The current issue of Peacework magazine has a great article about Tina Chery, whose 15-year-old son Louis was killed in Boston in 2003. Here's an excerpt:
As survivors, if we can bring ourselves to tell our stories in public, people listen to us in a way that they don't listen to many others. I talk about my personal journey. I'm finding a way of dealing with the trauma. We need to learn how to celebrate and develop our resilience. When we can do that, we bring life back into our lives and into the lives of our communities.
We create peacemaking circles for survivors to focus on the principles of peace. How do we begin to live life for our living children? How do we honor the memory of those we have lost while celebrating the living? How do you want to choose to work with the police and the criminal justice system? How are you taking care of yourself? These circles give us the tools to live again, like someone recovering from an accident re-learning how to walk.
I try to channel my anger at losing Louis into motivation to work for peace. Before Louis was killed, I was in favor of the death penalty. It took my son being killed before I could oppose any more killing. Those of us survivors who share these views show that peace is possible. We are not working for vengeance.