Finding strength amid pain & grief
by Ed Wendell
Nov 18, 2020 | 514 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Family and friends of Sanel Music light candles every morning in his memory.
Family and friends of Sanel Music light candles every morning in his memory.
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Sanel Music was shot and killed while sitting in a car at 91st Street and 85th Avenue.
Sanel Music was shot and killed while sitting in a car at 91st Street and 85th Avenue.
slideshow
Woodhaven has been in the news all too often this year, and not always for good reasons. Most recently, there was a rash of attempted rapes in and around Forest Park, all in one day and committed by the same man.

This follows another attempted rape of a woman in Forest Park back in June. And it follows the brutal and senseless beating of Forest Park Golf Course greenskeeper Bill Hinchey, which resulted in his death days later.

In all of these incidents, the police have made an arrest and we hope that justice will be served.

But sometimes justice takes longer.

In August, two young men were shot while sitting in a vehicle on 91st Street near the park. One of the two young men, Sanel Music, was just 21 years old when his life was stolen from him.

How many times have we all sat in a car chatting with friends, late at night and early into the next morning, never feeling like we were in danger, never sensing a threat. But like a shark beneath the surface, danger is always lurking nearby waiting to surface.

And now, just over 100 days after the shooting, no one has been arrested for this horrible crime. The killer or killers are still walking free. And if anyone should be reading this and has any information about this shooting, please call NYPD’s Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS.

Meanwhile the friends and family of Sanel Music have kept a memorial to the young man going at the spot where he lost his life. The memorial is spruced up daily and the candles are lit every morning.

How does a family find the strength to go on when they’ve suffered such a tremendous loss? We’ve all suffered losses, each and every one of us. Some losses hurt more than others; sometimes pain lingers.

But how do you deal with it when the individuals who caused you such pain still walk around freely when the person you loved with all of your heart cannot?

The answer is that we, as human beings enjoying life on this planet, are capable of cruelty and compassion. We are peaceful and violent. We traffic freely in love and hate. Sometimes all of these emotions and traits are mingled together and intertwined.

It is the same with pain and strength. Sometimes you don’t realize what reserves of strength you have inside until you are truly tested with the kind of pain you would think would leave you mad with grief.

And yet, it is the mundane things in life that lift us up and away from our grief. I remember in the first few minutes after my mother passed away right in front of my eyes. We called it in but there wasn’t much anyone could do, it would be a few hours before anyone would show.

So I made a cup of tea. I did the dishes. It helped with the shock, but it was also about getting on with life. It’s one thing when the villain that takes your loved ones life is known to you, in this case cancer.

You curse it and you move on because that’s all you can do.

You’re not going to arrest cancer. There’s no real justice to seek, the book is closed.

But for the family and friends of Sanel Music that book is very much open. It’s been just over 100 days since the shooting and nearly 100 days since anything about it has been in the papers. The story just came and went, another tragedy in a large, sprawling city that produces an overflow of tragic stories on a daily basis.

But we, as residents, cannot forget what happened. We hope that this book will be closed someday with the news that an arrest has been made. And we pray for his family and friends and hope they can find the strength to carry on until that day arrives.
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