Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Sherry’s Body is Found

I feel I should write something about the developments in North Dakota today.

The FBI and local authorities believe they have found the remains of Sherry’s body outside of Williston, North Dakota. You may remember that this was where one of the men was arrested. The other had fled to South Dakota where he was picked up. The body has been sent to the state medical examiner in Missoula for formal identification.

A body brings much needed closure. In the physical sense, she comes home. I do not know how the family is reacting, I have not talked to them.

Yes, we knew she was dead. Yet, having a body somehow makes this so definite and real.

It all comes up to the surface: anger, bitterness, sadness, a sense of longing.

We don’t know the “whys” of why bad, horrible, ugly and unfair things happen. They just do. People have free will and do horrendous things. People have free will and do amazingly kind and compassionate things.

I go back to the dream I had the morning of the Virtual Run. Dreams can tell us so much if we choose to observe and listen. They are the key to our deepest selves. They are the stuff that gets unlocked in mysterious sleep. My dreams are never very clear, and I hardly ever remember a thing about them. Yet, on that morning, Sherry sat by me on a couch and whispered to me “Goodnight.” In the dream I knew she was dead yet knew she was with me. I knew she was saying “Goodbye and let go.” I woke up crying, yet peaceful. 

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I have not seen Sherry in three years. Yet, she and I had a bond because we were alike in so many ways.  When I met her when I was ten, our connection was immediate. As much as I like people and have many friends, it’s rare to find someone  you instantaneously bond with. Her story could have easily been my story. Her story could easily have been all of our stories.

Something very eerie happened almost exactly a year before she went missing. I even blogged about it at the time. She sent me an email telling me about a run she had gone on after school. She had been sideswiped by a car and had lost her shoe. She was thrown to her knees. The driver sped off. After the police came, she found her shoe and ran the three miles home.  She wrote, “We runners can be kind of touched in the head. I am telling you this because I know you would have finished out the run too. You are just as hard core as I am.” She told me to “be careful out there because you never know what is coming.”

It is a haunting story in many ways.

This is who she was. Tough in spirit, kind in her heart and full of laughter (about farts nonetheless – you can see why she stole my heart).

Sherry Arnold 062505

Thank you for being with me in so many ways – your thoughts, your comments, your emails, your prayers, your generous donations, your willingness to come out and run in her memory. I know I am a broken record, but this community of ours has symbolized the power and unifying nature of goodness.  I love people.

That is all. She is gone, yet still with us in many ways. She is remembered. She is at peace.

SUAR

83 comments:

  1. Saw an article about this a few hours ago. I am so glad she can be put to rest and you and your family will have some closure. Most of all, it's time for those bastards to be put to trial. I suppose this makes it a federal case now.

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    1. Yes, and I don't think there is a punishment tough enough for these lowlifes.

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    2. Totally agree as well! Scum of the earth. I'm so, so sorry again.

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  2. Oh Beth, I don't know what to say. Thank you for sharing all of this when you could have just shut down and grieved (again) privately. I am thankful for whatever closure this brings the family, thankful to have been part of such a caring community sharing in the virtual run and honoring Sherry. Thankful for every single moment. RIP Sherry.

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  3. my thoughts and prayers still go with you and her family. May those responsible for this get everything karma will bring them.

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  4. Since the virtual run, I think of Sherry often, knowing she would finish it out... Sorry for you and her families loss, I hope they can find some closure in this. Thank you for sharing her with all of us. A woman I have never met who can inspire me everytime I put my running shoes on... Thank You!

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  5. I am sorry to hear that. I know it must be difficult, but I am glad that it will help to give everyone closure.

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  6. Typing this through my tears. I'm relieved for you and your family and saddened all over again. Prayers for all of you tonight, Beth. Keep the faith.

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  7. I'm happy that you have some much-needed closure. I know it obviously doesn't make things easy, though. I keep your family in my heart and prayers! Take care of yourself.

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  8. It's good to have this piece of the puzzle completed. Even if it opens up old wounds. Thank you for sharing and allowing us to send you our thoughts and love during these times.

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  9. My heart goes out to you and the rest of her family and friends.

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  10. Beth, I go to grad school in Missoula and I'm praying for Sherry, her friends and family tonight.

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  11. I think about her almost every time I run. Her story has touched us all.

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  12. May her family and friends finally find some closure...I am so very sorry...this is heartbreaking.

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  13. It breaks my heart to hear this news because, yes, it makes it more real. I am truly sorry, Beth. I hope you and the rest of Sherry's family and friends find peace. Thinking of you...
    Z

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  14. I am so sorry..my thoughts are with you and your family.

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  15. Ugh, those two fools make me feel SICK! I can't believe what they did to your sweet dear Sherry. I am so sorry for you and your family.

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  16. I'm glad she's been found. And I'm sure that dream of yours was her saying goodbye. The same happened to me when my Grandma died.

