We have all been saddened by the Newtown, Conn. tragedy. The President of the United States tonight gave an address in an attempt to comfort those who are grieving. As a parent who is grieving the loss of my only daughter, I want to give a word of personal advice about the difficulty of comforting those who mourn. First, We all go through a process of guilt, blame, anger, frustration and the inevitable questions: "Why?" "Could I have done something?" "Was it my fault?" Life will never be the same for us. This Friday will be exactly three years since she passed away, and I still think about my daughter every single day and cry often. There is a big heartache that will never go away. Secondly, we do not want to hear something funny. It will not cheer us up. For two years after my loss, I could not listen to music; I could not bear to hear anything cheerful; I did not want to hear mindless dribble from people. Silently, I ask myself: "Can't these people see that I am hurting?" Thirdly, do not ignore us. I have had people just look at me when I talk about my pain. I realize that only those who have gone through it fully understand the agony, but your silence makes me wonder if you think I was somehow responsible. Those who mourn need friendship more than ever. Don't let them become isolated. It is not good. Reach out. Listen to them. Let me cry if I need to. The one thing I need is support. God forbid, but you may need it someday yourself.
Dr. Jack Warren was born in Floydada, Texas, in 1938, the son of a Baptist pastor. His family moved to Fort Worth when his father enrolled in the Seminary in 1949. He was in the first class graduating from L.D. Bell High School, Hurst, Texas, in 1956. He attended Arlington State College (now University of Texas at Arlington), Arlington Baptist College, Bible Baptist Seminary, the University of Nebraska at Omaha and received a Doctor of Divinity Degree from Landmark Baptist Theological Seminary.