By Lisa Huddleston
I have not been able to shake the disturbing news that Rick Warren’s son took his own life over this past weekend. Do I know the Warrens? No—I’ve read his books (along with many of you) and have heard his sermons. But I do not know him or his family. Why do I feel so strongly moved by this terrible loss of life?
I guess, first, I cannot imagine having to suffer such a personal grief in such a public manner. As a mother, I have felt maternal guilt when my children have made a choice that others may criticize. Inappropriate, I know. Their choices are their own. They are adults. Yet, there it is. I never stop feeling responsible for them. I should have been kinder. I should have yelled less. I should have played more, prayed more, stayed more present. Should have—but no way to change that now. So I wonder if the Warrens are feeling the same doubts as I. And I hurt for them. You’ll never read this, but I want to tell you—Rick and Kay and all of you moms and dads with struggling children—it’s not your fault! (Public disclaimer: Dad and I are terribly proud of you guys, Chad, Sarah, and Nick. You are each awesome!)
Second, I relate too strongly with their son’s terrible pain. Can I say that I know how he felt? Of course not. I did not know him, and I have not fought his fight. Yet, again, I have felt the heavy weight of depression and have had times when I desperately wanted a way out. When this body has felt like a shell that must be cracked to let my eggy life out. And I hurt for him. I wish I could have encouraged him to wait for fresh mercy. I do hope that these words may encourage someone else to wait. A moment’s choice cannot be reversed. And I can’t shake the impact such a choice can make. A meteor that crashes into the ground and shakes the world around it with waves of grief.
Yesterday, I felt the waves wash over me. Inexplicably. But today I have danced in the kitchen and sung songs of praise with Hillsong Music blaring from the Bose. Go figure!
One of our family’s favorite songs says, “Who knows what tomorrow will bring? Could be most anything. An encouraging word. A buffalo herd. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?” (Thanks, Claire Lynch!) So … who knows? But I do want to find out.
See you tomorrow.