Connect by Listening

In 2007, my step-sister, 3 months my junior, was killed in her home, after a concert, by her ex-boyfriend. 

Cristi was a dynamic individual. She was charismatic, fun, buoyant. She was busy, with conflicting stressful roles, and turned to unhealthy habits to cope. (Miller Lite was her number one vice.) She was a special education teacher who touched the lives of many students. One student expressed her appreciation for Cristi because Cristi listened to her when this student was in crisis – wanting to die. And, this student wasn’t the only one.

Cristi listened compassionately to her students. And, though she had some really great friends, she didn’t have a network that fully supported her. In part, like so many of us, she didn’t know how to fully articulate what she needed. And, unfortunately, that, along with many unfortunate events, led to her early death.

I am hosting a listening campaign for many reasons. One of which is Cristi. As women, I believe we owe it to each other to come together as support and not judgment. We’ve judged and been judged – enough. Now is the time to come together and listen.

But how? How do we truly listen without judgement? We practice, that’s how.

So, I am offering to you the opportunity to be heard. Next, we will practice together. For now, though, just be heard. Be heard for all the Cristis of the world so that we can save lives instead of saying goodbye before it’s time.

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