Lest We Forget…Being Grateful Even as Homicide Survivors

As homicide survivors, we get so caught up in our own grief in the beginning or in the cause down the road…. that we can’t see the forest for the trees.  When the victimization is new and fresh, we feel stripped of all of our reserves, questioning humanity, questioning God and life itself.  We walk in circles, try to make deals with our God or make a pact never to do this or that again, as if we could change the course of our loved one’s plight.  We were not responsible. We typically did nothing to contribute to the awful event.  And yet, it is our responsibility to fix it when others appear not to care or are seemingly incompetent.

Women in particular, are the “fix-it people,” the great organizers, and the “hold it together people” in the family line… We see women pursuing the helping professions in droves.  Some pursue corporate life and cast a distaining scowl on the glass ceiling as if to say, “I’ll show you….”  Well, LadyJustice wants to show them too…but in ways that make a real Impact and touch other’s lives differently than climbing the corporate ladder.

Women typically are nurturers and have a lot of love to give. When that nurturing is interrupted by a horrendous life event or when there is no one single “object of my affection,” the cause becomes the fiery passion.  At least that’s the way it is for this writer…

As single, unmarried survivors, we have our biological families who have their own connections.  We don’t always fit into their scenarios except around the Thanksgiving turkey.  Therefore, we create our own personal celebrations.

LadyJustice is here to tell you that it is okay to celebrate survivorship itself.  Yes, you may have overcome neglect, harassment, stalking, emotional and physical abuse, or other violence in its many forms… It is not something we wish to exploit for Hollywood tabloids, nor is it something to be hidden in the closet forever.  Hiding such things will make you physically ill over time…or turn you into a raving manic.  So, pick your poison as they say.  This writer believes it is better to come clean, however painful in the beginning. ‘For to share and educate others is a perpetual way of healing over and over through the rough patches. So, celebrate the fact that you have survived and will be on the road to a different path!  You are strong!  You will not grant power to the evil forces!  You too will smell the roses again, but in a much different way!

Given our personal landscapes and unspeakable new histories, we need to build bridges and make surrogate families. Whether we lose our own families to violence, divorce and emotional stress or being viewed as “damaged goods” for awhile, we need to build others into our new reality.   If we are at odds with the uncaring world outside and cannot shout “Honey I’m Home” daily, what does one do besides talk to the cat??

We reveal our true personalities with those who have a stake in our new lives.  We form new business and personal friendships around the fiery passions which we have acquired much to our initial dismay.   Then…. suddenly we discover that paying it forward, helping someone else even in a small way who has been through it, has a huge payoff!  We no longer see the world through rose colored glasses.  And better still, we never say, what’s in it for me? What’s in it for me is yet to be determined by others more powerful than we!

Thirdly, we must celebrate resources in this information age.  Admittedly, at times there is far too much personal information shared to the detriment of some.  But when it comes to victimology, in the past 30 years, relatively speaking, we have grown from a barren desert to a strong and sturdy oak tree with many blossoms…..

‘Truth is, when our family homicide occurred just 30 years ago there was no such animal called a support groups for homicide survivors.  If you were a widow, if your spouse had a terminal illness, if your loved one perished in an auto accident, these things were covered.  But the tragedy menu did not include those matters of escalating violence, least of all homicide.

Now we have a world of search engines and websites to address every malady possible (with a wary eye toward accuracy versus b.s.).  We have a myriad of universities sources, public broadcasting stations, “helping professional organizations “galore and internet radio just to scratch the surface.  Lest we forget, in the infamous words of Auntie Mame, “Life is a banquet, so stuff yourself!”   So…let us be grateful for resources!

Finally, composer John Bucchino tells us with the heart so eloquently in his wonderfully moving rendition of the song “Grateful” sung by Michael Feinstein. Take just 4 minutes to enhance your spiritual self and listen to this link:

Selected lyrics from above:

I’ve got a roof over my head; I’ve got a warm place to sleep….

I’ve got a heart that can love; I’ve got a mind I can think

There may be times when I lose the light and let my spirits sink….

But I can’t stay depressed

When I remember how I’m blessed

Grateful, grateful

Truly grateful; I am truly blessed and duly grateful.

In a city of strangers, I’ve got a family of friends….

I feel a hand holding my hand…  It’s not a hand you can see

But on the road to the promise land,

This hand will shepherd me through delight and despair

Holding tight and always there

Grateful, grateful

Truly grateful I am

Grateful, grateful

Truly Blessed

And duly grateful

Truly Blessed and Duly Grateful,

Donna / LadyJustice


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