I am a bereaved parent. Both parties had bereaved parents speak at their conventions. Both parties used that grief and anger against the other side. Neither party is innocent of exploiting these families for possible political gain. It caused me physical pain to feel the raw outpouring of their anguish. When we hear another’s story of loss, we feel ours all over again. Always. Yes, these parents chose to accept the invitation to speak. We have strong feelings about protecting the memory of our child. We try to turn the energy of our anger and pain to something positive – usually toward bringing justice to our loved one or exposing our broken hearts to prevent another family from suffering the same anguish. It is an extremely difficult thing to talk about your loss to strangers, even if you are speaking to a group of others who have experienced a similar loss. I know. I have done so. Please stop attacking these vulnerable people as though they were just another act on the political stage. To know that your beloved child suffered a violent death at the hands of another human being tears at your soul – not for days or months, but for as long as you live. We are members of a terrible club that you would never chose to belong to. Leave it be. Please.

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