Amidst all the Show Choir excitement of late and the upcoming high school graduation of my firstborn, we received a shocker this past Wednesday night. As we sat at the table at church during Wednesday Night Supper discussing the exhaustion that always begins to overtake us at the end of any semester, compounded by all the extras happening in our lives right now, my friend and colleague sitting next to me received a phone call. We knew immediately that the call wasn't a good one...and our group silently waited for her to hang up and tell us what had happened.
Another friend of ours' husband had been found dead.
We sat stunned...I literally froze and my mouth dropped open.
When we finally regained our composure, we immediately began dialing our own cell phones to confirm the news as well as to find out what was happening and what we could do.
Slowly the word came back to us that he had died from a gunshot...and then the most stunning news of all...that the gunshot was self-inflicted.
You could have heard a pin drop.
Lee and David (not their real names) had a marriage that was real...based on love, trust, friendship and honor. They were in it for the long haul and loved their family, farm and two beautiful daughters. Two harder working people in our community do not exist...they answered every call, supported every need, and were deeply devoted to their family and community.
How in the world could this happen to them?
My friend Sandi and I left the church and went Lee and David's home. The sheriff, coroner, doctor, etc were still there and we supported Lee as they officially pronounced her husband dead, performed the obligatory scene investigation, transferred David's personal effects to Lee and then removed his body from the scene.
Sandi and I stayed into the night...sometimes supporting Lee and following instructions and sometimes just off in a dark corner by ourselves discussing life...and faith.
I don't know any other way to make sense of something like this.
After a long night of visitation...which lasted over 5 hours...the line to get in to speak to Lee and her girls and the rest of their family was wrapped inside and outside the funeral home all night, Lee buried her husband, her soulmate, the father of her children Saturday morning.
While I have no doubt that Lee will find her feet (albeit probably a while from now), she does not yet understand why. She admits that she will probably never know. David did not leave a note, and as of yet, there is no indication of any particular event that might have caused him to take his own life.
As a community we will surround her and her girls with love...we will all become her daughters' parents and we'll figure out a way to help them keep living.
Our own daughters are friends of Lee and David's daughters; they have asked us a lot of questions and we have answered them as best as we can. I'm sure we'll be talking about these tragic events for some time.
As for the Head of My Household, I've told him many times that if it ever crossed his mind that we would be better off without him, he'd just better think again. We all like to act like we're tough, independent women...and we are...but he is our stabilizer. He adds the quiet control that all 4 of us females need. He's getting a little overwhelmed with all the kissing, hugging and constant reminders of our love...but he'll just have to get over it.
Please kiss and hug the ones you love today...and tell them that you love them.
And, please say a little prayer for my friend Lee.