Grieving mom: Never say I know how you feel

April 10, 2019 06:43 PM

SCHENECTADY - No one ever wants to join the group, but the long membership list continues to grow longer every year. At Central Park in Schenectady on Wednesday afternoon, a ceremony was held in commemoration of National Crime Victims' Rights Week (April 7 - 13). The people who gathered were family members and friends of Capital Region homicide victims.

"An event like today gives you a chance to voice, to bring your daugther to live, your loved one to life and share it with everyone," says Daine Spencer, whose daughter, Jennifer Fake, the mother of two young children, was strangled to death in a Saratoga Springs motel room 17 years ago.

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"They know exactly how you feel and you know exactly how they feel," Spencer states, "You know their emotions. It's a connection you need."

Harry Olds lost his son Jonny and a grandson in separate homicide cases five years apart.

"I feel a little better knowing there's a lot of other people out here that share the same experience," Olds says, "I wish it wasn't like that."

Neearly 300 names were read out loud at the Remembrance ceremony. Among them was Liza Warner, a domestic violnce murder victim in 2004.

"I can tell you that it gets easier as the years go by," says Martha Lasher-Warner, Liza's mother, "It'll be 15 yeqars for me. It gets easier."

It may get easier, but Lasher-Warner insists time does not heal all wounds, nor does it prevent other people from saying things she doesn't want to hear.

"Never say, "I know how you feel," she advises, "Unless they have walked in our shoes, that's the one thing they should never tell a parent who has buried a child."

There's something else Lasher-Warner has discovered during her 15 year old long nightmare.

"If you need to scream, if you need to cry, if you need to punch a pillow, punch a pillow," she recommends, "Don't hide your grief."

At events like the one held in Schenectady on Wednesday, people's grief is out in the open.


Dan Levy

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