I am so glad I went alone, for not only could I soak in the event itself (as I am passionate about this case), but I could really sit in my personal grief.
This was the room I sat in with my Mom as we first listened to a lecture about the Babes in the Wood because of an article my Dad had given me from the Vancouver Sun.
Mom and Dad- the two people who tirelessly worked with me, traveled with me across the Lower Mainland in search of clues, relished in talking history, mapping it out, tending grave sites and the scene in the park… Who could handle my endless chatter. Who loved to hear about the latest unfolding and discovery.
Mom and Dad- who also shared my interest in the case covered by last night’s event, who shared deep concern for the women of the DTES and who came with me to the healing tent, who shared concern for the families, who helped me deliver art for fundraisers and who drove me to meetings with police officers and family members, who helped host events at schools, who came with me to the trial, who despaired at the failure of the system, who cut out articles and analyzed and discussed and inspired me to work with at-risk youth.
Cut to 12+ years later, and I am back in that room at the Central Branch. And Mom and Dad are not here to share this profound event with me.
They are not here.
And so I feel it.
It starts in the toes and wells upward through the legs and spine. I swallow water as the wave lifts me upward, whiplashes and slaps me forward face down on the shore.
And I lie there, listening to the Bergmaneque soundtrack…
… realizing that somehow- I’m still alive.
Get up, wipe myself off. Dry off in the sun. Sit for awhile looking out over the amniotic sea in absolute gratitude for the memories and gifts Mom and Dad gave me.
The event was amazing.
I walked home.