This is the hardest post I’ve ever had to write. Many of you already know what I am going to say—you saw it on the news or social media—but I feel like I owe it to the rest of you to explain where I’ve disappeared to and why.
The truth is, I’ve fallen into a box of tissue and my nose is raw from crying and I can’t climb out. Our family has experienced a tragedy beyond our wildest nightmares—and I don’t know how to make sense of the world or God or life anymore.
Please forgive the brevity and lack of details as I tell this story. Until the final autopsy, toxicology, and police report get released, I can’t speak to specifics.
As some of you know, my oldest son Noah was an alcoholic. But you may not know he also suffered from bi-polar/ manic-depression. A couple years ago, he stopped taking his medication. I believe this decision contributed to the psychotic break he experienced on October 31st, 2015.
As reported in the papers, that morning Noah tried to light his apartment on fire. And then he walked out onto the street with several guns and randomly killed the first three people he saw. Not long after, he died in a shootout with the police.
There are no words to describe our utter shock, grief, and horror. And I can’t fathom the heartache and pain of those families whose lives were torn apart that day. All three of Noah’s victims were parents.
As some of you know, once upon a time I had a showdown with God about Noah. I knew I couldn’t trust God to keep Noah safe or alive. I couldn’t surrender him to God’s care until I was willing to do so “no matter what,” willing to accept that the only way Noah could ever truly be safe was in some eternal realm of Big Love that reaches way beyond what happens on earth.
I believe that’s where Noah is now.
Sometimes, I sense Noah’s presence. In the early days after he died, I heard him say, “Mom, don’t you get it? I’m way closer to you now than I ever was when I was alive.”
I won’t try to eulogize Noah here. But I will tell you that the Noah I raised and remember was a kind and caring man. He was our gentle giant in the family, and so tenderhearted. Once, when we still lived back in Oregon, Noah accidentally drove over a trail of baby quail crossing the road. When he looked in his rearview mirror and saw clouds of baby feathers he was so devastated he cried.
This is the Noah I will always remember. And it’s why I know if he had survived and been returned to his right mind, he never could have lived with what he had done. It might sound strange, but I’m grateful Noah died that day, even as I’m sorry for the police who had to shoot him.
Honestly, I don’t believe the Noah I know was even there.
I don’t know if I will blog about this or anything else again anytime soon. I want so much to be sensitive to the victims of this tragedy. I can only hope they have received half the outpouring of love and care that we have.
Here are links where you can contribute to the victims’ families. It would mean so much if you would.
Love always, Heather
P.S. I don’t know if I can answer comments, but feel free to leave them.
P.S.S. I had turned all my posts private and am only halfway through turning them back on. Not sure if it’s even what I should do. Thanks for your patience. I apologize to all my faithful readers who may have felt cut off when I quit blogging, dumped RAW, and got very quiet.