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Anita Blake

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This news article made me cry a little. But it also gave me a glimmer of hope for humanity, in a strange and weird way, so I'm sharing it.

Backstory: last week in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, 5 people were found dead in a home - a couple, two of their children (but not the youngest, a 1 year old) and the woman who rented the basement suite from them. It's since been determined that it was a murder-suicide, that the husband had been having troubles sleeping, and was stressed, or something. Basically, he went nuts and killed his family and tenant, and then himself.

The murder shocked the city, it was in a really sleepy neighborhood that I know well, it's very close to where I grew up as a small child, where I used to spend a lot of my late teens. So it's received a lot of publicity and such locally.

The article is about a news conference held by the family of the renter prior to the funeral. Her family's strength and positive attitude at such a time are absolutely amazing. There is no finger-pointing, no teary-eyed plea to fix the system, no blaming of people who should have seen the signs and stopped the man before he murdered their daughter.

It's a touching reminder that tragic things happen to wonderful people who simply don't deserve it, and that even in grief, humans can be gracious.

(for those too lazy to click the link, an edited version)
Quote Originally Posted by CBC
Refusing to focus on the crime that took Amber Bowerman's life, her family shared stories about the 30-year-old's adventures, even laughing a few times at a Calgary news conference as they recalled a beautiful woman with a quick wit.

"Amber was a star. The party didn't start until Amber walked in," said Bowerman's aunt, Lolly James, on Tuesday.

"She was the most entertaining woman you could ever meet. She had a quick wit.... She was not only beautiful on the outside."

Bowerman was killed last Tuesday by her landlord, Joshua Lall, in the basement suite she rented before he went on to fatally stab his wife Alison, two young daughters and then himself.

Police said she was taken by surprise because there were no signs of a struggle. Bowerman's dinner was still on the stove and an open bottle of wine was nearby.

An e-mail sent by Alison Lall that day outlined how her husband had been under stress at work and unable to sleep for a prolonged period of time.

Bowerman's mother, Susan Webb, was asked Tuesday if the family is grappling with questions of "what if?", given that her daughter could have been somewhere else that night.

"Yes, there are but we can't change that," she said. "Unfortunately, she was at the wrong place at the wrong time but we can't dwell on that. We have to move forward and carry on her life."

So it was Bowerman's life, not death, that dominated the news conference her family held Tuesday at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, where she studied journalism and worked at the student newspaper.

"I want people to know what a wonderful daughter that I had and how much she made everybody happy," said Webb, explaining why she agreed to speak to the media.

"So yeah, talking about her, having people hear some things that maybe they didn't know about her, or even people that did know her, I think it's a comfort, it really is."

"It's the world's loss, not just ours," added James.

Webb said the family has honoured, in its own way, the moment her daughter died.

"She had opened a bottle of wine, so she was cooking her supper, she was having a bottle of wine. So when we got the things from her house, we took the rest of the wine with us and went to my dad's and we all had a sip and a toast to Amber, because I know that's what she'd want."

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  1. Apoc's Avatar
    celebration of ones life i feel is always far more honouring to the departed than grieving their death.
  2. Anita Blake's Avatar
    oh, i agree. we did something like that for my grandfather, because he didn't want a funeral, and it was really nice. What struck me about this though was that it was a news conference held for a murder victim, and those are usually so strewn with tears and finger pointing about who could have done what to prevent this awful loss. I think that the way this family has publicly handled their grief in regards to the vulture-like media is just beautiful. That they avoid the "what if"s and the might have beens and move forward to deal with the "is" with such grace is inspiring. It makes me hope that (god forbid) if anything horrific like that should ever happen to me, I should have half that much grace and courage.


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