Maria Joseph’s son Peter died in a drug related robbery last March in the Spokane Valley. On Saturday in Audubon Park, she and about 100 people celebrated what would have been Peter Michael Joseph’s 20th birthday. 150 colorful balloons were launched in his memory. Like any parent who loses a child, Maria’s grief was intense and raw. “I miss him so much,” she said. “He’ll always be in my heart.”
This video was difficult to edit. I went home last night at 11 p.m exhausted and spent. In the video editing process, you have to listen to the cuts you make over and over. With each edit I made, I felt Maria’s pain. Alone in my darkened edit bay Saturday night, I was surrounded by sounds and images of her loss, her grief. Over the course of a six-hour edit shift, I probably listened to her story 30 times. As journalists, we are sometimes criticized as being uncaring or jaded. In this case, all I felt for Maria Joseph was empathy.
Thanks also to S-R photojournalist Holly Pickett for letting me use her powerful photo of Maria in the beginning of the video.