WAYLAND (CBS) – The father of a Wayland teen who was allegedly killed by her ex-boyfriend is now planning a memorial service for his daughter.
Malcolm Astley is now planning the service for his daughter Lauren to be held on Saturday, July 16th at 11 a.m. at the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church in Wayland. He says it will involve songs, readings and poems to remember Lauren.
He has been the epitome of grace since Lauren’s first went missing on Sunday night, right through a conversation with Nate Fujita’s family.
“We shared each other’s pain. And we had to leave it at that,” said Astley.
Astley grew emotional as he described what he said to the Fujitas.
WBZ-TV’s Karen Anderson reports.
“I was just so sorry at the anguish of it, and the family’s loss of two children they had put so much into,” Astley said.
Last night he identified Lauren’s body.
“It was terribly, terribly hard but it was confirming that there is a finality there, and it’s not made up in your mind any more. But it’s very very hard.”
Astley hopes the service will continue to help people reflect on ways to be better at preventing tragedies like this, and recognize what is going on.
“Try to look at the pain that lead to the anger, look under the anger, and there is always something else there. It’s very rare people are wired to be angry. You’ve got to look at and work on where that pain came from and what could have been done about it, and what you can do about it now,” said Astley.
He believes more wellness courses in schools can help.
“Helping kids to know much more about relationships and how they are involved in relationships and what makes a healthy and giving relationship. The signs that it’s not working for either person, and what they can do about it, in terms of resources and finding ways for needs to be met mutually,” said Astley.
How has he remained so gracious? He says it’s his family, education, and the teachings of the peace movement and Martin Luther King.
“You cannot meet anger and hatred with anger and hatred. You’ve got to go at it another way, otherwise you just perpetuate it. And I do believe that hard as it is and angry as I can feel, you ‘ve got to work at it another way,” said Astley.
Meanwhile, the Fujita’s released a statement about the incident.
” Mr. and Mrs. Fujita, Nathaniel’s parents, have declined to make a statement as they would not want to say anything that might add to the pain and grief that the Astley family is experiencing at this time. The Fujitas only wanted to add that Lauren and her family are in their thoughts at this most difficult time. ”