversity especially when time is a strange concept right now. The world has been put on paused yet things are moving forward. Birthday celebrations, babies being born, people dying, seasons changing, etc. As a victim advocate, especially during these times, I keep thinking about the community that I serve. A survivor was able to articulate to me how there is a parallel between the pandemic and the grief they are experiencing.
From one day to another their life completely changed, there was no preparation for when their loved one was murdered. Our sense of safety is compromised. For me, it has instilled an even deeper drive to really be present for survivors. Even if that means we have to get virtually creative. Being a witness of survivors’ journey of hope and healing is truly an honor and a privilege. I will not let my community grieve alone, ever. I will choose the light, kindness, and joy every time. For together we will always be stronger.
I remember my dad as a strong, loving man who played both roles in my life. It takes an extraordinary man to do that, and that’s just who he was, extraordinary. My childhood hero and years later, my best friend. During this uncertain time, help us continue our mission to serve those grieving the loss of a loved one as a result of a homicide.