Oh, friends. I’ve wanted to tell you, but there are no words. No words big or right or clear enough, no clue in my hurting, spinning mind of where to begin. I have hovered over this keyboard for two months feeling almost ready and then backing away. But I need you now. We need you now. So I’ll try to string some words together enough to ask. Could you pray for us?

Pray for us. Pray for us. And we are so weary I can’t tell you even what to pray for. But beg. Please. Pray. Cry out. Because I can’t find the words to talk to God aside from a wounded HELP. HELP ME. HELP US. HELP US.  Could you have the words for us, who cannot find our own?

Our sweet, gentle dad was brutally killed on July 10th. His was a savage death, not fit for an animal, not fit for a shining, hard-working, fiercely loving man. We did not get to hold his hand. We did not get to save him. We did not get to save him. And then the world spins and you fear it is breaking. That this is the end. But it is only just beginning.

We have been thrust into a world of police stations and funerals, casket shopping and legal talk. We finally held his cold hand and understood that that this was the loss of the only dad. We’ve wept the hardest tears over his darling self before watching the dirt cover him shovel by shovel by shovel-full. And then the news that our brother has been charged with First Degree Murder. We stood at the start of a dark maze and realized it would be a long, blind walk.

Weeks have passed. Some days I’d see a little sliver of light creeping in. Those days I could take a few steps, progress, progress, navigating the twists and turns slowly but just enough. But most days we’ve found no light, just fear that we are very lost here and no one can find us. I’ve grabbed onto comfort anywhere I can find it, but the best I could hope for was to look at my three sisters and my mom and know that at least they were walking this long road with me.

And then, on September 10th, the world finally does it. It breaks. It’s gone completely. Frantic calls from my sisters and we learn our precious mother is dead. Just like that, she is gone. Her bright smile. Her witty book talk. Her arms just the right size for 6 grandbabies big and small. Her heart bigger than the sky and deeper than the ocean. Her pointy nose that scrunches when she laughs. Her sitting in a living room with her sisters, a brother, her mom: long legs and matching faces in a row. Her smell. Her smell. Our only guide in the new normal since July. She is so much. She is gone. She is gone.

60 little days. That’s all it takes for the world to disappear.  I am sitting here emptied and scraped out. I am flat. I am scared.  I am stunned to a place beyond any normal pain. I am sad so wholly that it is the biggest part of who am I now. I am not myself when those who made me aren’t here to remind me who I am.  And I am looking at my three sisters. Us four girls. I am knocked back down again realizing inside their plain old skin and eyes and moving parts they are emptied out just like me.  Oh, I am so sad for them.

So I cannot tell you what to pray for. Because we’ve begged for help. We’ve cried out from this grief and there aren’t any words left. Can you say the words for us because we are weak? Can you pray and beg and plead for mercy because we can barely lift our heads to say it?


66 thoughts on “Mercy.

  1. I will hold your grief, for just a little while for you, sister. Just to give you a breath. I am so, so sorry for your pain.

    You are not alone.

  2. Oh Tori, I’m crying for you and your family. Crying for this human life that is so full of pain and simultaneously so full of joy. Know that your precious heart and spirit remain intact through these experiences, and in this big wide world of change, what isn’t changing is the love your carry in your heart, the love of your mom and dad that live on through you and your family. I hope that you have the support of friends and family, and that you’re able to do all the things you need to take care of yourself–eating, resting, finding moments for fun even if it seems impossible to have fun. I send you infinite oceans of love and the biggest hugs, and endless prayers for peace and healing for you and your family. You are a brave soul and I appreciate your having the courage to share such painful news with us. My hope is that we can help you to see how very loved you are, and how you are held by all of us. Love to you Tori. Deep breaths.

  3. Tori, I’ve been wanting so much to send you the right words for so long but I could not find them. However, after reading this, I think I have them. Please remember that you are not alone and you will never be alone. You have your sisters, but even more, you have this extended family of people who feel connected to you through your soul, through your words, and through the genuine love you put out into the world. We are your family, and we are here for you sending so much support and love. So many of us would take away the pain if we could, but you need to feel it. But we are here to support you as you do, to give you our strength. Never forget that, and please reach out whenever it seems to much to take.

