Hard to Believe —18 Years

I find it hard to believe that Christopher’s death was almost 18 years ago (March 21, 1996).  I sit here writing this and feeling very grateful for the happiness and peace I feel today.  I never thought I would be here.  The 364th day of the first year, I didn’t want to go to sleep.  I couldn’t believe I had been alive a year without Christopher.  Now, as 18 years have gone by, I am grateful for the gentle passing of time.  Time has allowed me to embrace life again.

It brings tears to my eyes that I am living through every parent’s worst nightmare and sitting here writing about a happy life.  18 years ago, it would have been impossible for me to write this.  I was a puddle on the floor and I had no idea how I would make it to the next second…and certainly could not even consider my future without my son, Christopher.

I look at the world with different lenses because of my experiences.  Christopher’s murder was a huge part of that. We are all an accumulation of what we learn along our journey.  And how we use that experience and knowledge in our everyday lives is a choice.  My choice has been to listen more, be kind in every second of the day, treasure my family and friends, and be grateful for even the smallest wonders.  I extend myself to care for as much as I can around me.  Some days I feel the whole world weight on my shoulders, but I carry it with as much grace as I can. 

I have been working with individuals and families since Christopher was murdered.  Being able to help people is a blessing. I feel obligated (in the nicest sense) to help people through what I have also experienced.  I can be a gentle guide through an extremely difficult time. 

My book, “Griefprints – A Practical Guide for Supporting a Grieving Person” http://griefprints.com/griefprints-book/ has also been an extension of my work.  It is my calling card, and many people have found it helpful.  “Griefprints” sales have raised money for a great organization that I have been involved with since Christopher was murdered, The Compassionate Friends. https://www.compassionatefriends.org  I have also used it to raise money for others, such as the Tim Griffith Foundation http://timgriffithfoundation.org/ and Hospice of Eastern Idaho www.hospiceofeasternidaho.com 

A HUGE thank you goes out to all my family and friends who have been along the journey with me.  You all know who you are — and I am deeply grateful for your love and support.  I cannot imagine how I would feel today without the stabilizing love around me.  Thank you!

 Christopher

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6 Responses to Hard to Believe —18 Years

  1. glen lord says:

    Thank you for sharing your love for Christopher and for all you do. thoughts and prayers are with you

  2. Antje Steinhoff says:

    Dear Radha,

    I always think of you and Christopher. My daughter Annika died 2 days before him, so we are close down the road of grieving (did I express this right in English?)
    All the best for you and a big hug
    connected by our children

    Antje

  3. stacy says:

    Beautiful, Radha! Sending love your way. xoxo

  4. Nancy says:

    Radha, as always such sincere, loving thoughts that bring comfort to lots of your friends and happy to be part of your life.

  5. It is a wonder, A bewilderment. I remember standing in your kitchen with Dorothy . I was out for the Victim’s March and I think your trial was just over. You were so new and I was so old at murder…

    This November 2nd it will be 30 years since my brother Paul was murdered. We still don’t know where his body is, or even if it is a body. I said we, but I meant me. I’ve recently lost Mother and Dave and I was unable to give her what I wanted most (besides Ng executed), her son back in Ohio where she could have him close and safe.

    I don’t forgive. Of course, murder is not every day with me anymore but you know it was for 15 years – from looking for nearly a year for Paul after he disappeared to Ng’s capture and extradition from Canada,to his eight month trial and finally, conviction. Thirty years and even though I consciously left Ng in that last courtroom I can tell you the license plate of the car Paul was selling 592ZWX and the exact moment and how I felt when his girlfriend, Marilyn called and asked me if there had been a family emergency because she couldn’t find Paul.

    Thirty long years and 18 long years. I don’t think there is healing except where the hurt is scabs over so it doesn’t bleed with every move. I just think you take the hurt and rise above it in an absolute refusal to become another victim.

    I think we’ve both done that.

  6. Your writing gives me hope that there may come a time in my future when I can experience moments of peace. Right now (22 months since my son was killed) I still find his absence unbelievable and unreal.
    Thank you for your blog and your book!

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