The only thing worse…UPDATED

What could possibly be worse than getting a phone call to come to a hospital because your spouse wife, or your son or your daughter has been shot by a madman and may not make it?

Getting a phone call telling you that your child was the shooter.

I frankly don’t want to argue about which is worse. They must both be indescribable levels of hell.

Awful for everyone concerned.

But how good that doctors believe Gabrielle Giffords is going to live.

She’ll need lots of prayers for the hard road before her.

God help us all. Everyone gets a turn in the crucible, one way or another.

Related: I am sure that no one wants these people parked around the house, either.

UPDATE: Andrew Malcolm has touching pictures from Gabrielle Giffords’ husband

UPDATE II: The news that there was a disruption in this family before the shootings only adds to the poignant note of regret in that statement. And it makes me think this post could not be more timely

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  • Lisa Graas

    Prayers going up for all.

  • anon for now

    for anyone whose child is a “loner”, is obsessive or has suffered from mental illness, this is their darkest fear. Despite being reassured by friends, family and professionals that we are “doing a great job” and “doing everything” we can, it is still an anxiety that keeps me awake some nights. Constant prayer helps. I pray for all in that situation.

  • Barbara

    I am reminded that the most heinous crime of all time was the Crucifixion of our Lord. And that most heinous crime, to this day, accrues blessings and grace to all mankind. Indeed, God causes all things to work together for good for those who love Him. Let us pray for all the families, for our communities, country and the world at large, that all would come to know the love of God in Christ Jesus, our Lord.

  • The Sheepcat carried a moving interview with Monique Lepine, the mother of the man who murdered 14 women at l’Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal on December 6, 1989.
    She has written a book, Aftermath, about her experience of healing through Christ and helping others to heal.

  • zmama

    Have been saying prayers for ALL involved since Saturday.

    @anon for now-saying prayers for you and your family member

  • Susan

    Prayers for all the friends & family members suffering in Tuscon. And yes, I include in my prayers the people suffering from mental illness and their loved ones that fear the worst and hope for the best. God bless them all.

  • Lois in Indy


  • Nmissi

    Some time ago I made a decision to change the way I process horror. It was when I read about that Austrian girl who’d been locked up and raped by her father? My mind kept coming back to it; it affected me more than other, more numerous tragedies had done, and I couldn’t understand why. I was so angry, and part of me was angry that my God, whom I love and who I know loves me, that he could permit such things to happen.

    I prayed on it for some time, and one night, He gave me my answer. I was to pray not only for the victims of evil, but for the perpetrators. Since that night, whenever I hear about or read about some awful thing someone has done to somebody else, I make a point to ask God to help the evildoer, that they may find the will to repent, and to atone for their actions, and find peace with Him. And I don’t know why, but when I do that, I feel better. I feel closer to God, and not at odds with him. I suppose it is because He is our father, all of us, even the evil and the sick, and when we sin, He hurts. And when we feel anger and hatred towards the evildoer, on some level, maybe that hurts Him, too, because they, too, are His children. And at such a time as this, when the shooter’s parents are grieving and in pain, I pray for them. But I pray for Loughner himself, as well;because he has broken the hearts of his victims’ families, and his own, but moreso than that, he’s broken the heart of our heavenly father, who grieves for him.

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  • Mr. Graves

    I think it would be worse to be the parent of the victim than of the shooter. Both would be horrible, of course.

    But Loughner’s family will hug him again. They’ll visit him in jail or the mental institution. They’ll send him Christmas gifts. Certainly they’ll grieve; they’ll wonder how they could have reacted differently. But their grief will be incomplete.

    The families of the dead, on the other hand, will know grief without hugs, visits, or Christmas presents — or any end in sight.

  • zmama

    @Nmissi-Just this weekend I was finishing the book Left To Tell by Immaculée Ilibagiza, a survivor of the Rwandan genocide. Your words here remind me so much of Immaculee’s journey of faith as she struggled to let go of her anger to be able to forgive her family’s killers. If you have not read it yet I recommend it. As the events of this past weekend unfolded I found myself drawn back to Immaculee’s words.

  • Joseph

    Of the two, I dare say that getting a call that your child has committed murder might be a little bit worse (although, as one pointed out, Loughner is still alive and his parents still have hime in that regard). That we will all die one way or another someday is inevitable; that we will committ murder is not. It will haunt and torture his parents unceasingly for the remainder of their lives, in a way that it might not if he had been one of the innocent victims.

  • KarenElissa

    It is interesting that this was just one of the story lines in the latest Grey’s Anatomy. There was a school shooting and among all the victims they got, they also got the shooter. I think they did a good job portraying the emotions and struggles that this would bring about.

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