Tragedy is all around us. What are we supposed to do in a world filled with hate and violence? Here are some thoughts …
My heart is breaking today for a woman that I don’t even know. In some ways, we are similar but there are drastic ways that we are different. Here’s the similarity: we are both experiencing our first Christmas without our son at home. It was just a few weeks ago that it hit me hard. I knew it was coming and I warned my family that decorating the Christmas tree would involve tears. As we opened the box of ornaments, the very top one was an Army uniform. You guessed it, the tears began to flow and they continued quietly for the next hour as various ornaments were unwrapped. Some I was able to move to another box that would get shipped to Alaska so Derek could use them to decorate his own tree, but not all of them. There were some that just couldn’t leave and they hang on my tree with memories that I hold dearly. Yes, we have less ornaments on our tree and one less stocking hanging at the fireplace, but all in all my heart is still happy. I know that he is living his own life, starting his own family and that is how it’s supposed to be.
There’s another mom, though, that I am thinking of today. Her name is Edie Grunwald. I have never met her, but my kids knew her son, David. They went to school together when we lived in Alaska; he was in my daughter’s class. He was a 16 year old junior hoping to have a career in engineering. But a few weeks ago, he was reported missing. Recently, his body was found; he had been murdered by another teenager. Edie is unexpectedly facing her first Christmas without her son. I have the encouragement that my son is happy and living his own life; she doesn’t.
When I read the accounts of David’s murder, I got outraged. Apparently, David met up with his “friends” to smoke marijuana and drink the evening that he got murdered. Court documents show that one boy got angry after David smoked all his weed. This resulted in David getting pistol whipped and eventually murdered. It makes me furious that our society condones drug and alcohol use. While it is technically illegal for teenagers to drink or use drugs, most people look the other way and justify that “all kids do it.” People who want to legalize marijuana and who allow kids to drink alcohol are contributing to our society’s downfall and it makes me angry. I understand that my rants won’t really change anything, but why does it seem that everyone is quiet as we watch our society go steadily down a deadly path? David was obviously a victim, but the other boys are also victims of their bad decisions to mess around with drugs and alcohol. Their actions and decisions were impaired and they have altered the course of their own lives by what happened that evening.
But after my initial rant decreased, I started to feel the pain of David’s parents. By all accounts that I can read, they were normal parents who loved their son, raised him to the best of their ability, and wanted the best for him. Now it’s over. And it is hard for me to formulate clear thoughts after that. I know how hard it is to let go when your kids grow up and it’s expected and right; I can’t fathom how impossible it would feel to let go when it is premature and wrong. I pray that Edie has friends and loved ones who are praying with her and loving her through this. I hope that she is eventually able to forgive. I hope that she can heal.
I try to think how I would respond but my heart won’t let my brain go there. I hope I would respond with love and forgiveness; but the truth is that I really hope that I never have to find out. I apologize that this is a somber post in the middle of a happy holiday season; but the reality is that pain and tragedy doesn’t go on Christmas vacation and there are still awful realities that we have to face during this season. So let me end with this encouragement – Live intentionally and love fully! Click To Tweet We don’t know what tomorrow holds, so make sure you are doing what truly matters. Teach your children what they need to know to impact their eternity and make sure they know you love them.
Even though you probably don’t know Edie or her husband, Ben, please pray for them. They need to feel God’s love today!
If you want to read the newspaper article about this situation, you can click here.