EDEN, NORTH CAROLINA – At the age of 50, the life of The Giving Tree has come to an end in a brutal and shocking murder.
Giving, as Tree was generally known, was admired in her community. One neighbor told reporters near the crime scene that she had “never had a better, more steady, more loyal friend.” Another said that Giving was the most “rooted, down to earth person” he knew.
Born and raised in Eden, North Carolina, Giving grew up in a multigenerational home, with her parents and grandparents and great-grandparents. She was known as a generous sharer of her packed school lunches at Moss Street Elementary School, built the year she was born. A Mrs. Ficus, who was a young assistant teacher when Giving attended the school, remembers her fondly. “She was so, so sweet. She would always share her apples. She had a little boyfriend, I remember. He would sit with her all the time. She was happy.”
Despite the encouragement of many, Giving, known as an introvert with few close friends, remained in Eden rather than attend college. Instead, she received a degree in Art Therapy by completing a correspondence course, and started her own practice. The mission statement on her website, taken down recently by the police, said that Giving strove “to help people find their own branches of creativity by introducing a healing approach to the modern world’s obsession with worldly possessions.” Giving practiced what she preached, donating hours of her time by bringing “Healing Art Workshops” to high schools in her county, as well as participating in various charitable organizations around the state.
Never married, Giving was nevertheless known to have a long-time live-in partner, known only as Boy, who is suspected of being her killer. In the early 2000s, Giving filed several complaints with the Eden Police Department and had a restraining order filed against Boy, but Giving’s neighbors have stated that it was never enforced, and that when they called the police, she would deny Boy’s presence in the house despite multiple assertions by neighbors that he was indeed there.
“She must have had so many deep, dark secrets that none of us knew about,” one of her clients said anonymously on last night’s local news. Speculation abounds as to whether neighbors and friends knew of Boy’s presence in the town in recent weeks. “Giving,” the secretary at Giving’s practice said in this morning’s latest news report, “was a very private person. She shared a lot of her strengths with people, but some things she just kept close, buried.”
In her last will and testament, Giving requested that the garden behind her house become a public garden for children who wished to learn about growing food and farming. Plans are underway in the community to turn Giving’s house itself into a home for troubled youth.
Giving’s friends are raising money to pay for her burial once the police release her body. Graphic pictures of the sawed up pieces have been circulating on the Internet, but as Giving’s secretary further stated, “Giving wouldn’t want you to see that trash. She was all about living off the grid, living simply.”
The communities’ prayers are with Giving’s friends and family who are surely waiting for police to discover the murderer and bring him to justice.