I was unsurprised earlier this week to read a headline at the Huffington Post Canada site that a man in Saskatchewan had murdered his girlfriend LaTasha Gosling and three of four of their kids. Completely and utterly unsurprised. Violence against women and children is an epidemic on my planet so these headlines no longer surprise me. I barely even get angry any more when I see the faces of the victims in the news. I mean, it's not like women aren't raped or murdered by their partners or someone known to them, in every country, at every socioeconomic level, every day. Every day. It's just another day for us; it's getting too easy to read the headlines and say "I'm just glad it wasn't me".
Before any of the details of the relationship between the victims and their murderer was released I called it; "Let me guess", I said in HuffPo comment on the original story, "they recently broke up, and in a rage of 'If I can't have you, noone can!' idiocy, the coward in question murdered his girlfriend and her three children from the previous marriage, then killed himself." I did call it. It was later revealed by a friend of LaTasha's that indeed, she and the murderer had broken up a few days earlier, at LaTasha's insistence. He not only killed her and her kids, but took photos of their bodies and sent them via text to the cell of LaTasha's ex and the children's father. This didnt' surprise me either, honestly. It's sick and twisted but it's also perfectly in tune with a guy who would murder four people, three of them under the age of ten, because of a break up.What a selfish, entitled asshole.
The only surprise in this whole thing was for me that he spared the baby, a six month old girl, and drove her 130km away from the scene to leave her with someone else before he killed himself in that person's home. I guess blood IS thicker than water. That wee child is an orphan now, but thankfully too young to remember any of the carnage.
To be honest I'm not even sure why I wanted to write about this. Maybe I just wanted to point out that even in Canada, a country with such a good reputation, shit like this still happens. It happens a lot more if you're a First Nations woman, or poor, or a person of colour. I think also I don't want that family to be forgotten. It's only been three days since the story broke but it took me nearly five minutes of searching the CBC website to find an article to refresh my memory. The ache of loss, the horror of it, will resonate within LaTasha's family and friends for the rest of their life.
Things like this shouldn't be so common place that I can scroll past them without bothering to read it, knowing already what's inside; the same dark tale told a hundred thousand times and always written in blood.
LaTasha Gosling, 27.
Her children include two girls, Janyaa, 4, and Jenika, 8, and a boy, Landen, 7.
May they rest in peace, and may their killer recieve the punishment he deserves in the Afterlife, whatever that may be.
It's been nine months since we decided to try and make a go of it in the Soo, to work with Skyline at their apartments, build friendships, strengthen family ties and soak up the North instead of going back to Vancouver Island. Skyline dumped us a month before Christmas and we spent the winter at my inlaw's again, dreaming of spring. Some friendships have faded, some have grown, and family is more family than ever. The last year and a half has been a bitter pill but it's also taught me so much about compassion and empathy, communication, gratitude, and grace. Trying to handle this ongoing situation with grace hasn't always been easy, or even possible, but I'm learning. The nine months leading up to creating a new person isn't easy, but it shouldn't be. Stripping away the layers of accumulated damage and debris is work. Delving deep into who I am and who I want to be, and becoming that person, is work. Grace carries me.
Grace keeps me from resenting my situation and allows instead for being thankful for what I do have.
Grace keeps a (mostly) civil tongue in my head during frustrating situations, or helps me to say nothing at all.
Grace asks "Is it kind? Is it true? Is it needed?" before speaking. Or at least it tries. I'm no angel.
Grace reminds me to say 'thank you' as often as possible to those who deserve to hear it, and they are legion. So many people are helping us get our feet back under us, helping with the kids, but especial thanks go as always to my inlaws. We might get under each other's skin now and then but at the end of the day I know they've got my back.
Grace lets me pour my heart out to those who need to hear it when I need to say it and creates true understanding and connection with no room for misunderstanding.
I don't have the spoons for a lot these days, but with a tentative plan in place for finally for real moving out on our own for this fall, I dare to dream of things again.