May 26, 2020
Today has been final preparations of a funeral service I will officiate tomorrow. It seems whatever celebrations I am part of, healing is a part of that celebration. Always a reminder to me of our human existence. And the mix of light and dark in our world.
So tonight seems like a time to share some of that mix from my own life. This weekend a video was publicly shared for the first time. It features a community’s healing journey from clergy sexual abuse. That community is in San Francisco Chinatown, and is near and dear to my heart. My husband was raised in that community which composes Cameron House and Presbyterian Church of Chinatown. My husband’s roots and foundation are deep in that community. Sadly, he was one of the victims/survivors/thrivers of the sexual abuse by the Pastor. Willie was one of the older victims of abuse that spanned four decades.
When Willie and I started dating, things were starting to unravel, as the secret of the abuse had finally come out. I went into our marriage knowing there was healing needed. My husband was one of several at the heart of forming a healing task force; to work through the aftermath of effects on the direct victims and the community. A large part of our marriage was impacted by the ripples of the abuse and movement toward ripples of healing. I supported my husband in the healing journey. I’ll admit; it took a toll on our marriage. I did not stop loving him, even through his dying and death. And I loved and still love the Community… despite and because of the abuse and healing process.
In my work as a Chaplain/Celebrant/Spiritual Care Counselor, I have accompanied many embracing darkness… often holding or witnessing as people go through their own journey. Hopefully toward some light. Never ignoring the darkness.
I also am very clear that many have been hurt by communities, organized religion, family members, etc. I embrace darkness. I have lived darkness of my own and the darkness of this clergy sexual abuse. And just as I embrace darkness; I have much experience finding light. I hope perhaps, my own darkness,, and my understanding of other’s darkness; it allows me to be with others and create truly authentic celebrations. Because there is light to be found, and celebrations to be had; and thank goodness… healing!
Part of my healing journey was a support group with other spouses of the victims. For over 15 years we have been meeting. We created a vision for an art piece that illuminates the ripples of healing required. That art piece, brought to life by artist Christine Amri, is in the photograph with this blog post; and described more fully with the attached link.
That link holds this special video and more information about the healing journey. The video was produced and directed by professional filmmaker, Evan Leong, and is about 20 minutes long. The goal of the video was to share our healing process publicly… perhaps to help other communities who have need of healing from similar abuse. I am so grateful for the sharing by so many… and I know Willie is smiling from wherever his soul is.
I offer the attached labor of love from one of my beloved communities. Perhaps it will offer you, or someone you know, hope for healing… and light.
If you have questions or wish to discuss further, please feel free to contact me.