Rhonda Herrington Bulmer
Professional Writing Services
LinkedIn Twitter Facebook YouTube RSS
June 11th, 2014
The fraternity of wounded souls
by Rhonda Herrington Bulmer

Forgetmenot3I had already graduated from James M. Hill high school in Chatham, New Brunswick and was studying in Ontario by the time I heard that Allan Legere murdered John Glendenning, of Black River Bridge, in 1987. I remembered meeting the victim and his wife once, as a teenager. My father did some refrigeration work for him.

Two years later, I was living and working in Moncton when Annie Flam, a Chatham shopkeeper, was also murdered by Legere when he escaped custody during a trip to the hospital for treatment. I remember Annie: we students frequented Annie’s convenience shop to buy junk food at lunchtime during school hours. Legere killed four Miramichi residents in the seven months he eluded capture. Seven months.

Knowing a murder victim, even vaguely, is a chilling experience. In the moment it takes a needle to burst a balloon, I realized the line between life and death is razor-thin and irrevocable. Especially as a young person, my bones were rattled and my innocent faith in a just world was destroyed.

At the time, I called my parents, worried for their safety as the manhunt for Legere took place, a manhunt similar to the one we in Moncton experienced last week when police searched for accused killer Justin Bourque.

I do not live in the area of Moncton that was in lock down for 30 hours, just as in 1989 my parents were living a half-hour outside of Chatham in a rural area, close to an air force base where my dad worked. Not too close, but close enough to feel guarded and on edge.

Senses heightened, sleep interrupted.

Last week, I still felt the need to lock my doors, stay off the roads and keep my kids inside.

Senses heightened, sleep interrupted.

It’s all about uncertainty—where is he, really? Is he lurking in the lockdown zone or is he somewhere else? How unpredictable is he? Does he have a plan and even if he does, is he going to snap and commit greater carnage anyway?

All questions that behooved staying indoors. And because both my husband and I work at home, it was easy to follow our inclinations. Not so easy for others who had to manage their daily schedule as best they could.

Yet, this time round, I was uplifted by a couple of things.

Though murderers trade in fear and uncertainty, the heroism of those policemen who died during the performance of their duties was an example of courage. Very few of us go to work expecting to be killed every day, even those who have dangerous jobs. (I doubt we could function properly in our roles if we did.) Yet those policemen loved their jobs and did them well, despite the risks. They trained for it, planned for it, but it likely didn’t rule their minds. I am encouraged that in this cynical, selfish world filled with subjective morality and its resulting chaos, there are principled people such as Constables Fabrice Georges Gevaudan, 45; David Joseph Ross, 32, and Douglas James Larche, 40, who counted peace, safety and the rule of law important enough to pay for with their own lives.

Would I do so much? Would you?

Even in my everyday life, I know that I could give more. I could sacrifice much more, even as the Christ I claim to serve already compels me.

The Canadian press photos of thousands of RCMP and other police officers marching down Millennium Boulevard towards yesterday’s regimental funeral at the Moncton coliseum was an overwhelming sight: a sea of red serge, heavy in pomp and ceremony, a cloud of grief belying the sunny day.

I hope that the international wave of support was in some way heartening to those family members who are now left behind. They pay the price, too—perhaps more than anyone.

The second is the outpouring of support and appreciation for the RCMP and for our community that has joined hands in collective grief, opened their homes and given of their time and talents. When the chips are down, Maritimers respond in a big way. Despite the evil actions of one person, don’t tell me that I don’t live in the best place on earth.

Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13
Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more. Romans 5:20

2 Responses to “The fraternity of wounded souls”

  1. Ian White says:

    Written from the heart Rhonda.

  2. Donna MacKendrick says:

    Thank you Rhonda for sharing your thoughts so well. You are such a gift.

Leave a Reply