    I hope these are the words you need. These words, and three more, Love to you.

    ❤ Lisa

  4. Sweet sweet Tori and Lillie & girls I have prayed for u all since I heard the first horrible news that you had lost your father so tragically. Now I just hurt all over for u sweet girls but will always continue to pray for he won’t lead you to it if he’s not going to take you through it !!! I know the road is dark but for your little ones you girls have to rise above it and become the women that you are ment to be ! Love and Prayers always
    Mama P.

  5. You. Your sisters. Their children and partners. Tom and Thomas. You have been in my heart every second since I awoke at 4:30am on Thursday with you in my thoughts. I wish I were there to hold your hand and cry with you. Nothing, absolutely nothing, makes sense right now. And nothing anyone can say will make it better. Prayers abound here.

  6. There are no words. I am praying. I’ll continue for as long as it takes. You are not alone, you have your sisters. You have your darling husband and silly son. They need you to find your way through the pain and the darkness and we are here to help. You have us this little bloggy family you have built that is here to listen and support.

  7. Your words are so powerful, touching, beautiful and at the same time overwhelmingly sad. I have prayed, I am praying and I will continue to pray. I will lift you and your beautiful sisters up. I will pray for strength, courage, mercy and peace. I will
    Be here for anything you may need. So much love for you sweet sweet friend.

  8. Tori, I’m sending you and your family my deepest prayers and thoughts. Please know you are not alone, there are many people to surround you and give you love during this incredibly dark time in your life. I pray one day soon you can find some relief from the grief and pain and peace will find its way into your heart again.

  9. I pray that your grief will be easier to bear with time. Your sweet parents will always be with your sisters and their grandbabies! I am so sorry for your loss! I’m just so sorry 😦

  10. Dear Tori
    I just now read your blog and I am truly sick..so very incredibly sorry and sad.
    I spoke with your Mom a few times after your Father’s death, but not in the last few weeks. I do know of some heart issues and, of course, of the tremendous strain the event was for her. Dear Tori, you are so much like her. Your soul, sense of humor, and all of your words read just as your Mom’s voice. Please Dear, tell me what happened. This won’t bring Vicki back of course, but I do need this closure.
    All my thoughts and prayers to you and the family. Your Mom was such a very special person! She will be missed dearly by everyone that ever knew her.

  11. Oh my dear dear friend my heart breaks for you and your sweet sisters. I read this and I held one of my sweet little girls and I prayed and I cried and I begged the Lord to guide you. The darkness is a scary place made even scarier by heartbreak and loneliness. I pray the Lord will fill that darkness so full there will be no room for loneliness or fear. I pray he takes your heartbreak and he fills your mind with the beautiful happy memories. I pray you girls look at your beautiful family and reach out for each other and even if it aches so bad you feel you may break, smile and tell of your parents. Tell of their Joy, tell of their Love and pride they had in you all. Keep them alive every single day for your sweet children. Remember good byes are only temporary, I believe one day there will be a place where you willw meet again and the world will shine brighter because of this but for now make your own light in that darkness. Darkness and Joy can not dwell in the same place and when I look at the pictures of you mom and day I see pure untainted joy. Take that joy and shine it for the world to see and one day you wont remember the darkness but only the light they we’re able to provide even after they were gone beause of they joyous way they lead their lives. I love you dear friend and if you need anything im but a phone call away.

  12. Tori, what a beautifully written piece in your time of despair. I have somewhat walked in your shoes. My husband was murder for no real reason. There never is. Six months later my Dad died thankfully in his sleep. Still I needed him at the time since I was still reeling and wondering. So I walk with you in my thoughts and know you will find the light at the end soon. It takes time yet it will come. Writing was the relief for me. I sought solace in my journals where I wrote my soul on those pages. My grief, my loss, my fears. And so it is that this may offer some relief for you. I send my condolences to you and yours. What a tragic loss and so much to endure. Turn to your writing to find your way. My thoughts and prayers are with you and yours at this time.

