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Saturday, November 28, 2015

Murder on the Lawn - Part 3

There were a few things that I found troubling and disturbing.  One was the graphic nature of the incident.  The other was just the presence of police and flashing lights - these sent me back to 16 years ago in the hours following the burglary that launched our lives together.  (Here's the first part of THAT story :) )The one difference is that I sensed no fear - there were no criminals in the immediate vicinity out to do no good to us specifically.  But the tragedy, the mess, the sadness, the unexpectedness of it all - these were a burden in and of themselves.  I'm trying to keep this past tense - to reflect on it and gain distance, for my own reasons.

Back inside, we finally went to bed.  Throughout the previous couple hours we had been calm and engaged with those around us.  When our heads hit the pillow that calm somewhat vanished.  A sense of caffeine-rush washed over both of us.  We were awoken twice in the night - police checking in for various things.  I woke up at 4 a.m, to not be able to sleep again.  The following six nights were like this - nightmares and awake every couple hours.  Thankfully, I've been able to get a couple nights of more normal sleep, though nightmares persist.

The day after this happened, we learned that the man had died there on our lawn.  Initially I had hoped he might make it - and since it wasn't for us to ask or know, we weren't sure of his condition as we slept that night.

Death does not bother me.  But the violence does.  Senseless aggression.  And being exposed to it sparked a grief in me I couldn't explain away.

Here are some reflections on life, and death

Murder on the Lawn - Part 2

The man was friendly - shaking - and, to put your mind at ease, yes, there were police all over and I did not think twice about inviting him inside.

The question has been posed to me: Did you really need to go out there?  Why didn't you just let the police do their work?  Why did you get involved?  Do you have a morbid curiosity that draws you into these things?  The answer to these isn't entirely clear to me.  No, I didn't 'need' to go out there.  Was I drawn by curiosity?  Yes, no doubt.  Is it morbid curiosity?  Maybe - I can't be sure.  I didn't exactly mean to get involved - or maybe I did.  I can't examine my own tendencies at this point.  I merely saw activity and wandered out there to be of service.  I didn't take the time to think it through and decide if it was the best thing to do at the time.  I guess these are things I'm not going to know fully, so I'll let the questions remain.

Once inside I could see the man was somewhat in a state of shock - he had driven up to the stop sign, seen the man lying on our lawn and jumped out to administer CPR.  He successfully started him breathing a few times, but then he would stop.  He kept going 'til the paramedics arrived.  He took no regard for himself, or his own comfort, but stepped up to nobly administer the immediate help that was needed.  He is to be applauded for his heroism - whoever he is.  I don't know his name.

We got him to a sink and provided towels and bagged up his bloody clothes.  I offered for him to sit for a while, but he declined.  I kind of went into 'mommy-mode' - 'Can I get you some tea? Coffee? Wine?' 'Take deep breaths.  You're okay.'  That kind of thing.  As long as there is someone to look after, I can manage okay, I guess.

Once back outside I stood and waited for the police to gather our statements.  I won't repeat what I heard; it's a bit too detailed and unnecessary.  I had no statement to give other than 'I didn't see anything.'

It turns out it was a gang-related murder, which is one reason I feel so safe here (we aren't involved in gangs, thankfully).

Click Here for Part 3

Murder on the Lawn - Part 1

I'll admit it: blogging helps me process life, sometimes.  So, here I go - processing this past week.

Our neighbourhood is very safe.  We enjoy a quiet, almost country-like feel where we live - our lawn has mature pine trees and we sit a bit back from the street, but not so far back we don't see what happens out there.

Usually I am asleep at 11 p.m.  But a week ago we had a young friend over to stay the weekend.  She and I were up late chatting about general life stuff - you know how that is, I suppose.

We noticed police lights outside.  Normally I wouldn't bother checking it out.  But there were multiple emergency vehicles - three police cars, then an ambulance.  A car was stopped at our corner and three people were standing there huddled in the cold, without coats.  I grabbed shoes, as I noticed a man laying on the lawn.  I didn't want to disturb Sam, but he awoke and I merely said, "I think there's a guy passed out or dead on our front lawn.  Don't get up.  I'll be back in a few."  Of course Sam, bleary-eyed, ignored this and got up to see what was happening.  And of course I was cool-headed and just operated on a 'what-can-I-do' mentality.

I walked out to where the activity was and talked to the people gathered around.  A man was shaking and bloody and holding his hands away from himself, talking about all that had happened.  Police were there taking statements.  I offered for the man to clean up in our house.

Click here for Part 2.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Come, ye Disconsolate

A favourite hymn of mine.  I played it yesterday - here it is:

Come, ye disconsolate, where’er ye languish,
Come to the mercy seat, fervently kneel.
Here bring your wounded hearts, here tell your anguish;
Earth has no sorrow that heav’n cannot heal.

Joy of the desolate, light of the straying,
Hope of the penitent, fadeless and pure!
Here speaks the Comforter, tenderly saying,
“Earth has no sorrow that heav’n cannot cure.”

Here see the bread of life, see waters flowing
Forth from the throne of God, pure from above.
Come to the feast of love; come, ever knowing
Earth has no sorrow but heav’n can remove.

I recorded myself playing it yesterday:

Click here to listen to the music.