Diane Foley’s son was killed as a horrific political statement by extremists who would do the same to my child or yours. And even though he died a hero, telling the world what was happening in Syria and Iraq, the man so brutally treated was first Diane’s son, her boy. A man she raised to be strong, compassionate, loving. While coping so gracefully with their loss, Diane and John Foley became America’s faces of the pain of thousands of families whose lives have been damaged by the savagery of the Islamic State militants.
As a family grieves for their loved one, the bigger world goes about living in the most ordinary way. While those grieving stand in church or at a graveside or in the sudden quiet of their home, other people are experiencing wonderful things or a day when nothing more difficult happens than toast burning at breakfast. Because of ISIS, the media brought Diane Foley’s grief to millions of homes where so many women, whose sons or daughters are trying to make a difference in a very difficult world, feel her loss.
Perhaps James Foley’s death is more than television news to me because we share the Marquette University Jesuit experience. And I am humbled by what he managed to contribute to the world as a writer. His death assures his life work will not be forgotten. Perhaps that is the best comfort for Diane Foley.