In The Midst of a Storm: From Grieving Mother to Advocate for Change
Vickye Coward lived through a parent’s worst nightmare, the murder of her only son, 18 year-old Tyler in 2007. Now she has put her experiences to text, in the newly published In the Midst of a Storm.
When you work with Vickye, as I have been privileged to, the first thing that is evident is the un-provoked respect she shows everyone.
It’s one of those impossible-to-teach attributes explains why Vickye was able to become an effective advocate.
Her book explains how the loss of Tyler at first “trapped her in a cocoon” of grief. She and her daughters struggled daily with their immense pain, as well as the basics of day-to-day living. There were little to no services or support for people affected by violent crime in her community.
But Vickye wanted to make sure others don’t go through the same thing. And began working – tirelessly – towards a criminal justice system that cares about meeting the actual needs of victims’ families. Like the need for specialized counseling. Financial support. Time off from work.
Vickye became determined to end the death penalty in her home state of Connecticut. It’s agonizing process dragged families through years of pain and usually didn’t end in the promised result. At the same time it siphoned vast resources that could have gone to actually helping families rebuild their lives.
Vickye confronted news vans in New Haven, spoke to legislators, dealt with peppering questions from the press, and reached out to other victims’ families. Her leadership helped enable Connecticut to become the nation’s 17th state to get rid of the death penalty this past April.
While this was all happening, Vickye was also diving head first into the deep ocean of writing a book. She hopes that this book can be a source of support, a way for her to “be there with” people going through their grief, as well as the difficulties of dealing with a justice system that ignores their pain.
And for those who have not experienced such a tragedy, Vickye gives a “blow by blow description of what happens to a family when they receive the news of losing a loved one to homicide, the feelings that follow, how homicide effects a family afterwards, and the long, drawn out process of dealing with the judicial system.”
This is important for everyone to hear about. Buy In the Midst of A Storm today.