To the Woman Found Dead in the Lake

I’m sorry we were half hoping you’d fallen in. Were drunk or on drugs or running with a “bad crowd.”

An accident, not a murder.

Even though all we knew was…nothing really. You were walking home late after work. Your body found the next morning.

But we protected ourselves with these stories because we were scared.

I’m sorry you had to leave your four year-old child behind. Won’t be there to comfort her. Tell her everything will be okay.

One day she will learn what happened. And that is not something I want her to know. To feel.

Confusion. Grief. Eventually, fear.

And always, a longing for you.

I’m sorry the man who killed you was known to be broken. Yet even with his history of violence, he was free to walk among us. As if he were normal. As if that were normal.

He was homeless. Desperately poor. Probably mentally ill. I’m sorry for him, too.

I’m sorry we live in a world where women are killed by men. Raped by men. Where we are not more outraged and shocked.

Instead we are numb.

I talked to some friends yesterday.  “At least they caught him,” we said. As if catching him means we’re safe.

I’m sorry that your story will fade into so many others. Hundreds and thousands of stories. Too many to count.

To be forgotten in a week or so. When the next headline featuring some version of the same story comes out.

For this, I am the most sorry of all.


4 thoughts on “To the Woman Found Dead in the Lake

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