Sunday, February 28, 2021

mourning Kathleen

What a horrifying sight this morning: opening the paper to see a picture of a former memoir writing student, a lovely kind woman, under the headline "Son charged with killing his mother, 69." 

Kathleen took my Ryerson class maybe 15 years ago, maybe more; I liked her and her work so much, she was asked to join my home writing group and came for a while. Her stories haunted me. She was writing about one of her sons who was a violent addict. He'd destroyed things in her home and stolen goods to sell for drugs. Then he was on the streets. She'd make a bag of sandwiches and go trolling the streets of downtown, looking for him. As I recall, he was selling sex for drugs. 

What was so hard to understand was this warm, loving, generous woman with two other seemingly normal children dealing with such horror. She wrote without self-pity, with tremendous courage and honesty. We stayed in touch, and she told me he was clean, off the streets, everything was great. We became FB friends, and I saw her gorgeous quilts, her travels. She wrote to me in the spring of 2019, saying she'd been writing fiction, and though she was still working, she wanted to come back to class, maybe in the fall. I encouraged her to do so. 

I called the police number in the article and left a message; I'm sure I've nothing to contribute, just wanted to tell them this was a long-standing problem that seemed to have been resolved. 

How to understand such a violent fate for such a good human being? 

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