Guiding Lights...

Twenty-eight years after my ex-boyfriend Eddie’s murder, I sat on the floor at home, feeling intense grief over his death. This was triggered by Sunday’s news story of the killing of a young man. The broadcast played a brief clip of the murder scene, and as I watched, a flashback to Eddie’s murder scene simultaneously popped into my head. The memory of so long ago occasionally played in my mind for almost thirty years, complete chaos played out dramatically and slowly, but always in complete silence. I think I blocked out the horrible sound of sirens and helicopters and loud cries. That is until now when a complete stranger’s murder resembled Eddie’s crime scene and the sound of that night’s chaos returned as if I had closed my eyes, and it was happening all over again around me. I heard the cries of the mother of the second victim who had been sitting next to Eddie, they were both hit by bullets, but only Eddie’s injuries were fatal. That evening, two other friends and Eddie were across the street from my house when shots rang out. I was in the front room when at least six shots echoed through our street, I took shelter behind a couch and waited for it to stop. Minutes later I saw the spotlight of a helicopter lighting up the road, the lights from the ambulance tinted our walls red. I ran outside to see paramedics giving Eddie CPR as I stood feet away in disbelief. They brought him over to the ambulance, where I was standing, as they prepared to transport him to the hospital ten minutes away. One of the paramedics asked if I was going to ride with him to the hospital and I shook my head, no. I was a kid, sixteen, in shock and unable to process enough to make a sound decision. Eddie died on the way to the hospital. The other victim survived.

I let out a cry resembling a loud howl of pain that I’d been holding in my heart for almost three decades, followed by a few days of tears. I needed to mourn my sweet first boyfriend properly. Spasms of sorrow came and went these past few days, they helped usher in a new narrative about Eddie—he was funny, lovable, witty, kind, and didn’t deserve to be murdered in cold blood. I got to spend Eddie’s last few minutes on this planet with him before he died, this was the only good thing that finally revealed itself as a blessing from that horrific night. I’m grateful for Eddie’s memory as it continues to be a blessing and reminder of the goodness that once lived. May the victim of Sunday’s shooting be a memory of love and not the way he died. And to the great guiding lights in the Universe that once walked our planet…may you return to our hearts as peace, love, and light.

In hope and love...I am fearless.



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