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She was murdered.

I am 26. I’ve grown into a person that can now answer this without skipping a beat after I tell someone that my mother passed away.

How did she die? Whelp, you asked!

I’ve told people to please google the details instead of asking me personal questions- especially if we are in public. It’s an odd sensation to have the “worst” possible event in your life be a google-able occurence. I am also very self-conscious that still. Anytime you google my name, articles about her come up.

I don’t like that one of my worst hurts is common knowledge. Yet, I guess it’s better than stacking skeletons in the closet.

Before her death, the forest was a safe place. The river was a convenient nature spot we would go and feed ducks. After her death, it’s a place I get nervous in. I am always preoccupied with the thought I will find a dead person or there is a malicious person lurking in the bushes.

Sometimes, I wonder how the trees felt as they witnessed everything. I’ve thought long and hard about how the last bits of her life were alone, dark and painful. I hope the trees and all their magic found a way to comfort her before she left… Nature is so grand and supportive I am sure they whispered their silent prayers over her. I like to think that it helped.

I think about the lady who found her out walking her dog. Does she now look over her shoulder when she’s down by the river? Was the dog on leash?

None of these thoughts keep me up at night anymore. That is a huge testament to therapy and my own inner resilience. I can answer the questions who assume my life after her death was like a cool high-tech CSI episode and everything was solved in 48 hours. I can remember her clearly as bright, funny and boisterous- also, kinda a bitch.

Here is the full statement I wrote about her during the trial:

Greetings,

 

The following is a personal impact statement on the crime resulting process for your consideration during your deliberation when sentencing the accused. Firstly, my name is Anona Kosmack. Today, on Mother’s Day May 8th 2016, I am endeavouring to describe the impact of losing my mother in a sexually motivated murder as it relates to my life to date.

 

In 2008, I was settling down for the night after returning from attending my little brother’s soccer game and then the doorbell rang. I was 15 years old. At the door, two police officers stood solemnly and asked to speak to my stepmother. Immediately my eyes welled and my heart sank- something was very wrong. The conversation that followed detailed that my mother had been a victim of a violent crime. It was a Wednesday.

 

I am at a loss to describe my feelings around what followed. I believe that a big part of my heart and soul made the decision to leave my body because the pain of facing this reality was, at the time, too monumental. So, as stoically as I could, I thanked the officers for their service and began calculating the next steps that would have to be taken. First on the list, I asked to go to Nana’s house, my maternal grandmother, so I could be with her when the news was delivered. The first wave was that her child died before she did. The next, was that I was now motherless. In pain and with good intentions, my grandmother wondered aloud if in her last moments my Mother would have called my name out into the darkness.

 

In a cold loveless place, an invisible monster had snuffed out the intricate and powerful beacon of light that was my mother. Violated and alone, a warm comforting smile, a set of delicate hands and a booming voice filled with presence dissipated into a grand nothingness. A nothingness that while it highlighted her importance meant she could no longer be with us here. The void created by her loss would serve for my brother and myself as a painful substitute in the coming years when facing turbulence in life. During my younger years, the frantic levels of yearning would undo me.

 

In an instance, everything was loud, frightening and gray. In my mind, all fragile and rough concepts of meaning, justice and purpose came into intense questioning and resulted in feelings of abandonment.

 

My face became a haunting reminder of horror for my family and those that knew mom. The delicate span of my cheekbones became a stabbing reminder of the sheer pain and cruelty that had been inflicted on their unsung, and now laid to rest, heroine. To date, I cannot authentically connect to my maternal family without triggering one of them.

 

Countless times, when walking in the local neighbourhood I was accosted by sobbing strangers desperately clinging on to my arms and shoulders wailing “You’re Pam’s girl! You’re Pam’s girl!” Although these strangers were well intentioned and offered many kind words about my mother, these incidents would highlight my loss, aggravate my grief and, from my then fragile perspective, put my life in danger. My life was in danger because I told myself that if strangers could recognize me as her daughter surely the monster that choked the life out of her would too. Then, analysis of potential preference indicators that might draw in a monster-like creature consumed my mind. I was stuck in chaos, disempowered and deeply unsafe in my body.

