An Open Letter to Mrs. Fryburg

Originally Publish October 25th 2014

Dear Mrs Fryberg*, I want you to know that I don't blame you. As the media sends a fire storm, your community turns it back and your family stares confused, I don't blame you for what happened yesterday. I know you were a good mama, doing everything you could to give your son the best life. And it sounds like he had a very lovely life, and that can only be because his mama loved him dearly.

As the news broke yesterday my mind immediately went to you. I thought of you welcoming your son into this world fourteen years ago. You watched your sons first steps, you probably recorded them and sent them in with him for his all about me project in elementary school. Those pictures probably came home crinkled in his back pack, and you just shook your head and laughed to yourself, because boys will be boys! You wiped his tears when he went to kindergarten and prayed he wouldn't be left out come middle school. You watched his football games and cheered him on, you watched him begin to grow into a man and you wondered how that little baby could now be so big.

You did your best as a mama, I truly believe that. There is nothing different you could have done, nothing more. This is not your fault.

Yesterday, and in the coming days (months) you will hear about all the mothers who lost a child today as well. There will be angry news reports, people will put your son on the altar and crucify him over and over. You will hear your own name and those of your family. People want someone to crucify, that is all they have ever wanted. But I am writing simply to tell you that I know you lost a child today as well. Your loss is just as valuable. Your child just as valuable.

I also know that unlike all the mamas who lost their babies today, you feel abandoned. There is no news outlet reporting how amazing your son was (I am sure he was!), there is no town gathering around you to support you in your grief. So today although you mourn the loss of your son, you also mourn the loss of your community. I am writing to let you know that there is a greater community of people across the world who are praying specifically for you. We are people who believe love is a choice and no amount of hate can change things. We are a group of people who saw the amish go to the shooters family in 2007 and with tears in our eyes we exclaimed that what we saw was radical forgiveness, and grace and love, and it was truly the only way to live ones life fully in Christ. It is truly the only way to live any life really.

Today I write your sons name next to the many others. He will not be forgotten to me, I will remember him as another victim, a victim to a brutal world that is not kind to any of us. I will remember him as being taken from this world much too soon. A victim to harshness that is not easy, and can steal innocence much too soon. A victim to feelings that would make even the strongest monks fall to their knees, an agony that only pangs of the soul can cause.

With Grace,

*Mother of Jaylen Fryberg the identified Marysville Pilchuck shooter

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