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  17. this must have been very hard to share but i cannot thank you enough for doing so. We need to be careful, cautious, and aware. So sorry for your loss. Sherry must have been on AMAZING woman. God bless.

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  18. What a beautiful dream, to have sat next to her like that. I believe it was real, and like Char said, Sherry was saying goodbye. May you and the family find peace in her body being 'home'.

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  19. What a wonderful dream. I had a similar dream when I once lost someone very close to me, so I have some idea how that feels. I believe it was Sherry saying goodbye. Hugs to you and yours.

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  20. your dream gave me and the email she sent your gave me the chills! it's so scary to think what cruel, disgusting, heartless people are out there! I hope you organize a virtual run in her memory every year! my thoughts are with during this hard time.

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  21. Fresh tears again tonight for you, for Sherry, and for the rest of her family. Such an unfair and evil thing. May she now truly rest in the peace, grace, and love that surrounds her. Prayers for healing and peace all around.

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  22. Finally some closure. I love that last picture of Sherry...I remember her always standing like that with her hand on her hip. We are all better people because of Sherry :)

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  23. Having lost a brother when I was 18 and remembering the week long wait while the body was identified...I know how agonizing it can be, yet I know it will bring them some closure and hopefully peace. Hugs to you and them. xo, Jessica

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    1. I am so sorry about your brother. There are no words to grasp the enormity of that loss.

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  24. I had heard the news and was talking with my husband at dinner saying just that the family can have closurevnow. So sorry hugs

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  25. I'm thankful you can get some closure and take Sherry home. I think of her story often. God bless.

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  26. I'm glad that there is closure but sad that it happened at all. Praying for you and your family. I was taking a break from blog reading for awhile so I missed out on the virtual run so I will be running for Sherry tomorrow.

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  27. The best I can understand today is this, we must be a faithful witness to what happened to Sherry. We must join that woman in the story of her last day, her final hours and maybe in some small way, Sherry is not alone. She lived and died those final hours in the grip of something darker than many of us care to acknowledge exists in the world. Yet, it clearly does. By being in my own small way, a faithful witness to this darkness, maybe something else becomes part of the story. Maybe something of goodness, and decency, and love is held up to the monsters that threatens to annihilate the world. In that one fraction of a second, when my heart breaks from knowing the story, when my humanity spills from my eyes, when my stomach lurches against the horror, the darkness is no longer all consuming, all annihilating, all silencing. A beautiful soul named Sherry faced and was defeated by this darkness and I bear the burden of this grief. In the story being known, being told, perhaps her sacrifice is not in vain. The story of Sherry is tragic, horrid, heart wrenching, witnessed, and known. Would that there come a day when this kind of darkness is confronted by a thousand candles of decency, and courage, and willingness to know the dark and the light amongst us. Perhaps our willingness to witness that which threatens to destroy us is what will ultimately grow our humanity. I wonder.

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  28. I feel so sorry for her children. Losing your mom is tough at any age but to lose her to a senseless act of violence has to be a terrible. God bless them

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  29. Love to you. :( Thanks for sharing with us Beth.

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  30. My husband and I are from Montana and my Father in law and Brother in law both work in North Dakota crushing rock for the oil field roads, they drive that road every day and were always telling us how incredibly dangerous it is to drive, couldn't imagine as a runner. She touched my heart when I heard this story, being from a small town and having the sense of security is such a peaceful feeling. Your family and the families who have grown in that town have been forever changed. I think of her often and speak with my Mother in law about her a lot. There aren't words to bring any comfort, but she will NEVER be forgotten.

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  31. glad to hear that sherry will finally come home. thinking of you all.

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  32. More (((hugs))) tonight from me to you. Sending you a whole lot of love.

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  33. Just heard the news saying Sherry's body was found. I of course immediately thought of you and the mixed emotions you must be feeling, Happy her body was found and sad all over again that she is gone. May peace be with you and yours.

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  34. So sorry to hear this but hope this brings you and your family some closure.

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  35. Ah Beth...still breaks my heart. I think of her often. I hope she is in a good place with the angels..and I hope this brings an end to the wondering where she is...will she ever be found for her husband and kids..this had to be hell for them. I agree with Kathy...time for these 2 monsters to pay.

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  36. I'm sorry, Beth. Big hugs to you and your family. Praying for peace, comfort and closure...

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  37. I saw that on the news tonight they found her, I was so relieved that the family could have a proper burial now and she will be laid to "rest".

    Just so sucks all-around...and it always will!

    :(

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  38. Thank you for sharing and hugs to you and all of Sherry's loved ones.

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  39. Thank you for keeping your virtual friends in the loop. For no reason, Sherry has really been on my mind a lot this week. I am so relieved for your family to have a sense of closure in this horrible night are. Peace and love to you and yours.

