I have learned about the resilience of human spirit, of how strong we are when before we had no idea of what we had within us. I have also learned of angels among the devils. Writing about evil has reaffirmed my belief angels exist here on earth, tucking back their wings to appear normal. Many times, these angels are crime survivors.
I call those left to mourn in the wake of a crime “crime survivors,” for the crime that took a life has touched them. A crime survivor can be a father whose child was murdered, an employee who called in sick the night his fellow employees were slain, or the child who never knew her father because he was killed in a robbery. A crime survivor can be a congregation, a neighborhood, a town, reeling in shock and sadness after a crime.
We have to understand that in seconds anyone can become a crime survivor; it is a role no one ever wants or plans for. The crime survivors I have met celebrate the ones they lost for who they were while alive; the survivors know they lost more than just "a victim of crime." Survivors become family when meeting one another, having met someone who understands them. From them I learned life lessons.
I have learned that, so many times, there are no easy answers; sometimes, there are no answers.
I have learned “bravery” and “surviving” has various definitions. I have met officers who were not just a uniform and a badge, but a soul and a heart; they represent the majority of officers despite what the mass media has anyone believing.
Is my job sad? Sure, there are sad times. But I have learned about life by writing about murder. I have crime survivors, and the loved ones they lost, to thank for the lessons.