Survivor Resources Children's Support Video
Survivor Resources Volunteer Testimonials Video
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Survivor Resources Survivor Testimonials
The day was warm and sunny for mid-March but we still had some snow on the ground. My girlfriend Sue was getting married at four o'clock at Mears Park in downtown St. Paul. We were celebrating at my house and waiting for Megan and her roommate Angela to come over, and join us in the festivities before the wedding. We waited for hours. I called Megan several times and left messages on her cell phone to call me. I never heard from her. It was time to leave for the wedding and I thought Megan and Angela would show up a little late. She and Angela never came. I continued to call her cell phone during the evening but we never spoke to one another again. I called her brothers,Tim and Marty, who were working at Eli's--a restaurant in downtown Minneapolis--to see if they had talked to her or if anyone had seen her that day. Both of my sons knew that Megan was going to the wedding and were surprised that she never showed up or called me. Of course I was concerned, and then that concern turned into deep worry. I was scared.
It was later in the evening--towards the end of the wedding reception--when we received the news that Megan was dead. No one could explain to us how or why so we went to the Minneapolis Police Department. My sons met us there along with at least 15 of Megan's friends to have our questions answered. It was all so confusing, sad and totally unbelievable that this could have happened to anyone we knew let alone our daughter and sister Megan. In the early morning hours, we were finally told that Megan had been murdered in her own apartment. None of us could believe what we were hearing and of course, that old word denial was running rampant in our brains and heart.
Megan, who was so full of life and love, was now gone. Dead. Murdered.
Megan embraced life. She made all those around her laugh, dance, sing and even cry. It was as if she had invisible magnets drawing everyone close to her. She was truly loved and admired by her family and friends. She was so much fun to be with. She was a very loving lady, very protective of others and extremely outspoken. Megan was a beautiful, young woman who was proud of her accomplishments and those of others. Always ready to help anyone in any way she could. She was a very unique individual. She was genuine--one of a kind.
Megan decided that cooking was her forté. She was accepted into the Culinary Arts program at Arts Institute International in Minneapolis. She was thrilled. She excelled in the program making the Dean's List every quarter. She graduated with honors and received her degrees in Associate of Applied Science and Culinary Arts.
Megan was then hired at Shalom Home to work in the Roitenberg Center as a chef. She was so happy to be with the elderly, the people she truly admired and loved. She had only worked there for a few months before she was murdered.
During this terrible time, we were contacted by Victim Intervention Program Inc., which is now known as Survivor Resources. I can't explain to you how wonderful they were to our family. Every single question was answered as quickly as possible by Dina, our counselor. Dina worked at the Minneapolis Police Department and was our lifeline to the detectives involved with solving Megan's murder. Survivor Resources continued to stay with our family throughout the investigation process, the trial and sentencing. An angel was sent from God to us during that terrible time and her name is Dina.
I can't begin to imagine not having Survivor Resources in my life when I needed more help than ever before. They gave me my life back. I am truly indebted to them and so I have tried to honor Megan by having an annual fundraiser in her memory with all proceeds going to Survivor Resources. This is our 6th annual fundraiser and with each year it has grown more and more.
I have stayed in contact with Survivor Resources since Megan's death. I have become quite involved with their other fundraisers. I am now on the board of Survivor Resources and trying to reach out, and help others who have had such devastating events happen in their lives.
My sincerest thanks to Survivor Resources and Dina who have helped us survive and grow through this incredibly devastating nightmare.
This Christmas holiday marks my second without Josh. The holidays had always been such joyful times of family togetherness. Me and my boys. Having two sons has been a challenge and a delight. They helped shape me as a person and define my boundaries so I could help them define theirs. So much has changed since the Christmas of 1997.
Josh unwrapped a navy sweater, plaid cotton shirt and khaki pants. He was a clothes hound and always devoured the newest fashions. Shopping for him was easy. I would look for a young adult clerk that donned the most recent fad and ask him what outfit he would buy. I purchased it and was almost always on target. Josh and his brother put their new Christmas clothes on for the family picture in front of the tree. They looked so handsome and so grown up. The next time I saw Josh in that Christmas outfit was in his casket on February 3, 1998.
Josh will now be 22 forever. His younger brother will join him at that age this next year. They were never supposed to be the same age, Josh was three years older. Because of eight angry young men, the younger brother is now an only child.
Without the Survivor Resources, I would never be able to write these words. Think these words. Say these words. The support, love and guidance I have gained from your weekly homicide survival groups has made it possible for me to face Josh’s death. Moms are not supposed to bury their children. Unfortunately and luckily, I know I am not the only mom to face this horror.
Through Survivor Resources, I’ve met many wonderful parents. Parents, who like me, were just skipping (sometimes limping) along, doing their best and loving their kids. Looking into the face of another homicide survivor whose eyes reflect my disbelief and indescribably intense pain, gives me comfort. It helps to share the insanity that results when a loved one is murdered. Most importantly, to share it with someone else that "gets it." "Getting this" is something I never dreamed I would be doing.
Healing from homicide is a long road. Twenty-three months ago I was unable to believe that healing was even possible. Twenty three months later, because of Survivor Resources, I know it is possible. There are people in your groups that have endured lots longer than I and are stronger people for it. I want to become one of those strong people too. I am immensely grateful to know that the intense pain can relent and that when it surfaces, I have folks to help me get through it.
When I was shopping the other day, I saw a shirt that would have made Josh’s intense blue eyes dance off his face. For a fleeting second, my mind was wrapping it for Christmas. But I won’t be shopping for Josh again this Christmas. Other homicide survivors will not be shopping for their loved ones either. I have learned that by sharing this pain together, we can find some individual peace.
Thank you for giving me hope for peace. Thank you for guiding me through the most horrendous pain I’ve ever known. Thank you for helping me understand the insanity that murder brings to your life. Thank you for helping my surviving son survive. Thank you for helping us put the shattered pieces of our family back together. We have strides to make yet but without you, your program, your wonderful volunteers and my fellow survivors, I fear where we might be (or not be) today.