September 27, 2010

A Heavy Heart

Yesterday started out as a fairly simple day. I worked for 8 1/2 hours, but it was stress-free and went by pretty fast. Then I came home, checked Facebook, and found myself puzzled. People were posting disturbing things on one friend's page. After the use of Google, I found myself staring at a sickening news headline "Man kills self and two sons." My reaction? "No. NO. Do NOT let this be the what everyone is referring to." To make a long story short, my friend came home the other night and found her husband and two sons (6 and 8) shot to death. It has been ruled murder-suicide.
Let me just say, on the off chance that this friend or those who know her might be reading this post, that I am not trying to trivialize or sensationalize her grief. I am just stunned and need to get it out. She and I were friends in high school. She lived in my neighborhood (a few blocks away). We rode the bus together. We were in marching band together. We drifted apart after high school, but kept in touch through Facebook. She was a sweetheart, one of the nicest people I have ever known.
I'm angry. I'm shocked. I'm saddened. Why do people do this? If you want to leave this world, for whatever reason, OK. Well, not OK, but you know what I mean. But why... why... WHY???? Why would the children be involved in this?!
The news stories just keep coming. Reporters are speculating on what went "wrong" in their marriage, in their family, in their life. As a former reporter, I am embarrassed to read what some outlets are reporting... neighborhood gossip at its worst. Some outlets have gone so far as to lift family photos from her Facebook page. (Blame her lack of "privacy protection" on those pictures, but perhaps she didn't realize her settings. How do these agencies even know they're using pictures of the right family?!) Message boards are filled with hateful comments from people who didn't know this family. A woman lost her family in one cruel act and strangers think they have a right to judge.
I just want to ask each of you to say a little prayer for my friend and hug your kids today. In the past two weeks, I've had other friends who have experienced personal tragedies. Each of them have made me take a closer look at my own life, be thankful for the life I have, and have made me work hard to not sweat the small stuff.
(Thank you for letting me get it out!)

10 comments:

MaryAnne said...

This is so sad.

I think sometimes news agencies (and everyday people commenting) forget that their stories are about real people.

Sarah said...

I'm in tears, this is so sad. Praying for the mother of these children.

When I was in high school, our star basketball player was shot and killed (victim of a gang initiation) and the media made it awful for us students and his family. People are more interested in gossip than in feelings.

Quadmama said...

It keeps getting more and more disgusting. Today, various news agencies reported the contents of his suicide note. When did we become so interested in grisly details? I know as a journalist we were taught about the public's "right to know" and about doing "the greatest good for the greatest number of people," but this seems to cross a sick line.

Sadia said...

I am so, very, very sorry, both for her loss, and for it being thrown around for sensationalism value. I'm glad that journalists like you, with integrity, still exist.

Stephanie Barr said...

How horrible! As if the tragedy wasn't horrible enough.

I have no criticism to offer, just sympathy for a situation no one can ever earn.

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MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

I read this post earlier today, and I just can't stop thinking about it. I cannot begin to fathom what the mother must be going through at this time. Given what you're describing in terms of the media, I hope she is surrounded by friends and family who can at least shield her from some of that horrific coverage. My thoughts are with her.

Brooke said...

Oh how very sad. I'm a former journalist too, and this sort of sensationalism saddens me as well. What a horrible loss, made even worse by the media reports.

Kim said...

Oh, no. I am so very sorry to hear this. It sickens me that anybody would judge or try to armchair-analyze someone else's family life, especially after such a tragedy has occurred. Suicide is devastating; I can't even imagine the grief and horror for the family when homicide is involved. May God carry your friend through this horrible, horrible time.

reanbean said...

How very, very sad for your friend and all who are grieving with her for the loss of her husband and their sons. It's unbelievable what is considered to be "news" these days. I can only imagine how horribly difficult this time must be for her. My thoughts and prayers go out to her...

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