Monday, October 13, 2008

Deer Heart

Yesterday Mario and I watched the Laramie Project, the movie version of the play. It's essentially the story of Matthew Shepard's murder through the voices of the citizens of Laramie. I had seen it before, but it was appropriate to watch it again on the 10 year anniversary of Matthew's death.

It reminded me how hateful so many people are. Not that I needed that reminder. I've heard the hateful and ignorant remarks coming from some McCain supporters at his rallies. Doesn't it make you shudder?

Anyway, you all know that Matthew Shepard was kidnapped, beaten, tied to a fence, and left to die as his brain swelled. He was left out in the cold Wyoming night. Eighteen hours later, a man found him and called the police. The first police officer on the scene was Reggie Fluty. She said Matthew's head and face was covered in blood, except for two lines down his cheeks his tears had made.

But Reggie saw something else as she ran up to help Matthew. Right next to Matthew was a bush and lying on the other side of the bush, close to Matthew, was a huge doe. When the doe saw Reggie, she jumped up and ran away.

The mother deer most likely spent the night next to Matthew. Did she reassure him? Did she breathe on him and wish him well? Did she keep him company as he lay dying?

This is what Reggie said about it: "When I was running up there, there was a big doe lying there—a huge deer, a mother deer. Here Matthew is, and there's a big bush right next to him, and the doe is lying right on the other side of the bush. I didn't see her until I started running up. ...she looked right at me, and poom! she was outta there. I thought, Wow. Did she know Matthew was there? Oh, most definitely. It's not something that was brought out in the reporting, I don't know why. Matthew couldn't talk to me. He had been exposed half the night and half the day. Even though I tried the best I could to comfort him and let him know somebody was there, I think [his comfort came from] that big old doe...I'm sure he could feel her and she could feel him, and she was staying with him till help came."

Sometimes I wonder if the flora and fauna watch us and don't know what to think, what to do. So they offer us compassion. Love.

Love, love, love.

It's not enough. But sometimes all we can do is to love and to witness.


Tziedel said...

Shared this on my Facebook page.

Fahad Khan said...

*RESPECT* to you for doing a blog post on Matthew Shepard!I had done a post on him the other day on Facebook,and a friend told me about the doe being by his side,so I decided to Google.
Will follow you now.:-)

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