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The Meaning of Matthew: My Son's Murder…

The Meaning of Matthew: My Son's Murder in Laramie, and a World…

by Judy Shepard

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"It was-and still is-critical to me that people pay attention to Matt and what happened to him, but not to me."
What I found so wonderful about this book was that Judy brought to us, the tale of a young man, who was flawed and still in a state of finding himself. Too often do we martyr people who are cast in this role of representing an ideal. Matthew Shepard was not an angel, or a saint. He had problems like we all do, and I personally think, it's more important to remember that he was a human being. He was Judy's son. It makes it more real, more tangible, and more heart-wrenching.
I cannot imagine having to write about your son, who was murdered in the fashion that Matthew was. However, Judy does so beautifully and openly. My heart ached as she recounted her time in the hospital at his side, and how she had to be a rock in a time when she certainly deserved to fall apart.
Judy's is a tale worth telling. She certainly could have disappeared after Matthew's funeral and lived her life in quiet solitude, remembering her son, but she chose to fight. She chose to champion a cause, and attempt to make some good out of her son's murder. That is admirable.
This biography was insightful, and allowed us to see a boy through a mother's eyes that was struggling with sexuality and sense of self. It also allowed us to see into a woman who held strong for family and friends and who is by all accounts the hero of this story. She has effected change, and I am so glad she chose to write this account of hers and her son's life.
I would love to read someday a biography of her time after his death in more detail. It would be great to read about all the change she has fought for, and the strides she has taken to continue his legacy. Maybe one day. ( )
  Kiddboyblue | Nov 9, 2016 |
This was a well-written memoir, very touching and heartbreaking. I had not realized, when I heard Judy Shepard's interview on a local radio station, that she was living in Saudi Arabia at the time. I borrowed it from the library as I have borrowed other memoirs, so I do not actually own this book.

Matthew's life was one of light and love, and how many of us have found ourselves with strangers, off on an adventure? The portrayals and descriptions of Matthew's killers after his murder were especially well-done. And the portrayal of Matthew was honest and heartfelt, too. ( )
  threadnsong | Jun 18, 2016 |
A heartbreaking memoir about a hate crime that should never have happened nor should never happen again. This book is heartbreaking to read but one every one should read. I found it interesting and pathetic that Westboro pops up in this story. I did not realize it had been around that long. ( )
  bnbookgirl | Aug 27, 2015 |
Written and read by Matthew's mother. She tells of his life and horrible murder. A very disturbing story to hear, one that I will never understand. A senseless murder stemming from intolerance and hate. A must read book in my opinion. ( )
  SenoraG163 | Sep 10, 2011 |
Without a doubt one of the most heart wrenching memoir I've ever read. I cried for Matthew and the people he loved the most. His life brutally cut short because of who he was. This is a clarion call for all of us. That hate needs to be replaced with love. EVERYONE should read this book! ( )
  bookalover89 | Feb 14, 2011 |
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This book is dedicated to all the "Matts" out there who feel that Matt's story is a reflection of their own struggle. Hope is out there and change is coming.
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It's often said that we see a white light before we die.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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The mother of Matthew Shepard shares her story about her son's death and the choice she made to become an international gay rights activist. Today, the name Matthew Shepard is synonymous with gay rights, but before his grisly murder in 1998, Matthew was simply her son. For the first time in book form, Judy Shepard speaks about her loss, sharing memories of Matthew, their life as a typical American family, and the pivotal event that changed everything. The book follows the Shepard family in the days after the crime, when their incapacitated son was on life support; how they learned of the response from strangers all across America who held candlelit vigils and memorial services for their child; and finally, how they struggled to navigate the legal system as Matthew's murderers were on trial. It not only captures the historical significance and civil rights issues, but it also chronicles one ordinary woman's struggle to cope with the unthinkable.--From publisher description.… (more)

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