“The Meaning of Matthew is Judy Shepard’s passionate and courageous attempt to understand what no mother should have to understand, which is why her son was murdered in Laramie, Wyoming, in the fall of 1998. It is a vivid testimony to a life cut short, and testimony too, to the bravery and compassion of Judy and Dennis–Matthew’s parents–as they struggle to survive a grief that won’t go away.”–Larry McMurty, author of Terms of Endearment and Lonesome DoveToday the name Matthew Shepard is synonymous with gay rights, but until 1998, he was just Judy Shepard’s son. In this remarkably candid memoir, Judy Shepard shares the story behind the headlines. Interweaving memories of Matthew and her family with the challenges of confronting her son’s death, Judy describes how she handled the crippling loss of her child in the public eye, the vigils and protests held by strangers in her son’s name, and ultimately how she and her husband gained the courage to help prosecutors convict her son’s murderers. The Meaning of Matthew is more than a retelling of horrific injustice that brought the reality of inequality and homophobia into the American consciousness. It is an unforgettable and inspiring account of how one ordinary woman turned an unthinkable tragedy into a vital message for the world.