Sometimes the news brings me to my knees with heartache and rage. The story of the couple murdered in their home in South Paris is in this category. The heartache is for everyone who loves someone who has been murdered.

In this particular story, written by Sun Journal staff and published by the Press Herald on Jan. 3 (“Complex where 2 bodies were found in Maine was scene of murder-suicide 20 years ago“), my rage found its way to the journalists covering and editing the story. More than once, I encountered a reference to the fact that the children found at the scene “were not harmed.”

Seriously? I know you mean that the man charged with the murder of the couple did not physically harm the children. But please, please acknowledge that both the child and the infant have sustained damage as deep as any physical harm and will need all the support and nurturing the community can provide to make their way to healing.

I have a request for everyone who reads this: Please look someone in the eye today and offer gratitude, appreciation and/or kindness. Small acts are profound medicine for turning the tide of despair and cruelty.

With hope for the children,

Rebecca Johanna Stephans