It has been a hard weekend for my family. We have gone through many emotions…fear, grief, sadness, extreme worry for our daughter. There are many other feelings that have been mixed in there, but these are some of the more dominant ones. We have been broken by this tragedy, and we have ached for the family who lost their loved one. 

Part of why I shared my story the other morning was to process a horrific experience. I can assure you that those brief moments were terrifying for our family, and we are continuing to work through our memories of that experience. Another reason I shared my story was to demonstrate the many ways the Lord went before us. He was at work long before we even knew we needed His help, and for that reason, we are utterly humbled and grateful. If you have come to my blog to read the story or to see the images, I have since removed them.

Earlier today, Damian’s wife came to our home and apologized for what happened. As a wife, I cannot imagine the pain she must be feeling right now, but I am humbled by her bravery and kindness. We shared words of redemption and reconciliation, even as both of our families still struggle to find our way through this tragedy. It shows a strong character and a thoughtful heart that she would reach out to us.

Many of his friends and family members have also reached out to us, expressing to me that Dame (as he is called by his loved ones) was a kind, loving, and funny husband, father, son, cousin, and friend. It has helped us to learn this about him, to know that this man was cherished by his close-knit community. I think it is important for me to share this on my blog, as well. No matter how his life ended, I want to honor Dame for how he lived, and it is clear that his community holds him in high regard.

Out of respect for his family, I have removed the blog post. They now know some of what happened, at least in our very brief encounter with him. In my opinion, the purpose of that post has been served. To his family and friends, know that we continue to pray over you as you walk this very painful road.

There are no words to adequately express all we are thinking, feeling, processing. But one thing we know is true: the darkness of the night never lasts forever; morning always comes. 

 "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too."  (2 Corinthians 1:3-5)