When tragedy strikes a reaction to the Grand Rapids murders

Lisa Lehmann

Posted on July 08 2011

I have tried to be upbeat this morning. Tried to think of something clever to post. Bottom line is business right?
But it's not. At all.
Last night my city, Grand Rapids, Michigan, was absorbed in a horrific event. Last night a mass murderer killed 7 people including 2 children, then led police on a chase that ended up with him taking hostages.
We left our children last night. Home. Alone. It's not that they aren't old enough, they are. But my heart was sick and concerned. My son was keeping us up to date on what was going on via text, and as soon as I was able I logged into my twitter account. That is where I found out everything.
Social media was reporting every detail from police scanners, which although was helpful to me, I wondered if he was listening? It was crazy to read something on twitter and then have it reported on the news 5, 10, 15 minutes later. But I realize their need and want to verify all information...I respect that.
Our city came together riveted to our screens. Waiting. Praying. Hoping. We wanted it to end peaceably. We wanted those hostages to get out alive. Already had been too much tragedy.
Most impressive was our Police Department and our Police chief. Calm. Collected. Brave.
I'd like to send it all ended well. It didn't. Yes, the hostages were unharmed. But the gunman shot himself. Although you may have many thoughts on that result, it doesn't give justice to the families forever traumatized by this event.
We woke up this morning and moved on. What's for breakfast? What shall we do with our Friday night? What about the beach this weekend?
Not the families that lost loved ones. Their lives will never be the same. Never. What about those that were taken hostage? Will they EVER sleep well again? What about those that witnessed it all? And my mind keeps going to the children. My.heart.aches.
Our lives can change in an instant. Theirs did.
And what about his family? What about his mother? Did someone love him? Is someone out there aching because of what he did, and wondering what went so wrong? Is someone blaming themselves?
Today I encourage you to spend time reminding those you love how much you value them. Spend time being grateful for the amazing LIFE you have. Spend time praying for the families left behind. If you are local there is a candlelight vigil tonight for the families from 8:30-10 at the Ford Museum.
Hug your people. Tell them you love them. Because in a single instant. All of it can change.

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