Life and Living: An Open Letter To The Stanford Survivor…and ALL Survivors

     I read your impact statement last night, in its entirety. Where do I begin? I felt the overwhelming desire, being the father that I am, to encircle you in comforting arms…but what can be said, to bring comfort?

     “It’s going to be okay”? “Everything’s going to be okay”? They seem like such empty platitudes, in light of everything that has happened since that terrible night. No. Everything is not going to be “okay.” Nothing about this is “okay”, or should ever be thought to be “okay.” That despicable act, the lack of any acceptance of culpability on the part of the young man or his father, and the equally despicable joke of a sentence handed down by the judge. None of it is “okay”, or ever will be.

     You, on the other hand, can find yourself firmly on the road to “okay”, but you’re going to have to dig deep. Some days will be better than others. Things that seemed inconsequential before, will now bring hesitation and trepidation. I’m not going to even presume to tell you that this is “normal”, because it’s not normal, unless a person has endured what you and many others have. When these triggers jump up, (and they will never do so at opportune times,) you’re going to need some personal ammunition to combat their impacts.

     You will survive…you must survive. Don’t give those bastards the satisfaction of ever caving under the weight of this. Yes, there will be times when the weight will seem unbearable, but in those times, remember that you are not alone. You’re never alone. You have millions of fellow life travelers, some of whom have been through similar trials, who stand with you, maybe not in person, but definitely in thought and spirit. Surround yourself with those who will uplift you. Cast off the negatives, the naysayers and the “don’t be’s.”

     You’re on our minds and in our thoughts. While we may not know your name, that’s not important. We’re still thinking about you, willing you feelings of love, peace, comfort and light, even in the darkest of times.

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