So Close And Yet So Far

I’m not usually a person who sits frozen when something unexpected or even something awful happens.

But the events in Uvalde, Texas have paralyzed me.

So many parents, grandparents and siblings thrust into the horror of loss and sorrow in a mere forty-five minutes! How does a heart process that when it knows exactly the long, awful road those families are just beginning to tread?

This isn’t about me, though, it’s about them.

It’s about the dozens and hundreds of people whose lives are touched by the tragic deaths of children and teachers who woke up that morning thinking the school year was winding to a close and looking forward to a summer of freedom.

Instead those families have been circled by chains of grief and will spend the next months and YEARS trying to figure out how to live when their worldview and hearts have been shattered.

I can identify with that.

Dominic was killed weeks shy of his twenty-fourth birthday and an even shorter time shy of finishing his second year of law school.

It was supposed to be downhill from there.

It was three days short of the end of the school year for those precious souls trapped by an evil young man in a classroom with no where to go but Heaven depending on where he pointed his weapon.

How does a parent process that?

How does a mama or daddy keep from lamenting how very close his or her child was to escaping this awful end? How does anyone not count the days and hours and moments that might have meant the difference between life and death?

For those whose hearts have been spared-I am so, so thankful.

For those of us who KNOW- I am so, so sorry.

You have probably also been paralyzed and horrified. You know the long, torturous path stretching before these parents. You know that there are no shortcuts, no detours, no magic to make it less painful.

Your breath has come in gasps interwoven with prayers for grace and strength.

You’ve avoided blaring newscasts and only checked intermittently for updates.

You may have cried, like me, in the shower or in a corner because the idea of another parent joining this “club” always makes you sad.

It’s especially difficult knowing that the end of the school year was so. very. close. The opportunity to do that kind of damage was nearly out of his reach.

And yet.

Here we are.

Again.

Enrolled In The School of Suffering Against My Will

I, like many bereaved parents, am still processing the horrific event in Uvalde, Texas.

I have spent the past couple days enveloped in a fog of disbelief (like most folks) and utter horror (as only fellow bereaved parents can comprehend).

I’m processing. I’m mourning. I’m angry.

I’m reliving the awful reality of learning that my child will never again walk through my door, hug my neck, call my name, sit at my table or contribute to a family conversation.

Maybe tomorrow my thoughts will be organized enough to share with the rest of the world, tonight they are still disjointed and cannot be reduced to words.

But I want to share something I wrote last year because I think it’s important. It won’t be anything the parents of those precious little lives can digest right now, but it might be helpful to the rest of us.

❤ Melanie

I have written before that Grief is Not a Hammer in the Hand of God.

I do not for one minute believe that the Lord I love inflicted this pain on me for the purpose of “teaching me something”.

But I absolutely, positively believe that He can use it (and HAS used it) to make me more compassionate, kinder and more grace-filled than I was before Dominic ran ahead to Heaven.

Still, “becoming” is painful and requires that I submit to the hand of the Potter.

Read the rest here: Unwanted Assignment: Enrolled in the School of Suffering

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