Today started like every other day – things to do, places to go, people to see.
When I arrived at my friend’s house mid-morning, she had a terribly forlorn look on her face…like every morsel of energy had been sucked out of her body.
Something was horribly wrong.
My friend began to tell me a very sad story. She had just learned that on Father’s Day, her twenty-four year old nephew had gone downstairs into his bedroom, laid on his bed and put a gun to his head. He killed himself, just before the family dinner.
His parents are devastated. His father hasn’t come out of his son’s room since Sunday. His mother isn’t making any sense. His sisters are trying to pick up the pieces of their broken family.
My friend was overwhelmed with disbelief. She talked and I listened. We spent the morning together and then I left. I felt a heavy sadness for the rest of the day.
In this tragedy, there’s no protocol for emotion.
A trinity of questions violates the sanctuary of this family’s home: How? If only? Why?
There’s no language to express their heart pain. Adaptive capacities are assaulted. Ability to cope is so critically injured. The whole world has forever changed.
Sudden violent death causes a severing.
There is no relief in sight for this young man’s family.
It’s about learning to live in the presence of absence.
…and so I pray, “Lord, when the fierce storms come, help us to run and hide in You, our Refuge and our Strength. Yours are the shoulders upon which we must learn to cry when we are overcome with grief and pain because You alone are Hope. When there are no answers, there is You.
The eternal God is a dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms. Deuteronomy 33:27