But I’m going to process as I quickly type this out, so bear with me.
I ask for your prayers that there will be no long term affect on either of my daughters’ precious memories.
Tuesdays are our very hectic “on the go” days. Today we happened to have a few minutes to burn before we needed to pick up my sons.
Of course, when that occurs, I typically head straight for Good Will,
but I decided to pop into Big Lots first.
As we entered the parking lot, I noticed a few people mulling around right in the middle of the parking spots, and a police car stalled.
Being the nosy shopper that I am, I slowed down to see what “accident” had occurred. Quite often, cars in this lot cut through the aisles, and I just assumed a fender bender had taken place.
All of a sudden, feet from our car, I noticed a man on the ground.
A man not moving…in fact, no one was moving.
Why wasn’t any one helping him?
Every one was just standing there chit chatting.
And then I noticed it…a small piece of cloth covering his face.
Before it was too late, I realized that my girls were taking in every aspect of the situation.
I couldn’t believe what I thought I was seeing – surely I was mistaken.
As I entered Big Lots, I asked if there had been an accident.
With absolutely no warning, nor any thought to the fact that I had two small children with me, the cashier announced that the guy had blown himself away. Killed himself….just minutes before.
I couldn’t believe that she had just announced that to my girls.
The Lord opened up a situation for me to have some conversations today that I didn’t choose to have.
I didn’t want to explain that some people kill themselves when they feel they have no hope.
I didn’t want to have to answer my nine year old when she asked what suicide meant.
I didn’t want to have to pray with my girls for that poor family who now has no husband, son, father, brother….
I didn’t want to have to explain that my daughter’s feeling of the family being really mad at him for taking his life was probably a natural reaction.
I didn’t want to answer her question of “why, mommy….did he not know Jesus?”
I don’t want to have the picture of this man lying on the ground….but I do.
And you know what, I did have to have these conversations.
Because it happened, and sometimes life just doesn’t seem fair.
Nor do we understand why people choose to do things.
And I can’t begin to explain how can life feel so utterly empty that death is your only option?
I wish I had known that man.
I wish I had entered that parking lot minutes earlier.
I wish I knew his family.
I wish I could have offered the hope that only Jesus can give….that only He can heal.
But I didn’t.
And now I go to bed knowing that somewhere a family is grieving.
They are sharing a grief so deep, a betrayal that can not be explained away.
And I will go to bed snuggled up with those precious girls who also carry a burden of a dead man in a parking lot.
But their burden will quickly go away.
They will be snuggled, and held, and comforted with the words of affirmation that they know a forever kind of love.
A love that knows no limits, and everyday I will remind them of that love.
The love that only God can give…unconditionally.
This man….will never know that.
I commit on this day, February 17, that I will share that love with strangers unaware.
Please, Lord, bring me into contact with people who feel that there is no other choice.
And for those of you new to my blog…ugh…what an entrance…tomorrow back to the beauty and definitely not this kind of bedlam.
How sad! I have heard of alot of suicides lately. I think it shows darkness is increasing! I pray that you & your girls will have that image erased from your minds! God Bless You!
Everything — even the timing of this terrible event in your life– your arriving when you did — is in God’s hands.
No one can know what the reasons are…except Him.
Even in the last nano-second of a suicide’s life there is room for repentance. Let us pray that this sad person saw the light in time — in His time.
And go on being your happy self with your happy children — the world needs that healing power!
A few years ago we tragically lost my cousins in a way that should not have been. I know the feeling of being forced to deal with and explain to young children something we cannot ourselves understand. But, I’m so thankful for how you choose to take this tragedy and commit to sharing the gospel to others who do not know His hope. As I go to bed tonight, I pray that God will bring peace and healing to you and your sweet girls…. and to the man’s family.
I’ll say a prayer for you and your girls! And, pray that your prayer is heard and realized!!!!
Brought tears to my eyes. Will definitely say a prayer for all of you. We only know that God had a purpose in all of it and perhaps He knows that you or even your daughters will encounter someone greatly in need of some ministering and this experience will better prepare you for it.
This is very sad! Suicide is something that I will never understand. I guess some people do not see any other way out of there problems. I pray that this man’s family finds peace in what happened.
You taught your girls all they need to know. That having Jesus makes all the difference. He is our hope and I know they will continue to see that lived out in your family’s life. Praying for you.
Whether or not you realize it, you did good today. It’s a sad deal. May God, the Lord of all comfort, be with you and yours today, as well as the family and friends of the man.
I think your pledge is a beautiful and brave one.
Yuck. I hate those talks. I will pray for your girls and for their mama.
Jen, I am so sorry that you had to witness this, but it is a great testimony to your children of your faith and YOU being the one to help walk them through this and not in another way. Praise God you are a GOOD mommy that loves the Lord. Your girls are blessed… praying for you and your girls right now.
wish so much that children could stay innocent longer than they can these days. keeping you all in my prayers and the victim’s family too. have hard to have to get that call yesterday.
Oh my…what a terrible thing for you and your daughters to experience. I’m surprised by the tact of the cashier (or no tact as the case may be).
Praying for you and your girls.