 

Her death has resulted in many tangible outcomes including, but not limited to the following. I have received a diagnosis of complex-PTSD with intermittent experiences of depression, which I am not attached to but I am consistently managing and acutely ware of. As this has impacted me, I have had to work harder to secure funds to invest in my well being. I have to actively choose to not be scared of the world around me, particularly men. I have to choose daily to believe my body and myself are safe. I have to choose daily that I am competent, powerful and deeply loveable. I have to choose daily to stick very close to what brings me joy and peace. I have to choose to actively take care of my body and mind as both are alive and actively compounding my experience of stress and fear. I choose daily to release my nightmarish past and create a life for myself that revolves around joyful connection.

 

In terms of this events financial impact on my life, I have had to seek care and funding largely individually due to technicalities. For example, the Criminal Injuries Service Board offers compensation to individuals’ based on the legal principle of mental or nervous shock. So, as I did not come upon the scene of the violent crime or witness it unfolding I was compensated 10 bereavement sessions after a 4-year bureaucratic process. Luckily, at 15 I had access to individuals with health benefit plans and a loving schooling environment so for those 4 years I was well supported. I attended a weekly counselling session at school and a monthly psychiatric session with a trauma expert. Financially, I worked 70-hour weeks to save for my University degree and be able to invest in my own wellness regime. Currently, I have succeeded in completing my university without debt. Now, I am moving on to the next exciting chapter of my life with tools, lessons and a stronger sense of self. In this way, my mother’s death, while brutal and tragic, enabled me to foster a greater relationship with myself and force me to acknowledge the fragility of life and impermanence. I have been exposed to many systems that perpetuate human disconnection and, largely, do not serve our most vulnerable populations. I have resolved in my heart to be courageous and create positive change in the world around me. Ultimately, I have grown into an exceptionally capable, loving and powerful human being. I have chosen to be empowered in knowing that my mother remains graceful, strong and dignified in her life and death regardless of the brutality faced alone.

 

Up till now, all of my relationships have been framed in fears of loss, which I am choosing to let go of.

 

There are some days where I experienced high-level of emotional distress that I choose to manage through constructive tools of connection like yoga and meditation.

 

There have been many times when I have to lovingly explain to intimate partners about my delicate and complex feelings and experience around the act of sex and real intimacy as my mother and myself have experienced real acts of violation and oppression.

 

In moments where I expected safety and love, sharing my reality has sometimes offered me righteous anger, utterly disconnecting fear and heart wrenching shame, which I am choosing to look as lessons on how to love other people as best I can.

 

Nearly every day, I have to be very careful in choosing the media I consume as it greatly affects my mood, as I am overly sensitized and hyper vigilant.

 

Nearly every day, I chose to be very particular about the people around me.

 

Every day, so far, I have actively controlled the intensity of my human experience out of fear. This forceful and domineering nature as a result of living in perpetual fear no longer serves me. Now, I am choosing to actively control my human experience out of love for myself and for all.

 

One day, I will have to explain and reframe my concepts and feelings around motherhood.

 

One day, I will have to gently explain to a precious innocent one that I will have birthed into this world what happened to their would-be grandmother while instilling in them a sense of safety and curiosity regarding the world around them.

 

 

I am grateful to have been safe all these years. I am grateful that I have found truly authentic individuals who respect and acknowledge the experience of my fear and challenge me to grow. I am grateful to be able to see with better clarity the beauty in breakdowns and in life. I am choosing to dedicate my lifetime to the real beauty and grace that I can choose to embody. I have always had the privilege of being surrounded by champions. All of the teachers, detectives, counsellors, lawyers, doctors, officers, friends, family members, and adversaries have gone above and beyond to help me grow into my human experience.

 

Most importantly, I believe I chose my Mother who is solidified in my mind’s eye as one of the greatest women to have ever walked the earth.

