Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Loss of Lily and Family

Talented Photographer Lily Romando

     Our daughter, as an offshoot of her illustration career, is involved in a fair number of photography projects and photography education. . During one of these projects she became acquainted with a young photographer, Lily Romando.  Lily is very talented.
          This week, according to Albemarle County, Virginia police, Lily's brother, Noah Romando, 19, is alleged to have killed his entire family, before killing himself.

Elizabeth Walton, was mother to Lily and her brothers. She was an advertising executive in Charlottesville, Virginia
She had only married her husband Don in June, and still used the name Beth McLaughlin professionally. Beth is also a former teacher.

Andrew Romando, 15, was Lily's younger brother.

Noah Romando, 19 was a college student at the highly rated Piedmont Virginia Community College in Charlottesville, Virginia.

                  Somewhere between the shooting of the family, and just before Noah took his own life, Noah called Albemarle Police to let them know there had been a shooting at their address. When police arrived, Andrew was found shot, but still alive, and was sent to University of Virginia Medical Center where he died afterward.

                   The murder suicide phenomenon is not new.  Although there is no national tracking system for murder-suicides in the US, cursory medical studies seem to indicate that this pattern is increasing.   It happened less often in the US about ten years ago.   Psychiatrists tell us that sometimes, a person who would normally commit suicide decides that they cannot leave people they love alone on the Earth without them. In a sense, they wish to leave the Earth, but protect those they love from their suicide, and also from life or a particular circumstance or challenges on Earth.   Of course, this is profoundly disordered thinking, but it is important to examine because perhaps in understanding this thinking, we can intercept people who might do such a thing.    In the last ten years, family murder suicides have increased in incidence in the United States. This is the first time someone known to our family has been taken in such a manner.

                   Please join me today in prayers for the Noah, Andrew's and Lily's father, Peter Romando, and for Beth's husband, Don Walton, for their related families, and for their friends as they grieve and try to make sense of such a senseless and insane act.  This family, all of them, including Noah, were highly valued by this region. Noah, Andrew and Lily will be sorely missed by their many friends at their schools.  Beth will be very missed by both her friends and her co-workers.  Mrs.Walton is the daughter of Philip and Paula McLaughlin of Greenbrier County, West Virginia,  and the late Jane Forms McLaughlin.


     Lily feared being forgotten, which is so ironic when you consider how visually talented she was, in tandem with how much joy she brought so many people she encountered.    These are some pictures taken by Lily.

This is a picture Lily took of Beth, her mother.
Lily was an avid nature photographer also.

This is a picture Lily took of her Dad.

Friends and clients Aliyah and Drew.

     Lily,   You saw and lived a lot of joy while you lived here on Earth.     I can promise you that none of the people who were touched by you, or by your work, will ever forget you.   We know that you, your Mom, and your brothers are safe home, and that your brother was ill, and loved you all very much despite what happened in those last moments.   Godspeed, Lily.

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