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Valentine’s Day I had planned a reveal; there was to be excitement, fun, recipes, gifts, giveaways, and announcements for women worldwide.

Instead my heart is aching. It’s not a time I can converse with humor…. laughter has fallen from my lips. My heart is bleeding.

Women, we are connected through empathy. When we miscarry, we understand and comfort the pain our friends feel when they suffer the same loss. If we conquer abuse, betrayal, or neglect, we become unsolicited qualifiers of compassion for our sisterhood. And when we see the searing pain of gun violence against the innocent, the experienced soul bleeds deeper.

My grandfather lost his life in a similar senseless shooting- but not with a tool that was designed to maximize extensive casualties, back then it took a hunting rifle and close range, and a somewhat precise shot. You had to be skilled enough and close enough to look them in the eye. The way we murder has changed, and the tools that we use continue to mutate to keep up pace…

Whether it be the senseless loss of one life or on a massive scale where scores of parents receive chilling good-byes via text, the pain and trauma a family endures can only be understood by one who has felt it.

One of my best friends on team Lucy was JUST “that” mother. The mother who received a goodbye text from her daughter while being sprayed with bullets in Las Vegas. Together we texted and watched in real time as we got minute by minute updates, praying that communication would keep coming. The silent minutes that passed while she stopped to apply compressions to the wounded were torture. You come out of it with such a sense of relief yet an impending sense of guilt because you saw the person next to you fall. Another mother’s child did not come home. How can you feel grateful?

She now works to help survivors of post traumatic stress incidents to process and surrender trauma. It is not easy. Healing is such a complicated (but achievable) process. She is qualified for this work. Empathy.

On days like today…. I have so much to process. So much hurt, so much pain, so much need for release. We can be better. Being better calls for change.

The experienced soul bleeds deeper…may you never be one. May progress occur before it is your heart, your tears, your children. For every time this occurs, I stop…. gasp… and with those families to whom I feel connected….

I cry.

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