For years, Elaina Kroll had stopped singing.
The Newport Beach resident had been robbed of her childhood passion by her church choir director, who molested her. The sexual abuse she had suffered as a bewildered 16-year-old had been, in her mind, cruelly fused together with music.
In the subsequent years, she would drop out of a prestigious music conservatory in Boston, suffer from depression and no longer have the desire to sing.
But Saturday night, at the fundraising gala in Anaheim for The Innocent Mission — a nonprofit she founded last year — Kroll will play the piano and sing Sarah McLachlan's hauntingly beautiful "Angel."
Tears will flow, including mine.
At the Los Angeles Times, I covered the Catholic Church's sexual abuse and cover-up scandal for six years, talking with hundreds of survivors in the process. Unless you see it up close, it's impossible to begin to understand the long-term devastation that the child rapes had on the victims. Soul murder is an adequate description.