For Kini Seawright, and all the other women who bury a loved one due to police or prison violence...

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Surviving Susan Lopez: Mother's Day Grief.

One of the hardest, yet most profoundly meaningful, aspects of the work I do is to bear witness to the suffering of others and help them amplify their voices in any number of ways, in hopes that the rest of us are moved enough by them to change the trajectory we're on.

This is the grief of the parents of Susan Lopez, going into this past family-oriented weekend. Soon it will be their first Father's Day without her, each of her kid's birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the anniversaries of her birth, and of her death...

"When Jesus was a prisoner"
Matthew ch 25: v 35

Christmas, 2010
Phoenix, AZ

Rick Lopez and the Flores families have a difficult, deeply painful road ahead yet - all of the survivors of prison violence and neglect do. May we never again need to hear the grief of a mother who has buried her child in order to bring about a fundamental change in how we view and treat each other here, whatever our respective status or class...

Thank you, Sammy and Gina, for sharing this with us. Our condolences to the entire family.

-----------------left with broken hearts #2------------

A few years ago, my husband and I, together with Susan and her husband Rick, built a beautiful horse corral. I bought a mare, and someone gave us this big black gelding. Susan loved him. One day I went outside our 2 1/2 acre home, and I saw Susan on top of Moose, Rick leading the horse with a rope. I couldn`t believe what I saw, Susan riding Moose! She looked like a giant, but she was so happy, it seemed like nothing in the world mattered. Rick looked nervous, and would tell her "come on get down, get down!"

She loved horses like her mom. She loved cats, they were her life. She hated when anyone messed with them. She loved to look at the stars, and loved Jesus with all her heart. Our hobby was taking care of the horses; me and Susan would feed them and bathe them. I will always miss that...

From my horse corrals, about 4 miles from my back yard, you can see a hill with two giant water tanks. My daughter is buried on the other side of that hill. I am torn apart in my heart, its so hard to go feed the horses. Everytime I do, I see that hill, and I think of her. I break down crying; I'm torn apart. I then go to my front yard to sit on my deck. I look to the right and again I see the hill. I drive to town and I see the hill. It hurts, we loved her so much.

If you, the people working in Perryville prison, have any children then you know the love a parent has for their children, if you truly love them. I know me and my husband do; we loved Susan. And if you, the people working at Perryville prison, would have just listened to the cry of a wonderful woman, she may have touched your heart. And you might have change your ways, and done your job right. My daughter Susan would probably still be alive, that's what she was about. A beautiful woman full of love and kindness.

Again, whoever is responsible for the wrongful death of our daughter: God knows the truth. and may he find it in his heart to forgive you.

sammy & gina flores

(dad, mom)