TOPEKA – (December 22, 2017) – Kansas families attending the four remembrance receptions across the state received a special message this year, Attorney General Derek Schmidt said.
Earlier this month, the Kansas Attorney General’s Office in cooperation with the Kansas Organization for Victim Assistance hosted receptions in Garden City, Wichita, Kansas City and Topeka in honor and remembrance of crime victims who lost their lives. This year more than 350 family members, friends and supporters attended the receptions, which recognized 223 individuals who lost their lives due to crime.
A special poem was read at each of the receptions. The poem was authored by Kansan Annette Hope Billings and written especially for Kansans whose lives have been touched by crime.
“The holiday season can be a difficult time for the families of crime victims,” Schmidt said. “We are grateful to Ms. Billings for sharing her message of support with these families.”
The poem is shared below with the permission of the author:
The passage of time is said to ease grief’s pain
But time really does little to make death’s arrow less sharp
What rounds its point is the power of the love
My heart will always hold for you
You didn’t “pass away”, your life was stolen
And that truth is still lodged like a bone in my throat
Yet I still breathe, still move, still smile and still love
Because I know this is what you would want me to do
And now I only miss you on days that end in “y”
I have planted flowers in all the vacant spaces your death left
And I continue to speak your name so it will never be forgotten
I know there’ll always be a wound in my heart
But I’ll be okay because I feel it slowly healing.
©Annette Hope Billings
The Victims’ Services Division of the Attorney General’s Office is charged with coordinating statewide victim rights efforts and administering grants and education programs. The division also provides a Kansas crime victims’ hotline at (800) 828-9745.