Two years ago last month, Nadine LeBlanc’s 19-year-old grandson Christopher stopped by for a visit at her hair salon in South Los Angeles. A short time later, the Los Angeles Times recounts, he was was driving when a man in another car shot him fatally with a pistol.
His grandmother, 63, has been suffering ever since, an all-too-common occurrence in Los Angeles, the nation’s murder capital last year, with 659 homicides. Most of the dead leave loved ones behind. The survivors are victims too, the Times says. Some grieve, some live in denial. Some take on new responsibilities. They raise the children of murder victims, pay off the victims’ debts, deal with police.
Some loved ones are different. They refuse to accept the killings. They embark on a mission against violence. They protest. They stuff envelopes. They speak out. And in the process of saving others, they discover something: They also save themselves. The Times tells the story of Nadine LeBlanc’s transformation.