Thrive or Survive: Life after Homicide

On Saturday night,January 27th 2018,life as I knew it forever changed in an instant.

My 25 year old 1st born son was with his little brother, my 18 year old son and their three friends.

They were walking in a single file line,chanting and cheering on the Philadelphia Eagles one week before Super Bowl LII. E-A-G-L-E-S  EAGLES  EAGLES. EAGLES!!!

A stranger was standing outside of his family’s home and heard them coming. He told my sons and their friends to take it somewhere else because he was mourning the loss of his family member. This man used the knife he was holding as a pointer as he motioned for them to go.

They kept walking, never breaking their single file stride and responded by offering their sympathies for his loss.

According to video surveillance, the stranger didn’t receive their condolences.

He started following them as they continued walking away from him.  The young men rounded the corner as he followed. They had a choice: run or confront.

My oldest son Billy was always looking out for his little brother. He was also the oldest of the group. He made the fateful choice to spin around and confront the stranger.

That choice cost him his life.

My 25 year old son William was fatally stabbed seconds later,and died in his brothers arms.

The name William means “Bold Protector “ He lived up to the meaning of his name until the very end…

I’ll never forget the phone call that I received from my 18 year old son Jami that night. My 15 year old son Robbie took the call from his brother and handed the phone to me. I saw this look in Robbie’s eyes and I knew that something was terribly wrong.

When I said “Hello” to Jami,he was in shock and hysterical as he cried” Billy got stabbed”

In that moment I had a choice. I chose to believe that no matter what, my family and I were going to be okay and I had to be strong.

I was two hours away and I could physically do nothing.

I still had to be a Mother on that phone and keep it together for Jami. A police officer took the phone from him. The officer told me what he knew about Billy and asked me to please calm my son Jami down. He put Jami back on the phone and I spoke to him gently, telling him that it was going to be okay. I didn’t know how, but in my heart I knew that it would be.

So many things happened in the days, weeks and months following my son’s tragic death. Too much to write about in one post.

As we were approaching the summer months, which was Billy’s favorite season and mine too, I learned that the month of July was bereaved parents awareness month.

I never knew that until this past July, 6 months after my son was murdered.

I  decided to share things daily on Instagram and Facebook to raise awareness as well as hopefully shedding light on the taboo topic of grief, sadness, sorrow and tears.

I shared pictures,memories, articles, poems and things I’m learning. Things that I wish others could learn without experiencing the devastating loss of a child.

I had many friends and family tell me that my posts helped them realize what to do,and what not to do,to show support for our family.

I’ve decided to continue to openly, transparently, share things, not just with friends and family, but with whoever crosses my path.

Share my raw journey through…through sorrow, through tears, through pain, through smiles, through a song, through a Word, through laughter, through the deep places I don’t want to go, through the voice of my grandson who lost his Daddy and through the kind acts of others.

I cannot go around, or over or under, I can’t push it down, hold it in or cut it off.  I can only go through.

We all experience loss of some sort in this life. How will you get through? Will you thrive or survive?

If you’ve received an Act of Kindness card in my son’s memory, thank you for reading his story, thank you for receiving an act of kindness,and for returning that kindness to someone else in my son’s honor.

Thank you for helping to overcome evil with good, one kind act at a time💗

This is my all time favorite picture of us when Billy was a little boy. He was 3 years old. My pride and joy.           💗
This is the last picture we will ever get to take together. It was Christmas Day 2017. That’s my boy.💗

  1. My heart goes out to you and so deeply sorry for your incredible loss. I met you yrs ago on a Christian post..Cant remember which one..However, I rarely see any post from you.. Kinda weird how this one just seemed to appear out of know where. Didnt know about your son, until tonight. All I can say is WOW!
    I would not ever presume to know your pain or suffering. But, I do know the one who holds your heart in his hands. I pray he the LORD will somehow give your heart whatever it needs, and will need, in the days, months, and even yrs to come. If there is ever a time, a moment you just need someone to listen to your pain, or just need prayer please let me know.
    Cindy Wooten


    1. Thank you Cindy! I don’t post much on that Facebook account anymore since my Mom passed away. You can find me and friend request my newer FB Corinne M. Adams. Thank you so much for your kindness. I really appreciate you reaching out to me.💗


  2. Amazing Corinne, you are such a tray of light always. Every time I see you there’s a smile on your face and a strength behind it that is so calming. We haven’t spoke much over the past couple years but that does not matter when you feel someone’s pain and loss like this, not literally but just thinking how tragic. You’re a strong woman and I pray for you all, I’m so sorry Jami witnessed his brother being taken. I’m glad you write about this and I hope to hug you soon. Love and prayers sent from all of us 💗

