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Dr. H Norman Wright tells this story:

My wife and I had just arrived home from vacation, and the phone rang. It was our house painter. He said, "I remembered that your son died. My daughter just lost two of her little boys. Can you help her?" We agreed, so my wife and I made an appointment.

This young mother came in and, as best as she could, told us the story. Her husband had been depressed and even suicidal for some time. He was under the care of both a psychiatrist and a psychologist. He had been treated for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with medications, but it was discovered later that he was actually bipolar.

He had become increasingly depressed a few days earlier. He said that he wanted to take the boys down to the beach and asked his wife to go with him. She said she preferred to stay home with their five-month-old baby.

He took his five-and six-year-old sons to the beach, took out a handgun, killed them and attempted to kill himself, which he bungled. Hours later the police came to her home; but it was the media person who broke the news to her holding a microphone in her face, asking, "How does it feel to know that your husband killed your children?"

How would you feel, and what would you do or say? This was possibly one of the most difficult and painful cases for us to handle. Often after a session, my wife and I would both cry for that woman’s pain and some of our own, which had been activated once again.

We spent over two years working with her. The entire community came to her support. The 31 mothers of the preschool where her sons attended provided dinner each night for her and her son for the next year. This was an example of what it means to minister in the name of Jesus (Crisis and Trauma Counseling, pages 14, 15).

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