Since my closest friend Susan Powell went missing one week ago, my life has changed forever.
I have felt heartache of such a deep kind that I hope anyone reading this never has to experience.
I have cried, and cried, and cried some more, pulled myself together, fallen apart again.
I have prayed hundreds of prayers.
I have become part of a very special community…both online (through the Friends and Family of Susan Powell Facebook group) and in real life, as complete strangers from different parts of Susan’s world have met each other and hugged and cried, both together and reaching through virtual space.
But most of all, my life has been ruled this past week by the media.
The media: so strong, so powerful. So often wrong, so sensationalized, so quick to spread rumors as truth. But also, a powerful tool we can and must use to get Susan back.
It began Wednesday morning, day 3 since Susan went missing. I was doing school with my children and fresh out of the shower (damp hair, ratty old clothes) when there was a knock at my door. You could’ve knocked me over with a feather when I answered it and found Marcos Ortiz and ABC-4 at my door, wanting to come in for an interview.
Why? I guess because I’m Susan’s best friend. Because I was one of the last ones to see her. And because I started the Facebook group the night before, simply as a way for us as a church congregation/family to keep in touch and share updates, news, and comfort.
The ABC-4 crew graciously gave me 5 minutes to look a little more presentable before they filmed my first-ever TV interview. Scary? Terrifying. I’m not comfortable with my physical appearance on any day, let alone on TV. But I did it because I want to help Susan. The more people that see, the greater the chance that someone knows where she is.
After they left I thought “that was very surreal” and prepared to return to my day. Soon after, there was another knock at the door—this time Chris Jones with KUTV-2. A couple of hours later, I received a phone call from KSL and Sandra Yi and crew were soon at my house.
Thursday morning I believed that since I’d done three of the four TV networks in town, that’d be the end of it.
The opposite was true. Another knock at my door—this time the Deseret News. Later in the day, Chris Jones was back. And soon after that, the 4th TV station in town—Arrika Von and Fox 13.
Meanwhile, the Facebook group had exploded with hundreds of new members in less than 2 days. I received a huge and unexpected support/help in Damon Talbot, president of the non-profit Destiny Search Project. He has been an invaluable adviser to help us organize and focus our efforts on better ways to help with the search for Susan. Damon suggested we hold a candlelight vigil that night…to gather people in love for Susan, and to provide more publicity.
We did, and it was very successful. All the TV stations and newspapers in town had reporters there, and there was a wonderful feeling of shared love. I spoke with more reporters as well as the Salt Lake Tribune.
Friday morning things got even crazier when the national news shows started contacting me. I heard from CBS, CNN, FOX national, and others. I was scheduled for a live interview with the CBS Early Show in New York City on Saturday morning, with a car coming to pick me up at 4:30am, along with Debbie, Susan’s excellent childcare provider.
You haven’t experienced strange/surreal until you’re sitting in a chair, covered in layers of makeup, with an earpiece in your ear, staring into a camera and talking to someone thousands of miles away.
The rest of the day on Saturday was very busy. I had two events to attend with my children (they performed with their dance studio and we went to the Mountain West Ballet’s Nutcracker that night) and managed to get a two-hour nap in (after only getting one hour of sleep the night before…I was afraid I’d oversleep and miss the car). I talked to many more reporters on the phone, attended a lovely special fast/prayer meeting for Susan at our church, did a phone interview with AP Radio out of Washington DC as I was driving my kids to the Nutcracker. CBS called back and wanted to do another taped interview at some point on Sunday.
This morning—Sunday—my phone rang the second I turned it on. This time it was Jason from Good Morning America. They wanted to do an interview, too. And a few minutes later, it was FOX…also wanted an interview.
Things got a bit crazy during the day as the networks juggled what they wanted to do, but I ended up doing two taped interviews with CBS and GMA crews in my home this afternoon/evening.
Do I love being on camera? NO. No, no, and again, no. It is embarrassing. It’s hard. It is most un-flattering. It’s not fun. And crying on camera never looks good—unless you’re an actress. But I keep telling myself: the more interviews I do—the more people I talk to—the more places this story goes—the greater the chances of someone finding a tip or a lead or a clue that will lead the police to Susan!!
I want to publicly thank my friend Emily for being a true friend. She came over today: spent her day cleaning my house, cooking us a delicious dinner, and doing laundry. She has never even met Susan in person. And my friends from church have been praying for me all week, offering any kind of help I can imagine, and giving me soft shoulders to cry on.
Please, everyone, let’s keep spreading this story. Keep Susan in the public eye, mind, and heart. Share her posters and videos via Facebook, e-mail, Twitter, blogs. Print off fliers and take them around. Join our Facebook group and become part of our community. Help us bring Susan home!!
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