This may end up a jumbled blog, but I feel the need to write it, despite being unsure how to put these thoughts and feelings into words. I can’t go into the politics/arguments/questions of the situation due to policies in place for me as a state employee, but I suspect network news and Google searches can handle all your needs in that regard. International outlets, local media, and every major network are already all over this story, so if you haven’t heard about it, you will soon.

So, in short… a co-worker of mine was involved in a murder/suicide. He left behind three children, ranging in age from 2 to 10. The rest of the details are inconsequential because this information is enough to make my heart ache right now, and I don’t suspect that feeling is dissipating anytime soon.

Selfish? Sure. Surprising? Certainly. I didn’t know this man well, but I did know him and saw him regularly. It is crazy to think that this can happen so close to home… we read these stories all of the time, but it doesn’t usually happen at our own workplaces. However, today I walk in and the first thing I hear is that this man is dead. Rumors, details, and the rest come flying soon thereafter. I am confused and feeling bad already, but then I read about the children… my heart nearly breaks.

As a father, my entire take on this changes. This would have hit no matter what, but looking at my son’s face staring back at me in the picture frames on my desk just about destroys me. Trying not to cry, I forge on working. But my thoughts are not on work at all. These children not only lose their father, but their mother, too. Left with no parents and the ghost of this situation haunting them. My rage builds up at first, but it is soon replaced by something else. Unsure how I feel, I had to take to writing.

Anger is a legitimate feeling in this situation, but I don’t know the demons that may have haunted this man. I don’t know the whole story… and no one does. No one will. Numbness is not the right word for what I feel, because it isn’t numb… it hurts. I can feel my heart in my chest, and it doesn’t feel good. The tension and hurt all around this place is evident.

I hold back some of my thought and words, because it’s inappropriate at this time to share some of what I feel… not to mention the fact that my job with the Commonwealth dictates that I not speak to media in these times and a blog is public domain. While not a violation of policy, I feel it’s inappropriate to say anything about how I feel that could be dug up by the media in any way. So, I simply leave you… my friends and readers… with the question that permeates my entire being right now. Why?

Why does darkness overtake good? Why does God allow this free will when it creates such evil, such pain? Why do these children have to live parentless and hurting? Why didn’t someone know and do something about it? Why couldn’t this have been handled in a different way?



~ by thepaintedman on October 8, 2009.

3 Responses to “Why?”

  1. Justin,
    I know that you have restrictions on what you say and post, but I do not. I do not know if I am restricted from posting on your site, so if I am, please delete. For those of you who would like more information regarding the story, below is a link to our local newspaper which covered the story.

  2. Jessica, no problem there. I was considering linking up, but just decided to play it ultra safe. A personal blog site post is undoubtedly not a violation of my work policy regarding media and such, but I never can be too safe when working for the government… job security is great and all that. However, this is not some small story where I am disclosing confidential info, so link away to anything and everything here. I searched Google News at work today and found over 400 stories, including ones in Atlanta and the UK, so it’s not like this isn’t a story that is getting a ton of coverage anyway.

    Pray for the family, that’s all I truly need to ask everyone to do. My heart aches and I barely knew the guy, so I can’t imagine how everyone closer to him must be feeling.

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Justin Harlan. Justin Harlan said: Sad day… http://thepaintedman.brookiellen.com/why/ (Pray for this family, the children need some serious prayer) […]

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