Senseless? Funeral for one, rather than four

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I hate it when I have the scoop and have to hold it–only to lose it to someone else. That’s the world of breaking news, though, and the first person who nails the story gets to run with it!

Not that it matters, but I had the story at 7 a.m. today, and would have had it last night, had I not gone to bed just before receiving a text message. I am bummed.

And so, about 5 p.m. today, the world learned that funeral plans had changed, seemingly overnight. That instead of there being one funeral for Lashanda Armstrong and her three little ones: 5-year-old Landen Pierre, 2-year-old Lance Pierre and 11-month-old Laianna Pierre, there will now be two funerals. (Lainanna, by the way, turned one today. Yet another sadness this family must bear.)

I have been so busy replying to emails from people who not only comprehend this story, but who have also lived it–or are living it right now–that I haven’t even had time to comment about my national piece at The Daily Beast. And all I have time for now, as I toss my clothes into a bag and hit the road in my rental vehicle, is to say that there are a lot of mean people out there, who don’t know how to play nice. I guess they could be just having a bad day. Or not. I wonder if they would feel the same way, if they were on the recipient’s end of these brave, heartbreaking messages I’m reading.

Now back to today’s news: two funerals for a grieving family and the only surviving sibling–La’Shaun Armstrong, who has faced more in his short 10 years than most of us will ever face in an entire lifetime–just somehow doesn’t make sense to me.

But that’s just me.

* * * *

In one month my next book, Guilt by Matrimony, about the murder of Aspen socialite, Nancy Pfister, will be released. My memoir, Sister of Silence, is about surviving domestic violence and how journalism helped free me; Cheatin’ Ain’t Easy, now in ebook format, is about the life of Preston County native, Eloise Morgan Milne; The Savage Murder of Skylar Neese (a New York Times bestseller, with coauthor Geoff Fuller) and Pretty Little Killers (also with Fuller), released July 8, 2014, and featured in the August 18 issue of People Magazine.

You can find these books either online or in print at a bookstore near you, at BenBella Books, Nellie Bly Books, Amazon, on iTunes and Barnes and Noble.

For an in-depth look at the damaging effects of the silence that surrounds abuse, please watch my live TEDx talk, given April 13, 2013, at Connecticut College.

Have a great day and remember, it’s whatever you want to make it!


Editor’s Note: Daleen Berry is a New York Times best-selling author and a recipient of the Pearl Buck Award in Writing for Social Change. She has won several other awards, for investigative journalism and her weekly newspaper columns, and her memoir, Sister of Silence, placed first in the West Virginia Writers’ Competition. Ms. Berry speaks about overcoming abuse through awareness, empowerment and goal attainment at conferences around the country. To read an excerpt of her memoir, please go to the Sister of Silence site. Check out the five-star review from ForeWord Reviews. Or find out why Kirkus Reviews called Ms. Berry “an engaging writer, her style fluid and easy to read, with welcome touches of humor and sustained tension throughout.”


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