This is going to be a cathartic entry. I am not sure how to begin to write today. So many emotions, so much pain, so much anger.
On the drive home from Calgary, I made that decision that I was going to make an entry in the blog about the events of last week. I have no idea what I am about to say. This entry is completely free-flowing and as words form in my mind, I will type them.
On Tuesday, April 15th, 2014 at 6:33am, I woke up and answered the phone. It was our daughter Teri; she was distraught. I quickly woke up Kathy and Teri informed us that there was a mass homicide at her residence early that morning. She is at the police station and she is physically safe. Emotionally, she is a wreck as she informs us that five people were stabbed to death at a small quiet house party. She has four roommates and most of them are going to university. This was a small gathering to celebrate the end of the school year. At this point we are stunned and grasping to understand what Teri just told us. She went to bed at 11pm that night. Around 1:30am she phoned 911 saying that it sounded like trouble and they should send someone over to break up the party. Little did she know the horror of what occurred. I will not write anymore about the horror of her discovery.
I have no details of what happened, and even if I did, I would not share them. I am not equipped to understand why someone would do something like this. This is all beyond my scope to understand.
We told Teri that we would be coming to Calgary right away. Our little girl sounded so fragile and broken on the phone, our hearts were breaking. We got in touch with Krystal and she immediately made the decision to drive to Calgary with me, we booked Kathy a flight for early evening.
It was a long seven hour drive. A drive that was filled with questions and emotions. Teri was so close to being one of the victims. My eyes tear up again just writing that. For all of the emotions I feel, Teri must be completely overwhelmed. I look at her and want to erase the memories and visions from her mind. I want to give her peace, but I can’t. I am helpless as I look at her distant stare as she grapples with the horror of what she has experienced. No-one should have to go through something like that, no-one.
The four of us stayed at a hotel in Calgary and started the process of picking ourselves up from the shock and severity of this event. We bonded as a family, we cried a lot, we had periods of extended silence as we privately reflected or chewed on the bile of the emotions brewing inside. We met with Victim Services and they offered help for all of us as we work through our process of dealing with this. We managed to get a moving company on Easter weekend that could go into the house and get all of Teri’s things.
One of the deceased was a roommate of Teri’s; Jordan Segura. We attended a visitation for Jordan and his funeral. So tragic, such a senseless loss. All five victims were young, full of dreams and hopes. All taken much too soon. I cannot even comprehend the depth of the grief for those families.
I really do not have much more to say. I am pissed off. I am grief stricken. I am numb. I am all of those things at various points through the day. At various points through the day, I just tear up and let a wave of emotion wash over me. I feel other things too. I feel like I do not even have a right to feel these things, that my rights to these feelings are nothing compared to the feelings of the families who have lost a son or daughter. I know it is silly, but I think that my feelings should be subordinate to theirs. I also feel inadequate. It is a parent’s job to protect their children and for whatever reason I feel like I have failed in that role. I also know that it is silly to think I can protect the girls now that they are adults, but you never really set down the mantle of being a parent. Their pain is my pain, and I can only imagine it is more vivid for Kathy. I know that the intensity of my feelings will diminish over time, I just don’t know when.
Today I am grateful that Teri is alive and with us. I am grateful that she is alive, I am so absolutely grateful for that. I will try to allow that feeling to wash over me without the guilt of feeling grateful when there are five sets of parents that do not get to feel that way. I am grateful for the support that Dan has given Teri. It will be so very hard for Kathy and I to let her go back to Calgary in a few weeks. Knowing that Dan is there is a great comfort. I greatly respect Dan for the support and caring he has given Teri. Lastly, I am grateful that Krystal, Kathy, and I were able to be with Teri in the aftermath of this tragedy. The bonds of family grow stronger in times of great sorrow. I have an amazing family. I love all of them dearly, I love all of them deeply.