I grieve for that family. I had a dear friend of mine all the way through school who’s father committed suicide. It just rips your heart out!
It sounds like God gave you the grace and wisdom to handle it with your daughters. And it sounds like they understand the preciousness of life.
I had a friend that I was close to while growing up that took her life. I got the call at work and I will never forget how “guilty” I felt..thinking maybe I should have talked more to her, to have reached out more to her yet she lived in another state and we had not had alot of contact with each other..her family were members of the same church we were members…..it never prepares you and to this day when I see her grown sons, I think of her.
While I hate that you and your girls had to see such tragedy,….it may have been God’s Will that you all witness such a thing. and from this will come good…(Romans 8:28)
I’m so sorry that you’re hurting. I know that you know that the timing of everything was in God’s hands. For whatever reason, He wanted you there exactly when you arrived. You weren’t late. You didn’t miss your opportunity. There was a purpose in His timing and perhaps you’ve already discovered that purpose.
We so desperately want to shelter our children from the ugliness of the world for as long as possible. I will pray for protection over your girls…for their minds, their memories and their hearts.
And I will pray for your peace and comfort. Christ shines out from your so beautifully that it can’t help but be noticed.
Feeling the pain of your Mother’s heart.
Although horribly grim, your daughters will glean a good lesson from this. We don’t plan these lessons.
Sometimes the reality of darkness makes the light so much brighter.
I find it hard to explain suffering, war, and the hopelessness that people can feel.
Your daughters are blessed because they have your guiding influence.
When I was around 7, my neighbor took his life too. I still remember hearing the gun shot through our open windows on a quiet Sunday morning. My dad, and brothers had to help out. It was a lot to take in for a 7 year old. He was also my BFF’s grandfather so that made it all the more saddening. We had to walk past ‘the spot’ every day on the way home from school. When we finally told my dad, he quickly returned to the dirt path and cleaned up the mess so we wouldn’t have to keep reliving this. I can say, I made it through OK. Sure I was sad, worried and sick about it but life happens and it’s all a learning lesson. Your girls will be fine especially since you had a good talk with them. I don’t think anyone ever did that with me. It’s so sad and hard to think about what a tragedy you encountered. Good luck, just keep an open dialogue and they’ll be fine.
Oh, Jen – I am so sorry! Praying for you and your girls!
How very sad for you and your girls. Suicide impacts so many lives and is the ultimate act of selfishness. I have personally known of several who have committed this act, and have others in my family who have attempted and thankfully failed.
It probably is affecting you a lot more than your girls, they can’t fully comprehend the impact of this tragedy like you can. Kids are so resilient. I’m praying that God will just erase the memory from their innocent little minds.
How sad. I’m so glad you were able to love and reassure your daughters all day. For some reason, in God’s perfect timing, you went to Big Lots when you did. Praying for you and your daughters as you deal with this.
That is so sad and so hard to comprehend when someone takes their life that way. I’m sorry your girls had to hear about that in that way from the cashier. It sounds like you did fine with comforting your girls and they will be fine.♥
How sad! I think you handled the situation well with your kids, and maybe the Lord wanted you there at the time you were so that you would be willing to be a servant, helping others with no hope. Maybe this tragedy will allow Him to work through you for His greater plan. I’m praying for this man’s family and for you and your kiddos too.
We will be praying for you guys and his family. how are you doing? the girls?
What a sad situation. I will be praying for your family. We had to have that conversation with our kids last year. It was not easy.
We have known suicide within our family and I do not understand. But, a life without Christ is not worth living especially when things get difficult. How sad when the enemy wins.
I am sorry that your girls had to experience this. You are a good momma and you will help them understand. God will take care of their hearts and minds.
Oh my heart is aching for you, your children and those that loved that man. Just rest assured it has not gone unnoticed to God that you and your girls experienced this horrible scene. He will use it for his glory and it’s so good to see you already realize that by commiting to share the gospel. What a great prompting for us all. I’ll be praying for you.
Thank you for sharing your heart, Jen. Life is a learning experience for our kids, at all ages. Not always our timing uh? Love you!
Oh my goodness how sad! And awful! For you and your girls, for his family, for everyone.
Wow, what a sad thing for you to witness and especially for your little ones. One time something like this happened to me when I was driving the carpool kids home from school. They were in elementary school and it was a rainy day. I turned and corner and just minutes before a little child had been run over. It was a horrifying experience and I know some of the kids saw it but they recovered quickly. God is gracious in that way and allows them to get past things like this with lots of love and comfort. For me I think of that little girl often and it has been at least 25 years ago now.
I am so glad your little girls have a foundation of faith in Christ, mine did too and it really helped. I feel so badly for the man and his family!
