Monday, April 4, 2011

Love, Life and Loss - on Waving Good Bye

Gentle Readers -
I found out something last week that really knocked me to my knees.
I finally connected with an old friend who was very kind to me years ago. Many times over the last few years, I had searched for her on the Internet, but could not find her - but finally she opened a Facebook account and Voila! there she was. It was so good to hear from her again. She mentioned that she still had the portrait of her daughter that I had done years ago and she treasured it now that her daughter was taken from her. When I enquired about her daughter, I was told that she had been killed 4 years ago in a murder/suicide. Just typing these words brings tears to my eyes and I can't even imagine the pain she must go through each and every day.
It really depressed me to think of it but as I was thinking last week, I started counting all the people that I knew personally who had been murdered or people that I know who had a relative or friend murdered. I had never thought of that before. But as I began to remember and count them, I came up with the number 7. Yes, seven.
Does that seem excessive to you? It does to me. Is this normal? It doesn't seem so to me. Seven precious souls whose life was cut short at the hands of someone else. Seven people who were loved by family and friends. As my mind tried to take all of this in - just the scope of it - was something I just could not get my mind around. I still can't.
My family laughs at me because I always wave goodbye to them as they drive away from the house - I keep waving until I can no longer see them. I have always wanted that to be last image of me they have - should I never see them again. When I tell them my reason for waving so long - they laugh again. I think I will keep doing it.


  1. I always wave from the window too.

    Yes I think these numbers are shocking, especially for Maine. One of my children's teacher's daughter was murdered long before we met her. A few years ago, one of my students nieces was killed in a murder suicide by her husband. It's all I know and it's still too many...

    Poignant portrait after the fact. She seems to be looking back from beyond... Your friend must be so happy you did this for her.

  2. HI Susan: I'm glad someone else waves too! Actually the seven murders happened in Memphis Tennessee - I lived there for 21 years prior to moving to Maine. Memphis has a murder rate of about 200 a year - the crime rate is one of the reasons why we moved to Maine - Maine is one of the safest states in America.
    Thank you for the kind and insightful words about the painting I posted.