While most of us prepare for the Easter season, some people are struggling to survive the death of a loved one. I dedicate the entire month to everyone suffering with grief and sorrow. I too am grief-stricken and I too find April to be a difficult month, especially this year. This month marks the 10th anniversary of my son Sergio’s homicide and while time flies by, for me, it also stands still every time I think of him, every time I miss him.

It has been said time and again, that time heals all wounds. Ten years ago, I wanted so much to believe that, and while the devastation and torment of losing my son has subsided I would be lying if I said that the pain has disappeared. A decade has gone by, and I still think of my son daily. But in all fairness, this time has served to help me recover from the initial trauma. It has slowly healed a good portion of my grief, but I acknowledge that I am not completely healed; perhaps I never will be, but I am okay with that.

However, I sigh when I realize that the more time has gone by, the more I miss him. I stop and wonder if I have forgotten his voice. Would I identify it if I heard it from a distance? What would he look like now and would I recognize him from afar? Focus, I tell myself, as I determine to keep moving forward and not allow the shadows that once held me captive drag me back into the pit of despair. Focus, I say over and over until I am able to redirect my attention on the tasks at hand.

I feel your pain

If you have lost a loved one, I want you to know that you are not alone because I know your pain. I know the weight of the cross you are carrying. But I also know of the healing that comes from God. I offer you hope for survival through the lessons I’ve learned along my grieving journey. I present you with inspiration for revival, when you make the decision to be a survivor. I share with you the valuable experiences shared with me by others that have gone before me in this healing path. You have the power to choose how you will represent your loved one. Will you elect to honor them by doing your best to be well and help others, or will you let their death be in vain?


Sandra Toscano Huerta

Author of the book Tiers of Sorrow

Advocate for Victims of Crime






Sandra Toscano Huerta

Sandra was born in Mexico and migrated to the United States as a young child. She grew up in Southern California and is the middle child of a family of 11. She and her husband, worked hard to raise their children well. They have four children and two grandchildren. Sandra has extensive experience in marketing and graphic design. She is fluent in Spanish and uses her bilingual skills in both her professional life and within non-profit organizations whenever the need arises. Tragedy devastated her and her family with the homicide of her 21-year old son; which took place in April of 2004, by her sister’s boyfriend, a 2-strike felon and gang member. Adding to their horrific loss, the killer was a fugitive for ten taunting months and when he was finally arrested and tried by a jury, the tragedy mounted by a shocking acquittal. Sandra found herself in a tormented state for months, until confronted with a choice that had to be made in order to survive her son’s death and once again be the mom she needed to be for her surviving children. Shortly after the acquittal; her family moved across the country in fear of their own safety. Through the frustrating and painful experience during the criminal trial, she found herself compelled to help other victims needing a linguistic resource, and determined to help make a difference, she now works as an independent interpreter. She is a Victims' Advocate for North Carolina Gang Investigators' Association (NCGIA) and volunteers with local grief support groups. Through public speaking and with efforts to provide hope and encouragement to bereaved individuals suffering the death of a loved one, Sandra endeavors to bring awareness about the aftermath of violent crimes. In addition, she believes it’s important to be proactive and work to gain ground in the areas of gang and domestic violence prevention.

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