Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I Can’t Believe My Brother Died

Arriving at the emergency room, Chad, a high school sophomore, and his father Ben learned that Chad's six-year-old brother, Matthew, had died instantly when a produce truck had swerved across the line and hit the Rogers' van head on. Chad's emotions took a beating during the first hour at the hospital. The numbing shock of Matty's death was followed by the painful reality that his critically injured mother and friend were still fighting for their lives. Chad's eyes were red and puffy, and his chest hurt. He could hardly keep his hands from shaking. Family members were sobbing.

Several of Chad and Rob's friends were in the waiting room consoling each other and praying for the two families. Pastor O’Neill, along with Doug and Jenny Shaw, the youth-group sponsors, were with them.

Doug and Jenny hugged Chad, and the three of them stood crying together for a couple of minutes. Next to his own family Chad could not think of anyone he loved more as "second parents." "I can't believe what's happening to me," Chad said, fighting back tears. "I know it hurts a lot, Chad." Doug's voice cracked with emotion. “And we really hurt for you." "We love you, Chad," Jenny added, "and we wish you didn't have to go through this pain. We're so sorry about Matthew." "Matty is gone, Mom and Rob are hurt badly, and I can't get control of my emotions," Chad lamented. Doug patted Chad's arm. "It's okay. Go ahead and let it all out. We're here to cry with you and your family." "I know God feels your hurt too, Chad," Jenny said.

Chad sat silently for more than a minute, occasionally wiping a tear from his face. Doug and Jenny quietly kept him company, assuring him with gentle touches. Across the room, Pastor O'Neill and a few friends from church consoled and comforted Ben Rogers. Rob's family was also in the room, huddled with their loved ones. Everyone prayed that the grief they felt over Matthew's death would not be compounded by the loss of his mother, Margaret, or Chad's friend Rob, both of whom were still in emergency surgery.

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