It is with great honor as the Newark Bereavement and Parenting Examiner to recap the 2011 Year in Review. I highlight the stories for which has empowered us the strength to hold and comfort each other during times of grief.
As I reflect through the year of articles to remember those which gave great impact to our state of New Jersey, the death of Tyler Clementi comes readily to mind. His suicide prompted cries for change from the community and as a result, NJ passed one of the strictest ‘Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights’ in the nation; thanks to Senator Barbara Buono for all her efforts. Memorializing the circumstances that took the lives of Phoebe Prince and Tyler Clementi, how could it not capture the national attention of the media? Anderson Cooper 360º along with star celebrities came to town to help our local community cope with the effects of school bullying which aired nationally. The segment also aimed to help tackle bullying, spotlight the victims, their parents and literally tried to help ease our grief loss; a national embrace that we do not have to cope with this alone any longer.
The trial of Casey Anthony exploded with outrage from parents to caregivers over the loss of little Caylee Anthony; her mother was freed from jail. Emotional turmoil over our untimely loss of Michael Jackson, the iconic ‘King of Pop’, led to the conviction of Conrad Murray, the doctor hired as his personal care physician. Murray was convicted of ‘Involuntary Manslaughter’ for Jackson’s death.
Also, the death of Osama Bin Laden made history May of 2011, just in time for the world to commemorate the 10th year mark of our nation’s 9/11 attack. Nor should we forget the devastation that befell Japan as a result of a catastrophic earthquake and the massive tsunami which followed that killed thousands of lives.
Our nation also mourned the loss of Steve Jobs, former Apple CEO. His vision of the future with technology to always make life easier by waves of inventions and improvements such as the Ipod Nano, Ipad, Ipad 2 and probably soon to be released Ipad 3, along with the iTunes and Apple lines will forever mark the loss of a great techno savvy leader.
In closing, my heart goes to the thousands of fallen American soldiers who courageously fought and defended our nation despite opposition from the supporters of the Westboro Baptist Church for which the Supreme Court ruled their efforts to be legal; to picket at funerals of fallen soldiers. As a parent myself to a teenager, I extend my humble gratitude to all soldiers who are still risking their lives every day and offer comfort to grieving parents who are mourning the loss of their children. We are not alone when the darkness of grief digs deep into our psyche because as a collective whole, we are coping together, we lean on each other and I promise you, the sun will shine again waiting to energize you; smiles will come again in due time. Best of health to everyone into the New Year!
To read all of Sue’s articles at the Newark Bereavement and Parenting Examiner, go to: