This is a tough blog post to write. Just weeks after I excitedly announced my pregnancy-as a single-mama-by-choice-to-be on social media, I received some devastating news about a friend of mine who was also a single mother.
I'm beyond heartbroken for my friend, Ali Kessler, and her family. Not yet having a child, I can only imagine the pain she is experiencing. You may have seen her sad story-one that marks the failure of the criminal justice and legal systems-in the news.
Her adorable four-year old son's life was tragically taken from him--by his own father, who then committed suicide. Ali did all she could to protect her son; the judge refused her emergency order of protection. She was the best mom she could have possibly been--despite all the challenges in dealing with a co-parent-ex who was clearly mentally ill and abusive. This is so tragic. I am praying for peace for Ali and her family, and I am sharing her story in an effort to raise money for her—for funeral, legal, and life expenses. This is the first time I have ever asked anyone to donate; if you feel as compelled to do so as I did, please do so here.
I am also sharing Ali’s story to spread awareness about mental health issues and domestic violence. Thankfully, I never met her ex-as she had relocated from NYC to Florida soon after meeting him. She did not meet him through a matchmaker, but as a matchmaker-responsible for introducing people who go on to create marriages and families- I have chosen to speak out to the matchmaking community about the great responsibility we have.
I suggest all of my matchmaking colleagues and students at Matchmaking Institute take all the precautions they can in fully vetting people, doing background checks, using their intuition, etc. Personally, if I have doubts about a potential male or female client, I would never take their money and set them up. It is never worth it.
In addition, I beg all singles to look out for the red flags of someone who is mentally ill, narcissistic, and/or capable of domestic violence. I am currently looking into working on some projects to help promoting dating safety and minimize domestic violence. If you wish to collaborate, please email me at Rachel@RachelRusso.com.
Greyson should be here today. No parent should have to suffer this loss. No man or woman should be a victim of such abuse. I hope you'll remember this important message and take advantage of any opportunity to promote change.