Tuesday, April 17, 2007


I am the mother of two college students, and soon to be three, after he graduates from high school this year. I also have another son who is in high school, but will be making his decision about post-high school schooling soon(the fourth son.) So, when yesterday's murder on a college campus unfolded, I, like everyone else, was struck with grief and concern. And I re-counted my boys' fingers and toes, and held my own boys close in my heart, like any mother does in these situations. I guess that's why I feel a need to comment on my blog today about it.

It was shocking because so many died needlessly in one place, but when is death ever something we welcome? Even when a life has been fully and wonderfully lived and is relinquished because life just can't hang on another day, we fight it, and grieve the person who leaves us. And death comes to us all. It is an uncontrollable certainty. "Death is naked before God; Destruction lies uncovered." (Job 26:6 NIV)

Our college community isn't unlike the one in Virginia. It's close and feels "safe." I live within minutes of three universities, and all three have been hit with students' deaths by either murder or accident, and we take it personally, even if we didn't know the college kids. Another university within two hours from me, and my husband's and brother's alma mater, was the scene for a death of a student only weeks prior to yesterday. And then, just two weeks before, an unexpected death of a student occurred in the small high school population where my boys attend. What it boils down to for me is that I want my own boys to be safe. I want them to live full lives. I want them to outlive me. I panic a little when something like this happens. Fear grips. Uncertainty. Overwhelming sorrow for those parents who dreamed of more for their kids, and for the silencing of a teacher's voice.

If you have found this blog today and you are grieving, know that you aren't the first, and will be not be the last to find tragedy and to bear the grief for it. And that is no comfort to you in knowing this, I know.

Whether your grief is accompanied by a national outpouring with others, or is personal and lonely, it is the same. Death knows no boundaries, and does not care if it is fair or "could have been prevented." It is there, hanging onto your heart to bring you down. Anger is a natural part of that grief, and trying to make sense of it, or to prevent it is also part of it.

Talking helps the process of grief, and our nation stands in the funeral home together with those who suffered losses in yesterday's murder. I, too, mourn, and know what it is like to lose those I've loved to death's grip--both by natural causes and murder.

In Psalms 5:1-3 (NIV) it says,
"Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my sighing. Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to You I pray. In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation."

So, whether you talk about your grief with others, or talk it over with God, it is part of the process we all must go through in life. We need to talk about it. It helps.

Jesus told his disciples right before his own death, "I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33 NIV) I hold this peace and hope. Maybe you do, too.

Jesus talked about his own coming death, but they weren't ready to hear it. He talked about the hope and the future beyond what was going to happen to him. There is going to be trouble in this world. It is something that has been happening since the day Cain chose to murder his brother Abel. Since their parents invited death into the world. You may think that a God who loves us wouldn't let things like this happen. But there is a bigger scheme of things, and not easy to explain in one post.

How you choose to deal with a loved one's death, no matter how it comes, is a choice. But we all respond the same way--with grief. I am holding the hands of those parents and the loved ones who survived yesterday's attack in mine today. And no words will take away that grief, but maybe talking here will soothe the fear. Soothe the fear in me, too.

Read an excerpt from C.S. Lewis's book written in the aftermath of his wife's death here.
A Grief Observed by C. S. Lewis (Author) "No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear...
I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid."

Read what Jim Watkins has to say about death, school shootings and grief at his blog today:
• 12:30 pm Monday, April 16, 2007
"How does one deal with horrific massacre at Virginia Tech?
How does one deal with the the worst killing at a school in recent history?"
Some of his links:
Dealing with school shootings
Dealing with death and grief
Dealing with questions of "why" as a Christian
Resources from Gospelcom.net
Worst school killing dates back to 1927—for now
Latest news from Associated Press

1 comment:

Beba said...

I am still in shock about what had happen.