A mother’s living hell

Yeardley Love

Sharon Donnelly’s daughter, Yeardley, was a senior at the University of Virginia, one of the finest schools in the country. She was beautiful, had a marvelous reputation and was a member of the lacrosse team.

Now Sharon’s daughter is dead, killed by a player on the UVA men’s lacrosse team. The two had been in a relationship and broken up. Instead of going to Virginia for Yeardley’s graduation, Sharon is in Virginia to talk to investigators and the police.

It hurts my heart when I try to grasp the hell she is living. Just the thought of losing a child is frightening; actually losing one is  incomprehensible.

Sharon’s life is “over.” Her daughter’s life is over. And the young man’s life is over, whether or not he goes to jail. No matter how much we try to continue “living” after such a tragedy, our life has been altered forever.

We want to protect our children, even when they become adults. We worry when they fly, when they’re not feeling well, when we haven’t heard from them for a while. We know we’re being nonsensical.

If their lives were snuffed out–by anyone– how could we ever make sense of it?

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4 Responses to “A mother’s living hell”

  1. Duchesse says:

    Linda Law, I am guessing Germaine Greer (whom I have heard speak on many occasions) had not been to Africa or India yet when she said that.

    Violence to children, be it trafficking, physical abuse and murder, genital mutilation, child slavery, being forced into being soldiers under the control of mercenaries, or working as prostitutes- these horrors are world wide and have been for ages, especially in countries where life is cheap and corruption widespread. The US hardly is alone, and at least has laws and due process to prosecute violations. I view Greer’s characterization of the benevolent village or city as remarkably inaccurate and naive.

  2. Linda Law says:

    These written thoughts on the senseless death of a child reflect the fear parents, especially mothers, have for their children in an increasingly violent world. Over thirty years ago an Australian write, Germaine Greer, said in an interview that children were safe walking from one end of a village or city in any country other than the United States. At the time a handful of children had been abducted from their front yards in Las Vegas, Nevada and not seen again. It hit home and frightened me.

    Since then the violence has spread to virtually every other country. Why? How has violence against children been allowed to happen? Now is the time to fight this horrific spread of crimes against children. How is it that a young man feels entitled to beat a beautiful young daughter to death? How is it that people feel entitled to pull a gun and shoot down someone’s son? It’s not possible to be complacent any longer. The world needs to know we will no longer tolerate this insensitivity to life and the inviolate dignity of the individual. This should extend to animals, as well. I wonder if parents are teaching by example?

  3. pinar says:

    we could not..
    make any sense of it..

    even if we have other children we would go on making “as if..”..

    my daughter is fifteen whenever she goes out.. I wish I were a bug on her seeing whatever she is doing.. warning her at whenever a risky situation happens around her..
    well ı know it is not do-able and should not be done as well..
    but I don’t feel ok before she comes back home..

    Istanbul is a very big city.. it is beautiful.. it is lively.. it is a megapol.. but it is risky as well.. I am still not used to let my son (twenty yrs old ) go out at nights.. I am waiting to hear from him being safe.. at home .. cannot sleep before this..
    a b
    Yesterday evening we were talking with my daughter.. I sait I wished her to wear a bullet proof vest whenever she goes out.. whenever she breaks with a boyfriend..

    I live in Turkey.. meditarenean temperamented men.. some not metro-sexual or intellectual enough.. some taking this as an insult to their menhood..
    when they are refused by a woman.. or rejected.. not only their heart brokes.. their ego brokes as well ..
    their friends make fun of them.. I guess.. they feel “not being man-enough”..
    and ı am afraid that my daughter’s way crosses with one of these..

    I wish Yeadly’s soul rests in peace..
    I wish Sharron.. as we say in my country ” sabırlar versin yaradan” .. ” God give her patience”.. and strength and I hope that the moral support of people who love her be strong enough to endure the sorrow of her loss ..
    with all my empathy , my condoleances

  4. Duchesse says:

    This tragedy is every parent’s worst fear. I attended the memorial for a friend’s young son, killed by a drunk driver. The minister said, “We ask why he was killed, but let us also ask why he lived”- and went on to recount the joy this 20 year old had given so many.

    Sharon Donnelly’s life is not over– though she may wish that deliverance some days. She is on a long, difficult road and I wish her every bit of strength she can draw from herself, her spiritual beliefs and from those who love her and her daughter.


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