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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Pam M

Dear Pam,

Well it has been just over eight years since Jasmine died and yet you still feel as though it were yesterday. You still feel the same amount of grief and the same amount of regret and guilt. 

You think of her and her death daily, often wondering what she would be like if she were still alive. What would she look like? What would her laugh sound like? It is time to let yourself accept that fact that you will never know those things. You will never know who she would have been, just like you didn’t know she was being abused and you could have never imagined she would be murdered. You had no way of knowing the horrible pain she was going through and that ultimately, her young life would end as a result of it. 

You need to stop beating yourself up over this, you couldn’t have stopped it because you didn’t know it was happening. She couldn’t tell you, she was too small, just 12 weeks old and he did his best to hide it. What you need to remember are the promises you made to Jasmine that day in the hospital, the day she died.  

You promised to always fight for her, to do what you could to see that he was punished and to make sure her death was not in vein, and you have done all of those things. You wasted no time and have done more than even you imagined you would. You instantly become the glue that held your family together. You made phone calls, alerted the press, put pressure on the DA’s office and demanded justice. 

That was just the beginning of what you would accomplish. You have become Co-Chair and President of two different non-profits, both designed to help victims. You have helped bills get passed in congress, making rights better for victims everywhere. You have told Jasmine’s story to inmates, parole boards, service providers, really anyone that would listen, all with the intent of educating them, hoping to prevent others from going through what she did. You have supported victims and their families, letting them know they are not alone and offering them empathy and support. 

Most importantly, you have fought everyday since Jasmines death, to put and keep her killer behind bars and you have been successful at it. You have convinced parole board after parole board that he should not be released and because of that, he is still in prison. You have faced him and his family and managed to carry yourself with dignity, often reminding yourself that you have something to accomplish, keeping him in prison. Until now, you have done so and you did it bravely and honestly. 

You are now feeling guilt because he will be released soon and you no longer have a say, his release date is mandatory, he has served his sentence. You need to remember that this is one thing you can’t fight and if you could, Jasmine knows that you would. 

She knows all you have done for her and in her memory. She knows that you love her immensely, miss her always and continue to grieve her daily. Jasmine knows that had you known she was being abused, you would have stopped it. You would have given your life to save hers and she knows that you wish you could have. Jasmine loves you and loves what you are doing to help others. You kept your promises, you went above and beyond and you’re helping others in the process. 

It is time to forgive yourself, Pam. It is time to forgive yourself for not being able to save her, medicine and the best doctors couldn’t do it, why do you think you should have been able to? It is time to give yourself some credit for what you have done and allow yourself to move forward while continuing to help others. You need to accept that she is gone but that she is ok. She is not being hurt anymore, she is happy and that is how you should think of her. 

Replace the images you have of her from the hospital with new ones of her, happy, in heaven, smiling down on you, thankful for all you’ve done. Jasmine does not hold you responsible in any way and you should not either. Jasmine loves her Auntie Pam. Jasmine is proud of you Pam and you should be too. 

Love,

Jasmine's Aunt Pam
   

15 comments:

Aimee said...

I had to read this three times before I could read it without crying. We are all so lucky for your strength. You may never know the other lives you have touched and even saved, and in that, even if the pain and loss will always remain, a brighter light and beauty shines above it. Thank you for all that you have done.

pjm24 said...

Thank you Aimee, I really appreciate your comments. Thank you!

Tami said...

Dear Pam, that was the most beautiful piece i have ever read it really touched me, you are a blessing from god for Jasmine and everyone else. you worked so hard for her and believe me she knows that, she will always be with her Auntie Pam, and now just keep working hard for a more brighter, loving,understanding, excepting, ect.. I could go on and on! life for YOU!!! Because thats how you are, you deserve it..
Thank You, Tami

pjm24 said...

Thank you Tami! You are always very supportive and I appreciate it! Muah!

Stephs78 said...

Sometimes letting go of guilt is the hardest task of all. Jasmine's short life touched our whole family and she will never be forgotten. You've gone above and beyond as and aunt and an advocate for her cause. Kudos to you, you're an inspiration! Lil J would be proud of you. :)

pjm24 said...

Steph,

I got choked up reading your comment, thank you. :)

Pamela

Steve said...

WOW! You are truly an Amazing women.You are unbelievably BEAUTIFUL inside and out.You have enlightened and inspired us all with your continues fight to keep your promise to Jasmine. I am very proud of the person you are, and the women you have become.Your a caring friend,devoted mom,better second half,and an aunt who kept her promise.I am very fortunate to be able to call you my SUNSHINE....Jasmine is always smiling on her Auntie Pam. Keep up the good work sweetie.

Iman Woods Creative said...

Oh my goodness, Steve! Your post is sweeter than honey. What a lucky couple that you have each other. :)

pjm24 said...

Steve,
I must admit I was very surprised to see your post, pleasantly surprised. I appreciate your kind words, and your support. You have reminded me many times that Jasmine is proud of me and for that, I thank you. Your post made me smile, giggle and even blush a little! Thanks babe...love, Your Sunshine

Anonymous said...

Pam,
All I can say is WOW! You are an amazing woman and a wonderful role model. Thank you for sharing!

Dulcet Bella said...

Let me start off by saying that you are the TRUE definition of a hero. This is one of the most beautiful yet truly heart breaking pieces I have read in a long time. Reading this reminds me why I follow the path on speaking up against child and animal abuse. Why I devote my time to CASA.

YOU are not only inspirational but an angel that keeps advocating for not only the niece that was lost but the innocent lives that have and are affected by the tragedy that is child abuse. You are a PROTECTOR. For this I can't not thank you enough, even though I do not know you personally, you are a hero to me.

I hope you don't mind if I share this the woman at CASA. You have a beautiful and amazing heart.

-Karina

Iman Woods Creative said...

Pam, I hope you already know... if not I'm tellin' you NOW: I admire you so much! You're amazing. inside, out, up down and sideways.

Anonymous said...

You are so beautiful.

Aimee said...

Pam, I love this letter. I have read it to many people, and I thank you for writing it.

Amanda said...

You are such an inspiration! Keep doing what you are doing because it makes you the amazing woman that you are. Love and prayers to you.

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