  13. Oh, my friend. You see, there are no words. There are only feelings, and those are so much more powerful than any number of the most powerful words could be. I am wrapping you up in every feeling and holding you close. Know how many are holding you close, so that you can stand when you’re trembling and feeling like every bone has turned to gel. You will stand again. In those darkest, bottomest, empties moments most conflicted with gratitude and joy and pain and ache and fear and confusion and love and hate, know that you will stand again.

  14. My heart and soul weep for you. This awful test will show reason in time. So hang on. Grit your teeth and take it knowing you have been called upon to muster all the strength you have. I HATE IT for you. I’m PISSED for you. I KILL these demands for you while you work your way to the other side of it. THE OTHER SIDE of it is where you need to be next. Don’t get lost. Keri

  15. You sweet, wonderful woman. You and your family do not deserve even an ounce of this pain. For you, sweet girl, I will do what I never do: pray. I’ll pray that God may show you some semblance of mercy in this dark, dark time.

  16. There are no words, simply none. Sending prayers, thoughts, and hope your way as hard as I can, and please let me and others know what we can do to support you now. It’s fundamentally inadequate, but you have people who want to help any way they can.

  17. I’ve wondered where you’ve been. I’m stunned, shocked… and I’m so, so sorry for you. Those words seem like so little, not nearly enough, but just know you’ll be in my prayers.

  18. People sometimes talk about life events that they say devastate them, but this is what devastation really is — shock upon shock, unrelenting pain, and bottomless loss. I am so sorry, Tori, that you face this. So, so sorry.

  19. Dear Tori,

    I have been stammering over my keyboard for a long time trying to think of something that can help ease the burden of these devastating losses — your father, your mother, and, really, your brother too. I am wishing you the strength to heal, along with your sisters, your husband, your family and the people who know you in real life and can hold your hand. Just as we here in cyberspace do.

    Be gentle with yourself. And may you soon be able to look back with more smiles than tears.

  20. My friend! So very very sad and angry and sad that you are in this place. I am praying always, seeking God on your behalf. I am praying for the grace and grace and grace you need.

  21. Dear, sweet Tori–I’ve email you some of my thoughts. A comment here seems so inadequate. I screamed and cried to Sara on the phone earlier this week, when I heard about your mom–sweet Vicki. I don’t know how you can contain the pain. I don’t know how. But I will take what I can for you. We love you. We love you so much. And we are honored to have met your dear parents. Love and hugs and we send whatever it is you need to you and your sisters and the entire family.

    Love from Ecuador,

  22. My heart hurts for you. Absolutely stunned beyond belief. I am wishing, hoping, praying for you and your family to get through this terrible time. Imperfect, jumbled sentences are all I can offer to you but know that you are surrounded by love and you are in the thoughts of all of us.

  23. I recently lost my brother in law unexpectedly and without reason, so I understand some of what you are feeling. The emotions go in waves – sadness, anger, confusion, hurt. Too many to name or understand as they go through you from one to the other so fast. I cannot take all the hurt for you, only you know what all you feel, but I want you to know I will be thinking of you and sending healing thoughts and deep breaths and passing days your way. I’m so sorry for your losses. So very sorry.

  24. Prayers are being sent on your behalf to our Heavenly Father, who cares for you. We are promised that Jesus intercedes for us, so when all human effort seems to fail you, Tori, remember that Jesus is never at a loss for words and for comfort, and He is carrying you and your family, tho’ you feel so very alone and empty. I pray for a special force of His angels to come and tend to your broken hearts. May you hear the brush of angel wings, and feel a peace in the midst of your grief. “Cast all your cares on Him, for He careth for you!” 1 Peter 5: 7

  25. Thank you for being my niece and for writing this. The heartbreak just keeps on. I am so sorry about Vicki and I wish to be there so I could hold you all so very tight. I love all of you and I miss my little brother.

  26. Oh, Tori. Tori, We are so sad for you and with you. You have a gift for humor and a talent to bring joy through your wit and words. You also bring honesty and make us feel through you. You are bearing so much. I hope light breaks soon for you and your family.

