I’ve been struggling to find the right words for this post… It’s been in my draft folder since last week and there are at least 10 different versions, all of them far more lengthier and detailed than this one. However, I am hoping the simplicity and brevity of this post will deliver…
Last month, in observance of Administrative Professionals day, my boss gifted us this Avon Empowerment Circle of Support necklace which came with a pamphlet. I was able to gather from the pamphlet and from the Avon website that the necklace was being sold to bring awareness and also to raise funds for the Avon Foundation’s programs dedicated to ending violence against women.
We were all grateful for the gesture, but because of the subject matter, I found the choice of gift, odd. A few weeks later, something happened that forced me to look back at the necklace not as an odd gesture, but a foreboding one.
A few Sundays ago, I couldn’t help but notice the R.I.P. on my Facebook timeline attributed to someone that had a first name that sounded like someone that used to work at my firm. She sat in the cubicle next to mine for perhaps, 2 years or so and although we weren’t close, I knew that she was feisty, confident, full of life and going places. There is no escaping the proverbial glass ceiling when you are a support staff in a law firm. You accumulate years of experience and not progressive titles. This girl was different, however and became one of the lucky few who was moved up, into a different department.
I don’t know what happened after her promotion, but one day it dawned on me that she was no longer with the firm. I just assumed that she had moved on to a better opportunity and looked forward to hearing her accomplishments from those who kept in touch with her. I didn’t realize that the only news that I would be getting was that of her violent and untimely death.
The long and somber faces and the sight of the circles of whisperers confirmed the identify the minute I walked through our main entrance . As I walked to my desk, I caught the words from the whispers and those words to my horror were “shot in the neck,” ”boyfriend,” “shot himself in the hand by the same bullet,” “held her down,”…”murder”…”after argument.”
She was only 28.