SAN DIEGO — As the Chabad of Poway Synagogue filled with people for the memorial service of Lori Kaye, who was shot and killed in Saturday’s attack, the corner across the street filled with flowers and notes of support.
“What brought me out here is just – I’m just heartbroken,” said Judy Maron, who lives in the nearby community of Scripps Ranch. “I’m of Jewish faith. I don’t go to the Chabad, but it hurts that this happened to my faith…that there’s people out there that just hate you because you’re of a different religion.”
Maron, like many in San Diego and throughout the country and world, are wrestling with questions in the wake of this attack that don’t have easy answers.
“When is it all going to stop? When is enough enough?” Maron questioned. “It’s just really sad that this is the America we live in.”
For some people, note-writing was an outlet for their grief. Pieces of paper at the corner memorial flapped in Monday’s wind and rain, with the running ink mirroring the tears of the mourners inside the synagogue across the street.
“Thinking of you and sending lots and lots of love. – Everyone at Oak Valley Middle ASB. Love and peace,” one note said.
“You have our thoughts and prayers," another note read. "Don’t let the fear affect your faith or love of God. May it help your relationship with the Lord grow strong. God bless.”
One note expressing “our deepest sympathy, you are not alone” was signed, “From your Muslim neighbors.”
Another was signed, “a Christian sister.”
However, grief is a complicated feeling. Amy Thompson grappled with it as she stood beside the memorial at the corner of Rancho Bernardo Road and Summerfield Lane.
“I just feel really powerless – like what can I do?” she said.
She clutched a sign in hand-painted green lettering that read, “Love thy neighbor…Summerfield grieves with you.”
Thompson lives in the Summerfield neighborhood, right across the street from Chabad of Poway. She expressed feeling conflicted about her response to Saturday’s shooting.
“You know, honestly, I’m kind of numb to it,” she said, with a sad, grim expression on her face. “Like, this happens all the time. I wasn’t exactly sad. I was angry. I’m angry, really angry, and that’s what I felt – and I felt bad that I didn’t feel sad. I felt bad that that wasn’t my response.”
What can anyone do but add their voice, flowers and note to a chorus of people saying – like Maron said – “violence has to end. The hate has to end.”
They are words that come from a broken heart – but not a broken spirit.
“We’re all human beings, and what makes us different makes the world beautiful,” Maron said.
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