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.