A Human Face

I had an interesting moment the other day.

I was sitting and talking with someone I’d never seen around work before and he was telling me his story so that I could help him to fill out a housing application for him. He talked about siblings, it seemed there were a lot. But one sister killed herself because of a degenerative disease. Another sibling has the same disease. And another sister “was got by Pickton”. That stopped me in my tracks, but he just continued on talking. It was the first time I’ve heard that said in a sentence by anyone that I have actually been speaking with. I am sure it is not the first person I’ve come across who has known someone affected by the serial killer operating on the Downtown East Side, but it was the first time I’ve actually heard someone say it out loud.

I remember when the trial was going on. I was visiting New Westminster and saw the crowds of reporters lining the steps of the courthouse.

The Missing Women’s Inquiry is going on right now in Vancouver. It is mired in controversy as interest groups drop out due to lack of funding and disillusionment with the inquiry.

But here, sitting in front of me, was a living and breathing person dramatically touched by that one person’s actions.

It brings a more human face to the whole thing.

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