 

She lives on in me and I choose to serve her memory with humility and strength. For your convenience, I have included a picture of her in the docket which I feel can be best experienced when reading the following words aloud:

 

Freshly cut grass, spatters of freckles, snowfalls and chocolate syrup, the roaring and rolling of thunderstorms, a powerful release of cleansing rain, a shimmying sing-song voice in the kitchen, strong and soft arms faintly smelling of cigarettes, hazel eyes with a perfect ring of blue, high arched feet, a small frame with big eyes and lips, a fully clothed body leaping into a cool pool, a voice dually full of gentle reminders and passionate opinions, a comforting fire, a loving home, acts of devotion, and life of sacrifice. For me, that best equates my Mother.

 

Thank you for your understanding and attention.

Peace and Love

 

 

 

 

Greetings,

 

The following is a personal impact statement on the crime resulting process for your consideration during your deliberation when sentencing the accused. Firstly, my name is Anona Kosmack. Today, on Mother’s Day May 8th 2016, I am endeavouring to describe the impact of losing my mother in a sexually motivated murder as it relates to my life to date.

 

In 2008, I was settling down for the night after returning from attending my little brother’s soccer game and then the doorbell rang. I was 15 years old. At the door, two police officers stood solemnly and asked to speak to my stepmother. Immediately my eyes welled and my heart sank- something was very wrong. The conversation that followed detailed that my mother had been a victim of a violent crime. It was a Wednesday.

 

I am at a loss to describe my feelings around what followed. I believe that a big part of my heart and soul made the decision to leave my body because the pain of facing this reality was, at the time, too monumental. So, as stoically as I could, I thanked the officers for their service and began calculating the next steps that would have to be taken. First on the list, I asked to go to Nana’s house, my maternal grandmother, so I could be with her when the news was delivered. The first wave was that her child died before she did. The next, was that I was now motherless. In pain and with good intentions, my grandmother wondered aloud if in her last moments my Mother would have called my name out into the darkness.

 

In a cold loveless place, an invisible monster had snuffed out the intricate and powerful beacon of light that was my mother. Violated and alone, a warm comforting smile, a set of delicate hands and a booming voice filled with presence dissipated into a grand nothingness. A nothingness that while it highlighted her importance meant she could no longer be with us here. The void created by her loss would serve for my brother and myself as a painful substitute in the coming years when facing turbulence in life. During my younger years, the frantic levels of yearning would undo me.

 

In an instance, everything was loud, frightening and gray. In my mind, all fragile and rough concepts of meaning, justice and purpose came into intense questioning and resulted in feelings of abandonment.

 

My face became a haunting reminder of horror for my family and those that knew mom. The delicate span of my cheekbones became a stabbing reminder of the sheer pain and cruelty that had been inflicted on their unsung, and now laid to rest, heroine. To date, I cannot authentically connect to my maternal family without triggering one of them.

 

Countless times, when walking in the local neighbourhood I was accosted by sobbing strangers desperately clinging on to my arms and shoulders wailing “You’re Pam’s girl! You’re Pam’s girl!” Although these strangers were well intentioned and offered many kind words about my mother, these incidents would highlight my loss, aggravate my grief and, from my then fragile perspective, put my life in danger. My life was in danger because I told myself that if strangers could recognize me as her daughter surely the monster that choked the life out of her would too. Then, analysis of potential preference indicators that might draw in a monster-like creature consumed my mind. I was stuck in chaos, disempowered and deeply unsafe in my body.

 

Her death has resulted in many tangible outcomes including, but not limited to the following. I have received a diagnosis of complex-PTSD with intermittent experiences of depression, which I am not attached to but I am consistently managing and acutely ware of. As this has impacted me, I have had to work harder to secure funds to invest in my well being. I have to actively choose to not be scared of the world around me, particularly men. I have to choose daily to believe my body and myself are safe. I have to choose daily that I am competent, powerful and deeply loveable. I have to choose daily to stick very close to what brings me joy and peace. I have to choose to actively take care of my body and mind as both are alive and actively compounding my experience of stress and fear. I choose daily to release my nightmarish past and create a life for myself that revolves around joyful connection.

