One night as I was aimlessly scrolling through one of my social media apps I came across a profile that instantly caught my attention. It was a picture of an attractive young woman with dark hair and light colored eyes.
Her natural beauty may have been what initially captured my interest, but there was definitely an undeniable magnetism about her. I couldn’t quite pin point what it was, so I allowed my curiosity to lead me thru other social media platforms until I eventually found myself on her personal blog. There I slowly began to scroll through each entry, reading and absorbing her words with true interest and awe.
After a few of her blog entries, I found myself completely immersed in her colorful world of words. Captivated and consumed by the tender way she expressed her intensions, emotions and complex convictions. I felt a sort of kindredness – a deep understanding that i I could not deny.
She was insightful, dark, empathetic, intuitive and sensitive. She had a natural flare for story telling and a raw, relatable brokenness that made her creative expression refreshingly unique.
I felt like I knew her and she knew me. It was as if we shared the same darkness, light and emotional depth. Both of us..just a world of constant contradictions, heartaches and secrets. Struggling to remain vulnerable and honest in a world full of pain and lies. We both yearned for a deeper existence, a soulmate connection and divine revelation to reveal to us the meaning of life. She understood what I have never been able to express to new or current lovers because of my past lingering pain. She understood me.
It was impossible to deny the mystical connection I had to this beautiful stranger.
I was so moved by her honesty that I decided I had to contact her to tell her how much I appreciated and admired her work. After all it’s not everyday you experience such an incredible connection and I wanted to reach out and thank her for it.
But just my luck, I came to find that this kindred spirit had been subdued by an even deeper darkness. And sadly, I’d never have the opportunity to meet the beautiful dark haired woman that touched my soul…
..At least not in this lifetime..
After a quick google search I came to discover that the old soul that I identified so much with was actually the victim of a vicious murder that took place two years ago in Queens, New York.
Apparently it had been a highly publicized case that was followed religiously by her loved ones and social media. Much like the tragic murders this country has witnessed this past month, this too became a case that touched so many people.
She was incredibly loved by everyone that knew her, and the goodness I found in her writing seemed to only be a portion of all that she carried inside of her. At thirty years old she had already traveled the world, earned a masters degree in speech pathology and was an aspiring writer. She loved life and it clearly loved her back, which makes the reality of her premature death so unbelievably tragic.
The name of the woman was Karina Anne Vetrano.
After reading all the gruesome details of the case I have to honestly say that my heart broke for this poor woman, her family and loved ones. I cannot imagine the burden and pain of this never ending loss. Living with knowing all the fear she must’ve felt as she struggled for her life and having to accept a loss none of them ever saw coming. I have no idea how I would find peace ever again knowing someone I loved suffered so brutally at the hands of someone so sadistic and evil. I don’t know if I’d ever be able to forgive the monster or truly ever heal.
I commend her parents and friends for taking matters into their own hands and actively getting involved and keeping her memory alive in the media. Because of their continued efforts, relentless persistence, ongoing inquiries to the press and law enforcement, Karina’s murderer, Chanel Lewis, was apprehended six months after her death.
He’s facing life in prison if convicted of the 13 counts of murder and sexual abuse.
He claimed it was a random and impulsive murder, admitting to having anger issues and hatred toward women. On that particular day he had gotten into an argument with someone else, saw Karina running and chose to take all his frustrations out on her.
Another case of being at the wrong place at the wrong time.
He may have robbed these poor parents of their daughter, and prematurely ended this poor girls life. But he couldn’t stop her legacy from touching the world with her wisdom, truth and light.
Monsters live among us, and sadly I learned early on that to survive in this world, as a woman, I’d have to live with a certain degree of paranoia, anxiety and fear. Being a female, means I DON’T have the luxury of feeling safe in my own skin as I walk alone to find my car in a dimly lit parking garage or accepting rides from friendly acquaintances of the opposite sex. Being a woman is hard as it is, but trying to find our way in a man’s world is even harder.
When the murder occurred Karina was out jogging, training for an upcoming marathon she was planning to run with her father later that year. Unfortunately he could not join her that fateful day because he had fallen sick the night before. He encouraged her to wait a day so he could recover, but she was convinced she’d be fine going it alone. She was trying to be healthy and take care of herself when she was murdered in her own neighborhood, an hour before sunset, just a block away from her parents home. Petite Karina didn’t stand a chance against her vicious attacker that beat her unconscious, sexually assaulted her and then strangled her to death.
And what’s even worse?..
Her poor father, a NYC firefighter retiree, found her lifeless body four hours later, after he’d took it upon himself to go out looking for her after she stopped responding to phone calls and texts. I’m sure the horror of finding his daughter the way he did that night will haunt him for the rest of his life! No pain can compare to the loss of a child. No comfort or relief can be found with time or closure for those who have lived through this kind of pain. My heart and prayers go out to you, Phillip Vetrano.
Life just isn’t fair and neither is death.
I wish I could’ve met her while she was still alive. I think we would have had a lot in common. Between the both of us, I’m sure we would’ve had plenty of battle scar stories about love to write and talk about. I wish I could’ve thanked her personally for helping me bring to the surface some of the heavy emotions I’ve kept bottled inside so long. Even in death, her words continue to bring new life and meaning to those she never even met for others just like me.
I pray God grants her and her loved ones the comfort and peace they need. I feel so fortunate to have come across her heartfelt words and had the opportunity to be touched by her undeniable light.
Someday I hope to meet you on the other side..
“The majority of my life is on paper, I write to savour the moments that I’m terrified will get lost and forgotten in time if I don’t document them.”
July 12th, 1986 – August 2nd, 2016