"These sidewalk funerals need to stop."

Yesterday afternoon, a 7 yr old girl and her mother were walking home from school in a Boston, Massachusetts suburb.  Another mother, in an SUV, sped down that same street, jumped the curb, took out a fire hydrant, a fence and killed the 7 yr old girl.  Her mother was seriously injured.  The mother driving the SUV was drunk.

At the scene of the accident today were flowers, stuffed animals, reporters, loved ones, strangers, tears, prayers. People visiting the site were interviewed and expressed outrage, sadness, sympathy, empathy. One woman’s expression and words stood out the most to me. She wasn’t crying, although there was pain on her face. Pain that ran deep and raw; pain that time could do nothing to heal.  She spoke with the kind of loving and sorrowful ache in her voice I would imagine God Himself feels when he looks down on what we do to each other.  She said, “These sidewalk funerals need to stop.”

Sidewalk. Alone, with friends, with family.  Going to an appointment, taking a break from work, getting exercise, getting fresh air, enjoying nature, exploring food/sights/adventures. Exposed. In neighborhoods. 

Funerals.  Dying. Killing. With cars, guns, knives, drugs, fists, words, indifference.  Conscious  decisions to kill. Conscious decisions to not care nor think about how choices will effect others.  Not being able to recognize the value in a life if it has no value to me.

But every life has value to someone.  A partner, friend, co-worker, sister, brother, parent, child. We need to get that, believe that, see that, because These sidewalk funerals need to stop.”

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