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Our Small Town Was Hit With Tragedy & How I Talked About it with my Kids Was NOT Easy...
I am sure most of you have heard about the young man, 19yo, who went missing a week ago in Foothill Ranch, Orange County.
That young man Blaze Bernstein, and his family, are residents of where we live.
When the news broke on our local Facebook chat groups our community rallied with local sheriffs, the searchers, supported the family with prayers and many posted up flyers locally and a far.
The news traveled all over social media even bringing some celebrities, athletes and public figures to re tweet, share and post about Blaze's disappearance.
Come this last Monday I was asked by my daughter to not walk her usual walk to our pick up meet up point but to do the drop off pick up line instead.
Her fear had already sunk in, she had seen the search tents point of meet up, set up command stations in our local store parking lots, at her school and at the park she walks through daily.
The outreach as well as the uncertainty of things just poured out of our community trickling down to the kids too.
Today we found out that unfortunately this bright young man was found deceased at the park yesterday, Tuesday, around 2pm. I had kept my kids home yesterday, they didn't feel well, I felt off and it was my gut feeling to do so. My husband went to pick up homework around 3 and said he didn't see anything but what was announced earlier in the day that they may be searching again...
Devistation set in, my heart sank for this family. Many of us don't know them personally but all of us know someone who does or goes to school with one of their kids. We are a small town! This has shaken us all up!
Immediately I thought about the kids, a lot of them had seen enough to ask basic questions of why the news vans and police everywhere the last few days... even if you try to sugar coat things for the safety of your kids the truth at some level needs to be addressed with appropriate conversation for the ahe of the child.
Their school is attached to the park where this young man was sadly found. The kids and parents walk this route daily. It's a familiar route to a lot of us. It's heartbreaking to say the least.
Tonight (Wednesday 1.10.18) there was a candlelight vigil and so much sadness for a sorrowful celebration of a life cut short. Over 500 people must have been there in the park. To see the support of our community is amazing but why we had to come together is pure heartache devastation!
Any families nightmare ... I cried ... a lot.
My oldest asked me to talk to her a bit about it.. she doesn't want to go into the park, near the park, walk the path to school or go near the stairs after today until she is ready to leave Blaze a card.
She said that she didn't understand why someone would kill someone else and just leave them there and then leave them in the rain all alone.. how sad his parents must be.
I cried.. a lot.. more..
I looked at her and told her there are so many good people in this world but there are also people who make bad choices and sometimes horrific ones that can't be made right, that can't be turned back. I told her that the internet and social media is never to be trusted and people lie and it's an easy place to target others of any age so mever trust anyone. I told her that we always have to go with our gut, communicate who hay when where and trust our parents. I told her I would always lover her for her, support her and be there when she needed me. I told her that his family is debated as any family would be and to pray for them and their strength to live without him I told her that I understand her wanting to keep distance from the area and park and said that it's not okay to avoid it out of fear bit out of respect, mourning, compassion and always to be wise to surroundings. I told her that it will take time but when she is ready I will take her backto leave a card of well wishes in Heaven as she asked when to do. I hope I am ready to do that when she is.
I was not sure what else to say but that I love her and I am grateful I get to hug her hold her and kiss her goodnight.
My stomach hurts, my heart filled with sorrow, I wish we could have had a different better outcome for this young man and his hurting family.
We are not sure what he was going through if anything at all, everything on the outside looks fine... but in any case we have all been sad, upset, looking for real truthful compassion and or love... kids please talk to your parents, parents please talk to your kids... everyone please just send positive vibes for the Bernstein family.
If you pray please do so... send them for Blaze, his family and their strength, our community as a whole to know how to help comfort and support and for healing.
I am not sure what the final outcome of this will be, it's already not good, so I don't need to hear more... when there was hope and the search was still on, everyone was on guard, ready, offering help... now we are all just praying for peace within for this family and for our town to keep growing unified & become stronger from it all.
To anyone who shared posts, helped search, posted flyers, sent tips, whatever to bring positive to the situation over the search ... thank you.
To the Bernstein family, our hearts are with you, many hugs, prayers and everyone is here to support however you may need.
To the person(s) who did this... you took someone away, you left them in the bushes alone, you left them next to the walkway of a school, you have hurt his family, friends and community, the officials are on to you and it's only a matter of time your actions meet their punishment.
Rest in Peace Blaze Bernstein