 

In terms of this events financial impact on my life, I have had to seek care and funding largely individually due to technicalities. For example, the Criminal Injuries Service Board offers compensation to individuals’ based on the legal principle of mental or nervous shock. So, as I did not come upon the scene of the violent crime or witness it unfolding I was compensated 10 bereavement sessions after a 4-year bureaucratic process. Luckily, at 15 I had access to individuals with health benefit plans and a loving schooling environment so for those 4 years I was well supported. I attended a weekly counselling session at school and a monthly psychiatric session with a trauma expert. Financially, I worked 70-hour weeks to save for my University degree and be able to invest in my own wellness regime. Currently, I have succeeded in completing my university without debt. Now, I am moving on to the next exciting chapter of my life with tools, lessons and a stronger sense of self. In this way, my mother’s death, while brutal and tragic, enabled me to foster a greater relationship with myself and force me to acknowledge the fragility of life and impermanence. I have been exposed to many systems that perpetuate human disconnection and, largely, do not serve our most vulnerable populations. I have resolved in my heart to be courageous and create positive change in the world around me. Ultimately, I have grown into an exceptionally capable, loving and powerful human being. I have chosen to be empowered in knowing that my mother remains graceful, strong and dignified in her life and death regardless of the brutality faced alone.

 

Up till now, all of my relationships have been framed in fears of loss, which I am choosing to let go of.

 

There are some days where I experienced high-level of emotional distress that I choose to manage through constructive tools of connection like yoga and meditation.

 

There have been many times when I have to lovingly explain to intimate partners about my delicate and complex feelings and experience around the act of sex and real intimacy as my mother and myself have experienced real acts of violation and oppression.

 

In moments where I expected safety and love, sharing my reality has sometimes offered me righteous anger, utterly disconnecting fear and heart wrenching shame, which I am choosing to look as lessons on how to love other people as best I can.

 

Nearly every day, I have to be very careful in choosing the media I consume as it greatly affects my mood, as I am overly sensitized and hyper vigilant.

 

Nearly every day, I chose to be very particular about the people around me.

 

Every day, so far, I have actively controlled the intensity of my human experience out of fear. This forceful and domineering nature as a result of living in perpetual fear no longer serves me. Now, I am choosing to actively control my human experience out of love for myself and for all.

 

One day, I will have to explain and reframe my concepts and feelings around motherhood.

 

One day, I will have to gently explain to a precious innocent one that I will have birthed into this world what happened to their would-be grandmother while instilling in them a sense of safety and curiosity regarding the world around them.

 

 

I am grateful to have been safe all these years. I am grateful that I have found truly authentic individuals who respect and acknowledge the experience of my fear and challenge me to grow. I am grateful to be able to see with better clarity the beauty in breakdowns and in life. I am choosing to dedicate my lifetime to the real beauty and grace that I can choose to embody. I have always had the privilege of being surrounded by champions. All of the teachers, detectives, counsellors, lawyers, doctors, officers, friends, family members, and adversaries have gone above and beyond to help me grow into my human experience.

 

Most importantly, I believe I chose my Mother who is solidified in my mind’s eye as one of the greatest women to have ever walked the earth.

 

She lives on in me and I choose to serve her memory with humility and strength. For your convenience, I have included a picture of her in the docket which I feel can be best experienced when reading the following words aloud:

 

Freshly cut grass, spatters of freckles, snowfalls and chocolate syrup, the roaring and rolling of thunderstorms, a powerful release of cleansing rain, a shimmying sing-song voice in the kitchen, strong and soft arms faintly smelling of cigarettes, hazel eyes with a perfect ring of blue, high arched feet, a small frame with big eyes and lips, a fully clothed body leaping into a cool pool, a voice dually full of gentle reminders and passionate opinions, a comforting fire, a loving home, acts of devotion, and life of sacrifice. For me, that best equates my Mother.

 

Thank you for your understanding and attention.

Peace and Love

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