It’s a heavy day at She's Somebody's Daughter as we grieve the loss of a sweet friend we met through our outreach initiative. In processing, I couldn’t help but think how “textbook” this story is. Childhood trauma, early exposure to sexual exploitation, addiction to drugs in escape of the pain...all reinforcements that the sex industry is all there was for her. And the seeming end that is all too common: an overdose after a period of being clean.
But it’s not a textbook.
It’s the life of a woman who held a special place in our hearts. It’s a woman who had such a kind and caring heart, who greeted us warmly no matter the atmosphere. A woman who had such creative and unique interests, widening our horizons.
We dreamt with her, maybe more accurately for her, of ways she could use her gifts and experiences and unique interests to come alongside others. To better this world in a way only she could. We saw the truth of who she was even if she couldn’t see it herself.
Though her life on this earth ended tragically, that tragic moment does not define her. We will not remember her story as an addict who overdosed, but as a woman who fought and struggled and survived more than anyone should have to.
This sweet girl is not the first we have lost and grieved, and we can’t help but honor the stories of the amazing, strong, wonderful women we were privileged to know before they left this world too soon.
And our hope, if I dare to use that strong of a word in this moment of sadness, is that their stories and their lives continue within the SSD community. Their spirit of fight and overcoming lives on in inspiration. The memories shared will not be forgotten.
My sweet friend, I honor you and your life as I will be forever grateful for the gift of knowing you. I pray you are resting in the fullness of shalom, with everything as it should be.