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  40. Thanks for letting us know - You and your family remain in my thoughts and prayers, but I'm glad you have some closure to this senseless tragedy.

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  41. I'm so glad that Sherry will be brought home and that your whole family will at least have some closure on this. I'm so sorry that this has to happen at all though. I too think of Sherry often, when I am out running alone (which I do most of the time), and you are right, it could have been any one of us.

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  42. i have goosebumps...

    hope her family is able to find closure. SO sorry to all of you for having to deal with this tragic loss of such an incredible woman and athlete. prayers go out to all of you...

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  43. My heart goes out to each of you. Thank you so much for keeping us updated. I know it must be tough. So deeply sorry for each of your losses in this tragic story. God Bless and know my prayers are with you.

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  44. I am so thankful that Sherry can now be brought home.
    God bless all of her family.

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  45. Prayers for you and your family! RIP Sherry. You are home now.

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  46. So thankful that at least she's found. Prayers to you and her family.

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  47. Prayers to Sherry's family and friends that they may now find some peace and closure. Thanks for sharing Beth.

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  48. so, so sad that this happened to Sherry. Thank you for blogging about her so we could know more about her as a person. My thoughts are with you and her family.

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  49. Very truly sorry for your loss. I was saddened when I saw the story and then later to hear you two were connected not only as runners but as friends. God bless her, her family, friends and all those whose lives she touched.

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  50. God Bless and as many have said, it has connected us all and we feel deeply for the loss.

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  51. Thankful Sherrie can be laid to rest and be at home with her family. Still praying for you and your family. Such an unexplainable tragedy. Those lowlifes will be punished.

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  52. Although finding her definitely does make it more real, I hope it helps bring closure and peace. You and her family are definitely in my thoughts.

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  53. Beth, thank you for sharing this with us, I can only imagine how painful it is. My thoughts and prayers are with you and the family. May they find peace and closure.

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  54. Prayers of comfort going up for you and your family. So very sorry.

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  55. This has been my prayer since we knew that she would not be coming home alive--that her body would be found to come home and be laid to rest properly. I pray that you and all who knew her will have some measure of peace and closure now, and that the men responsible will be held accountable for their heinous actions.

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  56. Thank you for sharing this. Thankful the family can continue down the road of grief, healing, and closure. Peace be with you all.

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  57. I'm relieved they found her....mainly for the family's closure but also now they will have the evidence to hang these 2 monsters.
    Praying for you all, as i know this has been a very rough road.
    She will never be forgotten by any of us.

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  58. I read this in the news yesterday and immediately thought of you. Very poignant post. You will always carry her in your heart. I am glad for her family's sake that they recovered the body so they can have that type of closure and move through the many stages of grief. God bless to all.

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  59. I think about her every time I go out for a run by myself. Every. Single. Time. My thoughts are with you and your family at this time of closure.

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  60. I am hoping for peace and a bit of closure for you and your family. When reading about Sherry, my own problems seem very insignificant and stupid. It puts perspective in my life. Hugs to you!

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  61. so glad to hear they hae found her, it has got to help bring a little bit of peace to your family.

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  62. I have prayed for her to be found since the moment I read that she was missing. I hope you and your family can find some peace and closure. Thank you for being so strong and putting your thoughts into words. I know for me, writing is therapeutic and I am guessing it is for you too. Sherry will always be with you, in your heart and mind. God bless!

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  63. I have been following Sherry's story, and read this last night. I am glad that a little bit of closure can come to her family and friends.......

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  64. Closure, good, bad, the ugly. Prayers for comfort, peace, and the joy of what is to come for you, her extended family, and all the ones you touch thru this blog, Beth. You are an encouragement to others and a light on a hill.

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  65. Closure is important - this will help.

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  66. I'm so glad that you are going to be able to get some closure. I am so very sorry again that this happened to such a great person. You and your family and Sherry's family continue to be in my prayers!

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  67. read about this on the news online today. thinking of you and your family!

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  68. Thank you for sharing more stories about Sherry. I thought of you and your family yesterday when I read the news.

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  69. A friend of the family, who is from MT, emailed me the news tonight. So many people are thinking about her and her family. She will not be forgotten. Prayers with you all.

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  70. So glad you posted this update. In spite of this horror, Sherry went on to a more beautiful place. At least those that love her back here in the life she left can now find closure on the loss of her physical presence. Prayers that Sherry's family can find peace. Hugs.

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  71. Such sad news...yet it brings closure. I hope you are able to find peace knowing that she will always be in your heart. *hugs* I have faith that karma will be with those responsible for this act. My prays are with you and your family.

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  72. I heard about this last night and immediately thought of you. I hope this helps the healing and continued thoughts and prayers to you and the entire family...may you all find peace.

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  73. I'm glad your family can feel some peace & closure.
    I think about you guys and often talk about Sherry when out running with my husband. It really could happen to any of us.
    So glad you have the emails and memories of her.

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