All words that describe how I feel right now. I have been struggling with the public and the personal sides of the Geis tragedy. The public reports of what the "officials" say probably happened and the private knowledge of what I feel could not be possible just do not match up. I have found myself thinking about it all of the time. It's on the forefront of my mind when I wake up in the middle of the night. The morning brings new resolve not to think about it, not to check the news every couple of hours...but of course that is what I end up doing. I see emails from the CRHP community (the retreat that we were on together) and I know that everyone is struggling with this issue.
It is definitely taking my focus away from where it should be, especially at this time of the year. It is keeping me from pondering the miracle of Jesus' birth and the selflessness of the gift of His humanity. As our pastor pointed out last Friday night while we were all still just reeling from the news, Jesus experienced all of the emotions we were feeling. As I pondered that I realized what an amazing gift this is to us at any time of our lives. Times of joy and sorrow, times of strength and times of temptation. When we're tired and when we're energized. Whatever human feelings and emotions we are dealing with - Jesus experienced them too!
I know I must turn to prayer. For now, until there are definitive answers, I am asking for the grace not to care for a lack of a better way to put it - not to care about what really happened or how it happened. I am asking for the grace to think about the Jeanmarie I knew her to be when we had our brief time together. The events of her death do not change the fact that she is gone. The events of her life did affect me and that is what is important.
Finally, whatever the conclusion is as to what happened, it will be painful. No ending to this story can be better than any other. So, I am also asking God to prepare my heart for anything that is going to come.
My God give all of us the grace to focus on life. Jeanmarie's life, her family and friends' lives, our family and friends' lives and most of all...the life of our savior who will be born on Christmas Day.
UPDATE: Incidentally, as I've been writing this, I received an email from a good friend of the Geis family. Frank, the husband, is asking that people send him memories and thoughts of Jeanmarie and the kids because he wants to remember their lives, and not their deaths. This is exactly what I'm praying for...to remember her life, not worry about her death.