Teenage Girl Tragically Killed

I’ve just heard a news report about a teenage girl from my home town who was tragically killed yesterday morning on her way to school.

15 year old Katelyn Dawson was standing at a bus stop with two other females when a BMW mounted the pavement and ploughed into all of them.

A middle-aged woman and another young girl were seriously injured and are recovering in the local hospital, but shortly after Katelyn was admitted, she lost her fight for life and died from her horrific injuries.

I can’t imagine what her loved-ones are going through right now. One minute everything’s fine and the next, their lives are shattered into fragments that seem too tiny to find, let alone piece together again.

It strikes me that her mum will always remember what she was doing just before the dreaded phone call from the police. Now the task pales into insignificance as the reality of the shocking news grips hold of her bleeding heart. I imagine the news must have been so hard to take in that it seemed at first like a dream, followed by a nightmare from which one cannot awake.

All these ‘if only’s running through her mind.

“If only I hugged her tighter this morning. If only I gazed at her for longer. If only I told her that I loved her. If only I offered to give her a lift in my car or let her have a longer breakfast…”

Oh the sorrow, unjustified guilt and heartache that poor mother must be feeling!

My heart goes out to her and all those affected by this unnecessary loss. What a traumatic day today must be for all of them. But for those whom Katelyn lived with especially, it must be dreadful having to come to terms with the fact that their beloved daughter and sister did not sleep in her bed last night and never will again. Her clothes in the wash basket, jewellery on the dining table, electronic devices still plugged into their chargers, favourite mugs in the cupboard, dry toothbrush in the bathroom and of course, the haunting room that was her lair – for sleepovers, private texts, Instagram fun, nail painting and dreaming. Their brains must be in a cloudy haze, trying to block out the taunts from dark shadows, mocking them that they will never be able to feel her warm, soft cheek pressed against their lips ever again.

Before she left the house yesterday she was happy, now there is no emotion to display. She was lively, now there is no movement in her precious young body. Her beautiful eyes were shining and bright, now they are closed with no life behind them. It seems so unfair.

To be jolted with sudden funeral plans that they have no mind to consider, yet now presses down on them urgently like a vice clamp being tightened around a block of wood, is one of the most cruel circumstances of life anyone has ever to bear.

How many tears have they cried already? I cannot imagine the gallons of salty liquid that have dripped incessantly from their eyes, displaying the torture going on inside each soul. An hour ago, when I looked up the full story on the online newspaper, I sobbed until I could sob no more – yet I don’t even know this family and never knew the young girl.

Only God can describe what the loved-ones and school friends are suffering. A close friend of Katelyn was destined to be at the same bus stop with her yesterday, but received a call from her boyfriend just before she left her house. This  made her late, so her mother took her to school instead. I am so sorry for this dear friend who is now struggling with gigantic bouts of grief, relief, guilt and shock. Sorrow upon sorrow flooding her entire being!

“Why?” People ask. “Why was I spared by a ‘Sliding Doors’ moment when my friend was not so lucky?”

“Why did she have to be taken so cruelly, so abruptly, so savagely?”

Questions that throw us into deep depression. And then the ‘religious queries’ arise like clockwork: “Where was God? Why didn’t he prevent it?”

God was there. God saw. But more importantly, God saw all the hearts that split into pieces as the shocking news spread. He saw the lungs that rose as people held their breath and the vacant stares into space as brains desperately tried to process what the ears did not want to hear. He heard the cries of anguish, some loud, some so distraught that the cries were silent to human ears, but audible to him alone. Some things are just allowed to happen so he can be a comfort to the grieving. I’m not getting into they whys and wherefores of why God allows suffering, but highlighting the depths of his compassion when he does.

My prayer is that instead of running from God out of anger and grief (understandably so, when one does not really know him) these dear loved-ones will run towards him and discover how big he is in times like these. That they will discover how loving he is and what a comforter he can be in the time of most desperate need.

Something like this could happen to any one of us at any time. I urge you to get to know your Creator before it does. It makes the depression and sadness much easier to bear.


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