Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sentencing Hearing Yesterday

I attended the sentencing hearing yesterday for the motorist who struck Casey. The hearing had been scheduled and postponed many times and that itself took a toll so we agreed to the plea bargain on one of the two traffic violations. That is really all that was available under New Jersey law. I did talk about Casey and how good hearted she was and how she would have liked to have seen a kinder and gentler world and how those who knew her, and even strangers ,were trying to do service or just be kinder to others in her memory. It had been troubling to us that the motorist and his family had not reached out to us and even sent a sympathy card. I had been informed that was due to the advice of the motorist's lawyer. I had thought about that advice quite a bit before the hearing.After the hearing the motorist's wife came up to me and spoke with me about how they had wanted to reach out but kept being told by the lawyer that they should not. the wife of the motorist told me that she looks at Casey's site often and has had us in her prayers. I was deeply moved . As a result I sent a letter to the editor of The Atlantic City Press hoping that it would be published and perhaps that lawyers could think before giving the advice not to reach out to the victim's family.

Related Links:
Lawyers, let clients express sympathy to victims, by Joel Feldman, published in the Press of Atlatic City,3-26-2010

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Being there to simply listen

After Casey died I was not very comforted by those who told me that God had a plan or that time heals. Those who tried to tell me what path my grief would take or predict how long I would grieve just raised my anger and resistance. It was tantamount to lecturing and I did not want to be lectured. As a result I did learn what was helpful for me-to allow me the dignity to grieve as I needed to and provide support without the unsolicited advice. In thinking about it it seems that everyone really wants that whether grieving or not--to be respected and permitted to find their own way knowing that there are others who will support us on that path and will simply listen. So I thank all those who did so and also thanks to those who could not just listen-they have helped me as well in figuring out what I need and how I can approach others and be there for them in the future . I have also come to realize that I do not need to put the pressure on myself to "solve" others problems through my advice as I probably cannot...but I can act in a fashion to support others by allowing them to find thir own way and in doing so strengthen the relationships that really count. Thanks to Tess for listening so well this weekend and to so many others these last 7 months.