Saturday, July 27, 2013

Parents of Murdered Children

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Parents of Murdered Children.  Not exactly a light topic for a Saturday morning is it?  I do promise that eventually some of my postings will have a lighter feel to them.  Those will probably come later as I continue to walk my healing path.

A confluence of events on Thursday somehow led me to recall an organization I discovered when I was living on the West Coast.  That organization is Parents of Murdered Children.  This organization exists to support those who have lost a loved one through the horror of murder.  More information can be found on the organization's website located here.  The vision of POMC is to "provide support and assistance to all survivors of homicide victims while working to create a world free of murder".  This is a lofty mission and one I feel a deep resonance with.

I thought of Parents of Murdered Children this past Thursday evening.  The confluence of events on this day involved the anniversary of my grandmother's death, the last session I had with a counselor I first began seeing in the spring (not the same person as my current therapist) and my discovery of the disappearance of two trees from the park across the street from where I live.

In late June we had a powerful storm blow through the Minneapolis area where I live.  According to a person I overheard on the bus one day thereafter the city of Minneapolis apparently lost some 3,000 trees to the storm.  Two of those three-thousand once stood in Phelps Park across from my home.  I have grown to love that park in the time I have lived in this part of Minneapolis.  I was saddened to discover the two trees blown over shortly after the storm had passed.  And then these two trees remained tilted over in the park for some five weeks.  Each day I would marvel at how these two trees remained alive despite the damage they had sustained.  Enough of their root systems had remained within the ground that they could continue to live.  As the weeks passed I had begun to wonder when the City of Minneapolis would come to address these two trees.  Given that the trees did not die I had naively hoped that perhaps the trees could somehow be made to stand upright again such that they could be restored to their former glory.  But alas I was disappointed.  On Thursday evening I went out to walk and discovered the trees were gone.  All that remained were the trunks of the two trees.

I had already been thinking of loss and endings that day due to the anniversary of my grandmother's death and the end of my work with a counselor.  When I saw the trees had been removed my heart ached a bit and my appreciation for the ephemeral nature of life was heightened all the more.  I found myself meditating on the gift of each and everything we have in this world.  I thought of the people in my life.  I thought of the sunshine, clouds, rain, birds, wind.  I thought of the taste of chocolate, of laughter and of so many other countless small delights.  And then I thought of Parents of Murdered Children.  I suppose it was only natural my mind drift to this memory considering I was meditating on loss and death.

It sometimes amazes me when I think that my own father could have perhaps become a member of this organization had it been me who had died when he was still in his second marriage.  Instead it was my father who nearly died.  Though I have worked through this trauma in talk therapy it seems I might need to do EMDR or some other alternative technique.  On some level I suppose the events of this time still haunt me.

On that Thursday night my mind ultimately drifted to the awareness I have long had of the amazing potential each human being has inside and how tragic it is when that potential is never realized due to something as horrible as murder.  I have come to realize how, in a related way, I need to alter the course of my career to acknowledge and honor the deep feelings I have about the power of human potential.  I need to do something that honors this potential in a very tangible way.  This has now become part of my journey.  I am now meditating on what to do with my life from this day forward.  As cliche as it may sound I had this thought this morning "Today is the first day of the rest of your life".  Indeed it is.  Now what exactly will I do with it?

I know what I am going to do with this day.  I am going to get outside and enjoy it somehow once I have finished my appointment with my therapist early this afternoon.  Days like today are not to be ignored for their beauty.


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