Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Murder of a Sister Ignites a Call to Action

Death has a way of moving us. It is not understood and often misunderstood. But, it's what we do after seeing death that really matters. One thing for certain, death is inevitable. We must face it one way or another. All these questions and the issue of death, especially murder has knocked on our next guest's door. He remembers the day his sister was killed and he will never forget. How does he cope? What is he doing? Well, let's get into our next interview. Jason Robinson is a young man with a mission. He is making his way through life as a pioneer in his family. Let's get into it.

Kellibrew: Thank you so much for agreeing to tell your story on my blogspot. First, it takes a lot of patience to talk about tragedy, I definitely know this. But, you have broken through an amazing silence to tell us your story. So, can you tell our readers what you are doing right now in life and where you are from?

Jason: I was born in Brooklyn, New York. I grew up in Orangeburg, South Carolina. Right now, I am a teacher for Alexandria City Public Schools. I am also a freelance writer.

Kellibrew: You have been following the Sleep Outs that we have been having in Washington, D.C. on behalf of victims of crime and violence. Thank you for your support. This issue hits home with you. What happened a few years ago that traumatized you?

Jason: When I was sixteen years old, my sister was shot and murdered. Her boyfriend shot her with my father’s gun. He hid at our house for a while, came in, and shot her in the head. I was present at the house when this happened. I was taking care of my sister’s son, who was five months old at the time. This event has been with me since then. I am 27 years old now.

Kellibrew: Have you had therapy or have you sought any professional assistance to deal with your sister’s death?

Jason: I haven’t sought therapy or professional assistance to deal with my sister’s death. I believe I should. I tried for years to put it out of my mind. I am finally dealing with it now. I am praying….and crying. I think professional assistance would help.

Kellibrew: I totolly agree with you. Therapy is the reason I am here today. It gave me a chance to exhale. It gave me a chance to get things out in the open. So, I would really recommend therapy. You can call 1.800.FYI.CALL. This the National Center for Victims of Crimes. They will recommend you to several different groups who can get you started on your track to therapeutic recovery. For instance, you can join the group, Survivors of Homicide Victims. You can join others who share what you have suffered. What has it been like for you since your sister was killed?

Jason: Since my sister was killed, my life drastically changed. As I said earlier, my sister had a son who was five months old when she was murdered. After she was killed, I became a single parent. I became the guardian for her son. This added an amount of responsibility to my life at a young age.

I often think about my sister. I dream about her. Lately, the event of her death has been at the forefront of my mind. I would like to do something to help fight this issue.

Kellibrew: What were some signs during your sister’s relationship that were evident that something was wrong? Or were there signs?

Jason: I believe that there were signs that something was wrong in the relationship. Shortly before she was killed, she and her boyfriend used to “play fight,” similar to wrestling. I saw how this could escalate. I could just feel that something was wrong.

Kellibrew: What do you remember most about your sister that keeps her memory close to you today?

Jason: The thing I remember most are the events that occurred the day she was killed. She was in my father’s room making up his bed. Sometimes I reenact the events in my head that lead up to her being shot. I wish I could have stopped it. I wish I could have done something. I wish she would not have been hurt.

Kellibrew: I know life has been difficult, but how did you cope? How do you cope now?

Jason: Life has been difficult. I cope by being active in the fight against violence against women. I work with organizations. I write articles for magazines. I strive to bring awareness of the issue and resources available to women.

Kellibrew: You have had some amazing success in school and in your professional career. You even have a book either out or about to come out and perhaps two, right?

Jason: Yes, I have had success in school. I always did well in school. I think the fact that my family was a low-income family further motivated me to do well.
I have Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from the University of Michigan. I also have a Master of Arts Degree in Teaching (Education) from Hampton University. I published a book of poems entitled, The Image of Love.

Kellibrew: What keeps you going in terms of your success?

Jason: There is a motto I live by: “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. What I can do, I ought to do, and what I ought to do, by the grace of God I will do.”
As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, I have a dream. I have to follow my dreams.

Kellibrew: I know you get down sometimes about your sister, but how do you turn things around in a positive manner, because you just keep going?

Jason: Activism helps me. It makes me feel better to know that I could keep the same thing from happening to someone else.
I pray. Also, I plan to have my own memorial service for my sister. I am going to go visit her grave site.

Kellibrew: What is that one sentence or paragraph that you can give to someone that has and is suffering from what you have suffered?

Jason: God is in control. He knows what is best for all of us.

Kellibrew: Do you have anything that you really want to talk about during this interview that we may have missed?

Jason: Another thing that keeps this issue at the forefront of my mind is the fact that I have another relative in an abusive relationship. She has been in this relationship for many years. I have tried to help her. I hate to see women dealing with this. It has to stop!

Kellibrew: Thank you very much for your courage once again. I really appreciate you doing this interview. I wish you all the best as you continue your success. Also, thanks for being a reader.

Jason: You’re welcome. Thanks for taking the time to interview me. Thanks for all that you do.

Til next time...

1 comment:

Author Lori Simmons said...

Thank You Jason for the advise! My sister was also murdered and I'm still hurting inside. It's been 12 years and I know I am healing. We are survivors.

Take Care,