  27. Tori, when I was going thru my e-mails this morning, I didn’t have time to read the blog, so I knew I would need to come back. Then I happened to see where you were asking for prayers and knew that I would need to read it when I wouldn’t have distractions because something bad had happened. Your beautiful writing does justice to the pain you are feeling. I cannot even imagine. So I am praying for you and your family, praying for strength, praying that you all feel God’s love for you. While I realize it is a small comfort right now, that it doesn’t ease your pain, don’t forget that your parents are together again. Stay in contact with your sisters, let your son make you laugh and remember that if God takes you to it, He will get you thru it.

  28. Yes, I will pray for you. I have been, and now, I will pray more.
    I love your grandmother: she is a beautiful jewel in my life. She has brought me truth, and joy, and love.
    I understand what it feels like to be an orphan – to see the two rocks in your life suddenly no longer be here on earth, with you.
    It’s bewildering.
    You feel anchorless.
    The loss is in your life is so crushingly great: I’m so sorry for your pain.
    I pray that you will feel the love of God, reaching out to hold you, in the midst of everything. He is there, and that’s a fact. But my prayer is that you will feel that love, and that it will bring you comfort, in your loss.

  29. Oh, Tori, my sweet, sweet girl. I can’t imagine. I simply cannot imagine your pain. My heart goes out to you and your sisters.

    I love words – you know how I love words. But there are none that can make this better. So here in my little corner of the world I am saying the only words I can think of for you and your family to find strength and peace. Our Father, Who Art In Heaven…

  30. I am grateful you were able to post this and not close in, like so many of us do. I cannot imagine how desolate things seem right now. I know. I’ve been there, not nearly to your extreme and not to dismiss any of this horrible pain you feel right now. Its completely wrong, completely unfair, and completely a burden you do not deserve to carry or be faced with. All I can say to you, little rambler, is that I care for you so much. I hope you can survive from one day to the next because you are needed in this world. That amidst all this horrible burden I say to you one day you’ll find some normalacy, some regular world again, should you just hang on. Just hang on friend, okay?

  31. Oh, Tori, I’d wondered where you were. I’m so glad you’ve reached out. There aren’t words to form or express how sorry I am for your tremendous pain. My heart and prayers are with you and your family. Take care of yourself the way that your parents would want you to. I’m sending you love and hugs.

  32. I don’t “know” you, but I will pray for you. I have missed hearing from you, and am sorry that your update brings such terrible news. Hold fast to each other, and while I cannot imagine the grief you are feeling, I pray that you all will be comforted by each other and by God.

  33. By the way, I just noticed your picture… you are as beautiful on the outside as your words say you are on the inside. You will change the world of destruction that surrounds you, just stay strong.

  34. I am so so sorry. I know there is nothing anyone can say, but sometimes the fact that that they try makes a little difference. I will pray. I will think of you. I’ll only pass on something my grandma used to tell me that gives me strength when things are hard, “when you get to the end in your rope, tie a not and hold on.” just hold on…

  35. Tori, I am so sorry for your losses. It took a great deal of strength and courage for you to share with us what you’re feeling, though. Do not doubt your strength, even in this time of great pain. You are so strong, you’ve made it this far, don’t let any of this be enough to make you feel like giving up. As hard as it is to accept, life goes on. I too recently lost the woman that raised me. I found her myself. It’s never easy to lose someone you love. Two years ago I also lost another person I lived with my entire life. Loss is heartbreaking, but with time it will not hurt as much and it will be so much easier to just look back and remember the good times. I’m sending as much strength and positive energy your way as I can. Your sisters need you right now. Our parents always told us when we were younger “You fight now, but someday you guys will be all you have left.” Well that’s where you’re at, love. You have your sisters. Try not to focus on all you’ve lost. Instead focus on what you have left. You WILL get through this, there is no doubt in my mind. xoxo Sabrina

  36. Oh, Tori. No one should have to suffer like this. I wish I had words to offer any bit of comfort for your aching soul. I’m at a loss. But praying. I know how to do that. I will pray for you. All of you.

  37. Hi Tori. It’s Kathryn, Kellie’s older sister in Abu Dhabi. I met you and your beautiful sisters in July…I am praying for you all. For the light to shine again in your lives. I’ve thought of you all since that day in July and my heart just hurts for you. Much love to you all.

Ramble on, little rambler...

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