(This happened a while back, but I've been waiting to post my feelings about it because I did not want anyone searching the Internet in an effort to figure out who I'm writing about).
As far as I know, I have never met the woman.
In fact, even as I write my diary entry, I cannot remember her name. Her brother is a member of the church. John and his wife Sherry have been to the church twice since the attendance records have been kept. They came for their daughter's baptism, in 1992, and for their son's baptism, in 1994.
John and Sherry have not been in church since I've been the pastor here.
I called Maria, the mother of the woman who died.
The woman died 2 days ago. She was killed by her husband, a police officer. They were married in a Las Vegas wedding five weeks ago. When she returned from her honeymoon, her body was covered with bruises. She admitted to her family that her husband was abusive. Ten days after the wedding, the woman had moved out. Then a few days ago, the husband convinced her to join him for a trip to Universal Studios in Orlando, which she did. They were going to talk about their relationship.
The woman left her parents' home at 10:30 AM.
At 3:30 PM, she called her mother and asked for help to get home.
Ten minutes later, the parents were in the car and beginning a 3 to 4 hour trip.
But even then it was too late. Five minutes after making the call, the woman had been killed by her husband, who then put the gun to his head and took his own life.
I will do the funeral Monday.
What a tragedy.
(My diary's entry for the following day)
I listened to the stories of the family and wondered how it could have happened. All the signs were there, but the family was not knowledgeable enough to understand. The man abused her violently.
Before they were married, he bought an engagement ring. Then he took her to the jewelry store and showed her a ring. The woman said it was too large and said she wanted to see others. When they returned home, the man pulled out the ring he'd bought earlier. It was exactly the same ring style as she had rejected earlier, and again she said she needed a smaller style. To this he picked up a chair and threw it at her and broke several glass shelves.
When the family confronted him about his violence, he begged them not to tell the police, because it would mean immediate termination from his job on the police force. "And if that happened, I'd have to kill myself."
This is just one of many clues to how sick this man was.
I will be doing her funeral Monday afternoon.