Wow! My heart goes out to you right now and to that family. Having three kids, I know what you are talking about… somethings are better left unspoken, unseen, untouched. Life does happen though and I think we can make it just what you did…an opportunity. This may just open a door for better understanding that everyone doesn’t know Jesus. My daughter wonders about that alot. At her tender age of 8 she thinks everyone has had a cjance to “meet” him in their heart. Awwww makes me just want to cry and reach out to someone. Thank you for sharing this post as sad as it may be. Take care and hug those girls for me…please~
When was going through law school I was in the paramedic service, I cannot tell you how many times we found parents – completely uninvolved in the fatality -standing at roadside with young children watching us or the coroner work. At one scene, a five or six year old child was clearly terrified, the police finally had to threaten the father with an endangerment charge – which would surely not have stuck but, the point is – when you see lights, nearly all of the time, someone’s life is meeting a very bad place. Best to keep going if help is already there – there are enough good hands to work it all out, people have a right to privacy for their pain and agony and they cannot always choose the place where something occurs. I’ve never really understood why people feel they should know, need to know, deserve to know, but I have seen enough people in dire circumstances to know that when it is my time, call 911 for me. wait for me them arrive, and then be on your way. Curiousity does not heal or do CPR and one can always check the paper the next day if they really must know… Be well, The Hostess
wow….it’s a solemn reminder that there are people who are hurting and desperate.
Oh, Jen, what an awful thing to witness. So sorry your girls had to see that, but you are so right. This world needs Jesus!
How sad for you and your girls. I hope that you know that you are in my prayers. Your pledge is so moving. I will also work on fulfilling that pledge.
Oh, Jen. I just don’t know what to say. I’m crying as I’m typing because of the hopelessness that man felt, too. Kiddo would have wondered the same thing about the man not knowing Jesus. We are having Missions week at church and this year we are focusing on local missions, as in…do you even minister to your neighbors? The ones in your community? I’m recording a demo tonight of a new song the guys wrote called “Safe Harbor” and it basically asks if we are telling people that there is a Safe Harbor for them to go to when life gets dark. I will sing it with that much more passion tonight after reading this post.
Oh Jen. I can’t believe this. I’m so sorry the girls had to hear and see all of that. I pray for them to have renewed imaginations and that they will be blessed with a divine forgetfulness. Love you.
Wow! I am sorry you had to go through that. Hard to imagine life being that bleak!
So terrible that you and your daughters had to witness such a tragic scene. A dear family friend committed suicide a little over a year ago. I still find it so hard to wrap my mind around how someone can sink to a feeling of such despair that they don’t think they can ever surface from their sadness…
How traumatic… I’ll pray for God to protect your sleep and the sleep of your daughters.
Oh, that’s so sad and awful! I don’t know what I would’ve done if I’d had my kids with me. It’s hard for us to understand tragedy as adults, let alone explain it to children.
oh, that really is awful. I know in time God will give you the oportunity to discuss this with them,and give you the words. for now just pray for them and for this mans family is all that we can do. I am so sorry. ♥ LA
Here’s a funny to cheer you from this sad tragedy. Last night at CP I mentioned to Emma that I heard she had a rough day on Tuesday. Bethany had just shared a Dove chocolate with her, and Emma looked at me and said in one breath, “Hu?” (then she looked at B. and said) “Bethany, is this dark chocolate because I don’t like dark chocolate so you can have it back. Thanks anyway.”
She didn’t even bat an eye and kept on going. Gotta love children’s resiliance. 🙂 Love you.
Oh, my heart sank with this post. What a sad thing. We had a sad experience in our extended family as well this month and it is so hard to bear the thought of someone in such a desperate state. And having to share it with your children is especially heartbreaking.
Jen, I am just now seeing this and want you to know how sorry I am that you went through this. I think God puts these types of situations in our path for a reason. Even if we don’t fully understand why!!
Oh, Jen, I feel your pain. When I was 18 I witnessed a gruesome suicide, only the Lord had laid on my heart to speak to the man and I didn’t do it. I had no idea that he was planning suicide just a few minutes later. I was the last person God ever sent across his path to help him and I didn’t do it. Even knowing that God has forgiven me, it still hurts to know that I could have allowed the Lord to use me to change his life on earth and his eternal destiny.
I’m sorry that your girls had to be exposed to such an awful thing, but please know that God has and will use even this situation. He knew you would show up there at that very moment with girls in tow.
My heart goes out to you. If you need to process with someone who has been through a similar experience feel free to email me.
So sorry that you and your daughters had to have that experience. Praying…
Oh, how sorry I am you and your girls had to see this tragedy. I’ll be praying for your family.
Praying for you and your girls!
What a beautiful post. I am somewhat new to your blog… and this post endears me to your TRUE beauty and bedlam, my friend.
Just prayed for your girls, and the man’s loved ones…
Very sad. This post it home because my uncle’s friend and coworker just committed suicide, leaving behind a large family and his unemployed wife. THe children are young. It’s heart-breaking.
Oh, how awful, Jen. I’m a bit behind on my blog reading this week, so I just saw this post. Bless your heart, and your sweet girls. What a tragic thing to have happened.
I don’t have children, but I do know that children, luckily, with their limited life experiences at such young ages, can somehow absorb and get beyond these *fleeting* moments of trauma. And I say fleeting merely in terms of the actual footprint of time that they were exposed to the traumatic event, if that makes sense? With a terrific Mom and Dad and a wonderful, warm, Christian home, your girls will be okay, I’m sure of it.