Monday, October 12, 2009

The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later

I attended one of the readings of the play/docudrama about the hate-crime committed against Matthew Shepard that resulted in his death. I went knowing that this play was about the death of a child, and I think I went because it was about the death of a child. To hear the story again, and honor the life of another mother's child.

The acting where I attended was fine, but the words, taken directly from people from the town of Laramie, were powerful, sometimes mundane, and sometimes profound.

There were some who echoed the familiar, "Oh, we're past that." and "We've moved on," and of course when the words of Matthew's mother are read, we hear that many had told her these words. "Aren't you keeping him alive by doing this?" I started nodding as I heard this. "Yes," were Judy's words, "of course I am. Telling his story keeps him alive."

We don't move on, we don't get past, and we don't even seek to put it behind us, rather we carry it with us. When someone says my daughter's name, I might get a tear, but know that I cherish those tears, they are what I have of her and feeling that love for her that causes the tear to fall is a gift. Others cannot hurt us with "reminders," but they can hurt us by ignoring our children.

As she read the words of Judy, there was a point where my throat caught, and The script called for the actress to tear up and say, "sorry." The actress did a fair job, though, I knew her children were all still living. But it was OK, I knew intimately a bereaved parent's emotions and heard Judy's words and saw Judy's tears.

To Judy, who I don't know, but feel I do, "I am so sorry for the death of your son, Matthew. I am so deeply sorry, and I am remembering him with you on the anniversary of his death. I am remembering him with you." Peace.

I took away plenty of other big thoughts which I may write about here, but first I have to sift through whether they belong on a blog that is meant to be about my daughter and place of pause to grieve her death. There's an online community that gathered after the simultaneous performances. If you're interested you can read about it more here.


  1. Our experiences shape our perceptions. I am sure this time you what you saw and heard had a new meaning for you.

  2. Lovely...all children deserve to be remembered.

  3. I would love to see a performance of this play. Thanks for a powerful review.

  4. That was very powerful! Thank you for posting this!