As I was putting this message together his past Monday evening, I got a phone call. It was the police department. I serve as one of their chaplains, and they called me to respond to a house fire. A woman was found dead inside, and her husband had just arrived on the scene, and they wanted me to come to tell him his wife had died in the fire.
I hung up the phone, and when I got down there, they told me that there were now 4 bodies inside - his wife and his 3 children: a 2 year old, a 3 year old, and 5 year old.
After we told him, once he was able to compose himself somewhat, he said to one of the officers and myself, "I don't know how to feel.
I don't know what I'm suppose to do now. Go to sleep and then get up in the morning? Then what am I suppose to do? Pretend this is all a nightmare? This just doesn't seem real. What am I suppose to do now?"
I felt for his sense of loss and lack of direction. I can only imagine, and thank God that imagine is all that I can do, what he must have been going through and the loss he felt. "What am I suppose to do now?"
We've all experienced moments of loss and emptiness in life. I hope that none of us experience what he is experiencing. But that sense of emptiness and loss has been a part of our lives, too--maybe from a divorce, maybe because of a life-threatening illness. But we know what it is like to feel all of life's supports pulled out from underneath us and we struggle to try to make sense of it it all.
He said, "I don't know if I'll ever get over this. I'll never be the same again."
Everything he had in his life is gone. His home is gone, his wife is gone, and all three of his children are gone. But you know what isn't gone?
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