Posted by: ritagone | January 13, 2016


Every morning I read a condensed news presentation called The Daily Beast, an easy way to capsulize what’s going on around the world in paragraph form. (Sometimes more than a paragraph is way too much!) Right before New Year’s Eve, I read the paragraph below, and my heart sank. Read it for yourself, and then I’ll say a few things:





A Florida mother on Tuesday night shot and killed her 27-year-old daughter, mistaking her for an intruder. According to the police, the woman was asleep when she heard someone enter her house. The woman heard that person quickly approaching and, thinking it was an intruder, she fired a single shot. The woman then discovered it was her daughter. Both mother and daughter were taken to the hospital, where the daughter died. The identities of the shooter and victim will not be released per Florida statute as a law enforcement officer resides in the home where the incident occurred. Police would not reveal if the officer was involved in the shooting.



The Daily Beast

December 30, 2015



The thought that has gone through my mind constantly since I read this – partly because I just finished reading a great novel called “A Little Life” about a man’s struggle to overcome unsuccessfully his abusive past – is “how do we ever get over the tragedies that we experience in life?” Specifically, how will this mother ever get over the horror of shooting and killing her own 27-year-old daughter? I don’t know all the circumstances, granted, but if the bare bones of the facts that we were given in this brief blurb are true in this story, that she was the one who fired the single shot that ended up killing her adult child, it is unimaginable what she will now endure for the rest of her life.


There is great resiliency to the human soul and psyche, but there are some things that cannot easily be overcome. Even – as I firmly believe is essential for all human beings – coming to a relationship with Jesus Christ may not be enough to completely eradicate the trauma of an event like this. Like a scar emblazoned across the face from a wayward knife wound, it will remain forever. God’s grace and loving friends can soothe it, but nothing can completely take away the hurt while this woman remains alive.


I know people who have been severely abused or damaged by other people, and as adults, they still struggle with the hurt and repercussions decades later. My heart truly breaks for them. I watch them in their pain and – knowing that there is nothing I can do – I can only shake my head in sorrow and cry with them. I know Jesus feels their grief more intensely than any of us could. And that helps a tiny bit.


For this woman, for what she will endure for the rest of her life, it is unimaginable. She is probably – what? — in her late 40’s, early 50’s. She has a lot of life left to live. I will never meet her. I don’t know her name. Like so many traumatized, damaged people in this world, she will have to get up every morning and face each day.

I pray that she will somehow find the courage and the strength to do this. I hope that in some way, what she does will allow someone else to overcome a bit of more what they are going through. Maybe this will bring some kind of meaning to what must be to her a meaningless existence right now.


I begin to play speculative games: is she the law enforcement officer referred to in the piece? She certainly had access to the gun fairly quickly, and knew how to use it. If this is the case, will this incident, this tragedy, affect her ability to do her work from now on? Or was the daughter the law enforcement officer, coming home innocently later than she thought, tiptoeing into the house so as not to awaken her mother, and suddenly her life is ended? Where was she that evening? What was she doing? Have I seen too many detective TV shows? Why do I want to know all of this? Does it really matter? Whatever the facts behind the tragedy, the 27-year-old daughter is still dead, shot by her mother. Always and ever still unimaginable.


And, which is I suppose the most natural response of all, I want to hug my daughter and my son and my grandchildren and my husband a little longer, a little tighter the next time I can do so. Because you just never know how much time you have together, and this horrible story proves it.

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