Saturday, August 22, 2009

Mother's Wound

Mother is one to whom you hurry when you are troubled. ~Emily Dickinson

One of the most difficult parts of my job is working on homicide cases. Most all death is devastating, unexpected death often more so. It brings a particular type of loss, grief, and guilt. Most everyone feels they “should have done more.”

I spoke with a mom who lost a grown child to domestic violence. She recalled the last time she saw her daughter alive. She made breakfast for her. She told me in detail how she made pancakes, eggs, and orange juice. Then her daughter went out the door, lost to her mother forever. This mom did not know she was making her last memories with her daughter. I am sure she wishes she could have stopped her from going as she looks back.

She told me that she dreams of her daughter, begging her mother for help that can’t be given. She doesn’t sleep for fear of seeing her daughter suffer, as she surely must have when her ex-husband shot her multiple times. It had been 18 months since her daughter’s murder and the mom carried her pain as though it happened last week. She told me she doesn’t know how to make it stop. I don’t either. Those are the times when we simply acknowledge and witness.

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