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There seems to be a string of young women being killed by partners recently. This past weekend, the 20-year-old daughter of an acquaintance was gunned down. I cannot imagine what she is going through. I used to teach this woman painting, and every so often I would get to meet more of the family, her poor daughter Milan included. The last time I saw Milan was a couple years ago, just before her family was to celebrate her high school graduation.

Her mother used to paint with me and said it was her “therapy”. She is a police officer (captain, maybe?) and her job is hard and her schedule is strange and she had trouble scheduling down time for herself. Her brother is a very well known musician (locally). If anyone watched HBO’s Treme, he made regular appearances on that. I got to meet him once, too, and was pretty excited at the time.

Today, online, I saw this really heartbreaking note from her mother to her daughter’s killer. I don’t always buy into the act of forgiveness being forced as an act of taking a high road, or doing the right thing. But I am in no position to comment on what someone says in the moment of grief. I didn't really know Milan but I have spent hours with her mother and so I have been thinking so much about her the past couple of days.

I am trying to think of ways to express condolences. Maybe when she is up for it we can paint again.

R.I.P. Milan.