Thank You

Dear Family and Friends,

Words cannot express our gratitude for the love that has buoyed us up over the past week. The tributes to Gabe here and elsewhere have helped soften a very harsh reality. How we go on, we’ve no idea, other than one moment at a time by the grace of God.

People have asked us repeatedly why Gabe took his own life. There is no satisfactory answer to the question. That he was clinically depressed was obvious from the letters he left behind, if less so from his daily interaction with those around him. Gabriel had many medical problems and life stressors that may have predisposed him to a condition that he hid well from most (and clearly didn’t understand himself).

A week before Gabe’s death, he performed with great success at The Comedy Store in LA. Before he walked out the door last Friday evening, he had an ordinary conversation with his dad about a sales appointment he had scheduled for the following day. I saw something in his countenance that concerned me and asked him what was wrong. He brushed the question aside. I told him I loved him … and then he was gone.

When we return to California, I will be seeking permission to post the message given by a speaker whose voice was heard at both services for Gabe. He understands these things better than most and was at our house within an hour of the public officials who filled our home with the awful news. His words continue to minister to us all.

Some of you are surely wondering how Gabe’s brother is doing. Mike is doing remarkably well. He is talking and engaging with others, and has been a comfort to his family. He will receive professional care when we get home.

Going home to our little apartment will be the test for all of us, as we try to pick up the pieces of our lives yet again.  We trust your prayers will be with us in those lonely days.

I would like to leave you with the words of Psalm 103:1-14, which I have meditated upon continually this week.

 Bless the LORD, O my soul,
   and all that is within me,
   bless his holy name.

Bless the LORD, O my soul,
   and forget none of his benefits;

who forgives all your iniquities,
   who heals all your diseases;

who redeems your life from the pit,
   who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;
who satisfies your years with good things
   so that your youth is renewed like the eagle.

The LORD performs righteous deeds
   and judgments for all who are oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses,
   his acts to the people of Israel.
The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
   slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.

 He will not always strive with us,
   nor will he keep his anger forever.
He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
   nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
   so great is his lovingkindness toward those who fear him.

As far as the east is from the west,
   so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
Just as a father has compassion on his children,
   so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him.
For he knows our frame;
   he is mindful that we are but dust.

AMEN.

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9 Comments on “Thank You

  1. Christine, I am crying. How not to? Or maybe the better question is why we would want to stop at all… it being the most natural thing in the world. Grief’s spill, its salt. The flow of reality.

    This Psalm. I was just in it a few days ago, writing about us being dust. How strange then to come and see it here. And yet not. These happenings remind us of the frailty of life in general… and yet the hands that formed that life and breathe spirit into it, into the dust.

    May that Spirit be a breath in the days ahead. The dusty, difficult days.

    Love, L.L.

  2. Christine, don’t know what to say, or how to say it. Been praying for you and your family. May God bless you and show you His Mercy.

    Jody

  3. Dear Christine,

    I was deeply saddened by the news of his passing. As the Director at Camp Winnebago in 2006, I watched him teach, mentor, and imbue children with a sense of learning, fun, and respect that will last for many that knew him their entire lives.

    Our hearts sing out to you and your family. If there is anything we can do for you, please do not hesitate to be in touch.

    All best wishes,
    Andy Lilienthal

  4. Continuing to pray for you!

    And thought of you as I read Jill Carratini’s essay in the Ravi Zacharias Ministries’ Slice of Infinity daily e-devotional today.

    A Man of Sorrows

    Ms. Carratini writes: “There is, for me, immense comfort in a Christ who was not always smiling. As I picture his face set as flint toward Jerusalem, my fear is unfastened by his fortitude. As I imagine the urgency in his voice as he defended a guilty woman amidst a crowd holding rocks, my shame is freed by his mercy. And as I picture him weeping at the grave of Lazarus, crying out at injustice, sweating blood in the garden of Gethsemane, my tears are given depth by his own cries. I do not grieve alone.”

    Grace to you this day!

    So very, very sorry for your suffering.

    Your sister in Christ,
    Tara B.

  5. Hoping each day you, Jeff and Michael continue to be “wound with mercy round and round” through every minute of your days –

    with sorrow and grief, but much love-
    Anne

  6. Reading through your last post has broken my heart for your afresh. We continue to pray for your family daily. So glad Mike is doing so well. Please let us know if we can do anything.

    Much love,
    Neil, Romy, & Luke

  7. I just returned from a vacation and heard the news today about Gabe. I can’t imagine how devastating it must be for you and I am so sorry. I know Gabe is much better off, and that Jesus has clarified everything to him now, as he knows even as he is known, but this is still a huge loss for the rest of the family. I am heartbroken for you. You are in my prayers.

  8. Christine,
    Just found out about this. I am so sorry. I will be praying for you and your family. There are no words …
    Blessings,
    Tanya

  9. Christine,

    I just reread your piece, “A Laughing Child . . .” It all just breaks my heart.

    May God continue to be with you and Jeff in these days in ways you can’t imagine.

    Gary Gnidovic

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