Posted by: joshjasper | May 10, 2010

What Would You Say?

I have been asked to speak at a vigil this Tuesday night in Galena.  Andrew Jackson has been arrested for the death of Betsy Riggin.  Betsy was found strangled to death in her Baltimore apartment.  Jackson is also charged for the death of a baby due to Betsy being pregnant at the time.

Sadly, this will not be first vigil that I have attended, and it most certainly will not be my last.  What do you say at an event like this?  Nothing can be said to make things right.  What words could possibly be said to Betsy’s mother to help ease her pain?  This violence that has become commonplace in our everyday lives still remains so difficult to comprehend. 

 A few weeks ago I co-presented with Jesse James.  Jesse opened the afternoon with the heart wrenching story of his daughter that was murdered by her husband.   Tears welled up in my eyes viewing the photos of his daughter as a baby, then as a toddler, an adolescent, and then as a young adult.  The pain that this man and his family has endured is incredible.  But yet he finds the strength to stand before strangers and share the story of his daughter in the hopes that people will join his efforts in ending violence. 

Maybe it’s not about the words that are said at a vigil, but more so about being there for those in mourning.  Betsy’s mom needs to know that she is not alone, and that her daughter’s death will be remembered forever.  I will share with the Riggin family that it is because of Betsy that I and so many others wake up everyday with the hope and determination needed to realize the objective of ending violence against women, men, and children as we know it.

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