My Daughter was Murdered

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By: Deborah A. Stiles

There are no words.

I am a white woman who is a professor and psychologist; I suffered a traumatic loss in 2022 when my 34-year-old African American foster daughter was murdered. Although we were not biologically related, I was her mother, and she was my daughter; I deeply cherished and depended upon our relationship. To quote the message from a fellow foster parent and dear friend, “She was your daughter—born of your heart.”

Here I am writing about my personal perspective. I am not writing about everything that happened; I am writing about what has been most important for me as I have been transformed by the loss of my beloved daughter. Because I am a professor, I am also connecting my personal experiences with professional literature.

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