One of our clients, Connally Gilliam, Christian author of Revelations of a Single Woman, lost her nephew yesterday.
Please watch the video and read the letter she sent us.
As most of you already know (but not everyone, I’m aware), my nephew, Tom–affectionately known as Tommy 4, or just “4” to his family–died in an accident where he fell off the roof of the physics building at UVa. It was just an accident, kids playing around where they shouldn’t have been, and overconfidence meeting, apparently, icy slate. He basically died on impact.
It is like deja vous (or however one spells that) with Jude. The same friends of my parents stopping by, the same incredulous conversation, the same tears. Though this time, it’s involved a visit from the police–who basically have said no alcohol, no malice, just college students not counting costs (apparently, according to both the police and the UVa professors we know, many kids sneak to the roof of the physics building–it’s a patio with a brick wall around it–to watch the stars or whatever).
In short, we are heart-broken. I’m writing this with puffy eyes and a pounding headache. The police and the news have been here. We watched it on the 5 o’clock news. It’ll be back on at 10 and then 11. Ugh!
Jesus seems very real. The confidence in heaven in our family is deeper than ever. It’s palpable. But the loss–it’s profound. Tommy will leave a hole that won’t get filled. One of my housemates, Bob, constantly reminds us that “More life is the unconscious prayer of all of creation.” T4 has been a source of “More Life!” for our family for 19 years. His loss leaves a vacuum. It’s like a core piece of our life has been sucked away. He’s okay. That seems so real. We all have pictured him somehow, with Jude, truly looking down. But his loss is equally as real. The youngest grandson and the oldest grandson. “The bookends” my dad said today.
Please pray. At a very basic level, I don’t want to walk this path again–nor, of course, do I want to see my family have to walk it. Please pray especially for Tom 3, Vicki and Benjamin & James, as well as for my folks. When I saw my mom, I lay my head on her chest and we wailed. Literally.
Anyhow, services are at 3:00 on Thursday at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Charlottesville. Obviously, whoever would like to come is more than welcome. Of course! But I also recognize I’m sending this to people literally around the world. And some of you might be hearing this for the first time.
Thank you for your concern/prayer. Of course, as became so evident 3+ years ago with Jude–this would be nearly impossible to walk through without loving, Christian community. ~ Connally
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