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind words Angie. Thank you for your prayers, that’s where my strength comes from and I’ll take a hug anytime💗


  3. I know yr family to long. Our kids is still growning up together.
    Played ftball cheerleading worked together. Life is way two short. I almost loss Zach two yrs ago all I could do is leave it in God’s hands. N for some reason he is .
    He isn’t the same boy he was but he is my boy. I think all this made him wiser. But we love our children like no other.
    I’m so proud I know you n yr family . My prayers n thoughts still go out to ya n yr family for now n for ever. Thanks for inviting me to this I so loved it…
    Love ya all

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jen. I know you’ve been through so much too. Life is short, I hope to carry on Billy’s legacy. There’s nothing like the love of a Mother. We love you and Thank you for your prayers💗💗


  4. Billy was my daughter’s first boyfriend before she was really ready for a relationship. He was sweet and kind and never forced anything with her. She remembers him fondly and we are saddened by this senseless tragedy. I as a mother am so very sorry for your loss ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Very beautifully written Corinne!
    Since having my son I can only imagine the ache and longing that you must carry heavily in your heart daily.
    Billy and I weren’t close anymore, in fact I avoided him like a plague. But he would still would message me, checking up on me in a way, knowing I wouldn’t respond. He’d like pictures of my then two week old newborn, commenting on how he looked like me or how cute he was.
    And ever since hearing of his passing, I feel tremendous guilt that I never responded. That I missed the chance to speak to him one last time, that our last conversations, though I can’t recall exactly, I’m sure was filled with words of hatred and resentment.
    I feel guilty that I had wished harm upon him so many times.
    He visits me in my thoughts on a daily basis, and in my dreams quite often as well.

    I don’t have anyone to confide in about this, so I hope you don’t mind that I took a second to get it off my chest, and I hope it doesn’t make you uncomfortable.

    Billy and your family will always hold a place in my heart.
    Thank you for your kindness in the past, and I applaud you on your strength and courage.

    You are in my thoughts Corrine



    1. Aww Bree! I’m glad you shared this with me. It’s not uncomfortable at all! I’m all about being genuine and transparent…You are a beautiful soul and a lovely young woman. Embrace Motherhood with everything you have! Thank you for taking the time to write to me. It means a lot💗


  6. Corinne,
    You are such an amazing mother. The tributes you have shared and continue to share speak volumes of your steadfast faith in the Lord. You and your parents will always hold a very special place in my heart. I admire your strength!
    Love you!!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Hi

    I just read your story and would like to offer my condolences on the tragic and senseless loss of your son my heart aches for you and for his little boy and all your family really sad, I hope you find strength in your beautiful memories of your little boy and continue to share same with his little man too

    Kindest regards

    Kelli skeath Navan Republic of Ireland


    1. Hello Kelli,
      Thank you so much for your kind words and for taking the time to read our story. I am very touched by the goodness of people like you that are in this world!


  8. Well Connie, when I accepted your friendship and request I go to this website, I learned a difficult lesson. Life is precious and we need to keep LOVE on the top burner, I am so sorry for your loss. I cannot in my wildest dreams know what you are going through. But I do know that with the Grace of God, you are handling this to the best of you ability,with the love of God with you. I thought many times through my son’s drug addiction, I would lose my son, but also knew with the Grace of God he would survive. What happened to your beloved son was senseless, an act of hatred. My heart is sad for you and my first act was to sit here and cry for your loss. My 2nd act was to lift you up in prayer. Your son is safe in the arms of the Father in Heaven. My heart is sad, Yes! And yet I feel a part of me is needed more for prayer than for tears. I ask that our Heavenly Father give you peace that passes all understanding. That you feel that peace and that you know your precious son is with the Father safe in His arms. God be with you and your family. I am truly sorry for your loss. I know God is with you and my heart and my prayers are with you and your family. The saying “Let Go and Let God,” keeps twirling in my head right now. So I do believe this is important right how.. So we shall let go and let God handle this. Rest in the knowledge that Our Father in Heaven has a handle on this and “Let go and Let God”.. You & your family are in my prayers. I am so sorry, I didn’t know about this and I do thank God you were in touch today. I am forever grateful for your request.
    In Christs Love
    Janet Fisher

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I am so glad to have found your writings, which are very beautiful. My heart has ached for you and your family since I heard of Billys’s passing.
    Billy and my daughter were friends and he was always such a sweet and respectful young man. He would tease me with a list of meals he wanted me to make when he came by.
    His name always makes us smile when it comes up in our house.


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