Sunday, July 18, 2010

Seeing The Signs: Texas Mayor Jayne Peters

The news story of Texas Mayor Jayne Peters written by David Lohr tells of a newly widowed mother who murdered her 19year old daughter, Corinne, before committing suicide. Last week the Mayor failed to show up at a city council meeting, there was concern, and a police unit dispatched to her home.

Once inside the home police discovered mother and daughter, each dead from a single gunshot wound.

Now everyone is asking how they could have “missed the signs.” That is the million dollar question in the majority of these cases. Remove the idea that this educated woman of means and position could have remotely been thinking such thoughts of taking her life or someone else, especially her own child, is beyond human understanding. But this, in my opinion, is a tragedy that should be carefully reviewed, along with the financial issues this woman faced making poor excuses for her ultimate actions, and somehow, at the same time, asking us all to forgive her.

It can begin with one life altering moment. In this particular case the death of a life partner, husband and father. The thought of having no desire to live because our loved one has departed is for many far too earth shattering to continue living. But, it is rare when a mother, especially this mother, also an elected official, murders her own daughter.

According to Fox News out of Texas police found a total of 4 notes at various locations in the home. In one of the notes Jayne Peters says “we were lost,” likely translates to when their husband and father died, they wanted to die, or was it just Mayor Peters? She was now without her life compass.

After the funeral the signs were there, but in the death of a family member or friend one can easily forget to maintain contact. Oh sure, there are well intentioned promises of having coffee or dinner maybe taking in a movie, it just doesn’t happen. We all get busy and go back to our lives.

The grieving person is expected to do the same. In this case, it never happened.  Matyor Peters was never able to fuse or connect her life. Pieces of her were not in reach. She no longer felt whole or complete, even with her daughter at her side, and likely something was amiss prior to the death of her husband.

No one that knew her should carry any burden or ownership of what I term “woulda, shoulda or coulda” or, “If only I did or had done this or that I could have saved her and Corinne,” not possible.

Jayne Peters' successful life included a deep depression and when her daughter would not own or share in her mothers grief, the relationship between them became rocky. It's not impossible for a person like Mayor Peters to hide their emotions to those on the outside of the doors of their home. It is easy to split yourself off when someone so very close to you has died; you do not want anyone to see your pain. You believe no one wants to hear about how much you are hurting because the person is no longer around. Someone in this state of mind has to work just as hard to face each new day and do what you and I might take for granted. It can be as simple as taking a breath. For you and I it is normal; for someone grieving and in deep depression it can be exhausting. But it is still a "pity party excuse."

Am I dismissing what Jayne Peters did? Absolutely not! She planned out the murder of her own child.

Corinne Peters had just graduated high school and was planning to attend the University of Texas in the fall. Corinne was robbed of her life by a woman who decided for her that the pain she was experiencing in her own life would be too much for her baby girl to endure. This teenager, by all accounts, was happy and looking forward to her future.

Corinne Peters would have never taken her own life, and tragically that decision was never hers to make in the first place. Her mother will not be remembered for anything other than the Texas Mayor who murdered her daughter.

I would like Corinne Peters to be remembered as a shining bright light while on earth standing up to a darkness few have ever survived.

Rest in peace young warrior! You earned it!

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