Home > Death, Parenting, Personal, Reflections > Be the village

Be the village

On September 19, 2008, 14-month-old Nathan Coleman was beaten to death by his mother’s boyfriend. His tiny body was discarded in a Dumpster behind my apartment.



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There will be no silver lining for that precious little boy, who has now been dead more than twice as long as he lived.

While there can be no silver lining here, there is hope for all those who yet live and wait for the light that will lead them to safety. I urge you to think of Nathan—and other children like him who might never know the joys of seeing life get better—if you see signs of abuse, in children or adults. As I wrote on Valentine’s Day:

If someone you love is in abusive relationship, please know that judging them will not hasten the end of that relationship. Please see here for information on recognizing–and responding to–possible signs someone you love is being abused. Take very seriously the reminder to: “…keep in mind that expressing your concern will let the person know that you care and may even save his or her life.”   

You have the power to save a life. Thus is it that I urge you, speak up.  As Maggie Kuhn said, “Stand before the people you fear and speak your mind—even if your voice shakes.” Like running a marathon, it really is the having done it you take with you.  Not the fear. Not the anxiety.

On September 20, 2008, I wrote: “RIP, little one, whoever you were, and might have been.”

Nathan Coleman will never know what it’s like to be two, or ten, or fifteen, and that is a tragedy that cannot be avoided.

It’s what’s to come that can yet be shaped. Use your words. Use your love.

Be the village.

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This was among posts accidentally deleted from this blog.
Reposted 6/21/15

  1. Mikki Donaldson
    June 21, 2015 at 10:17 pm

    How true and how sad for the little boy. No one is worth staying in an abusive relationship that could cost a person their life. You can’t replay or rewind that kind of situation… you just can’t take it back. When parents stay in violent situations, it makes it extremely hard on the kids both in the long and short term. So much emotional damage is done too that you can never be sure of how that child will develop. Abuse should be zero tolerance in each household. God bless the children.

  2. June 21, 2015 at 11:29 pm

    Reblogged this on mgwebbuddy.

  3. June 22, 2015 at 5:06 am

    I stumbled upon a website with numerous stories of children like Nathan, and couldn’t look away for the longest time. Heartbreaking! Thank you for putting this reminder out there.

  1. June 22, 2015 at 5:08 am

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