Who Mourns With The Killer’s Family?

Our entire community is engulfed in grief and mourning and a hungry need for information. There is also an amazing outpouring of love and support. There is a collection box in the front of Wal-Mart for donations to the victims or their families. Most everyone at my son’s soccer game was wearing maroon and orange this evening. Barnes & Noble closed early so employees could attend the candlelight vigil on campus. Texas Roadhouse hosted its own candlelight vigil tonight. Flags are flying at half-staff everywhere. Remember how everyone wore red, white, and blue and flew American flags after 9/11? In this valley, this week, it’s VT hats and Hokie sweatshirts and maroon and orange ribbons safety-pinned to blouses and VT flags flying outside homes and from cars. It’s little boys in Hokie football jerseys and businessmen wearing VT ties with their suits.

Near-constant coverage of the tragedy at Tech is airing on our television stations. Our local news is not reporting about sports or weather. The extra-long news broadcasts are all about Virginia Tech and the horrible thing that happened yesterday. Though a complete list of those students who were killed has not been released, some family members and friends are talking to the media about daughters, sisters, sons, husbands, friends, and co-workers whose lives were taken.

My eyes tear as I hear about the band member who was a good listener and a wonderful encourager. My throat constricts as I see the brother tell about how close he was with his sister. Students share about their admiration for the professor who gave his own life holding a door closed so his students could escape. His son and wife grieve but the grief must be softened knowing this man died so honorably. Others share stories of the daughter who was always smiling or the friend who always made everyone laugh or the first grandchild who was the princess of the family. And the entire nation sees the pictures of these innocent victims and mourns with the families. As well we should.

But there is a father in Centreville, Virginia who also mourns for his son. There is a mother who knows the son she loved, the son she rocked to sleep, the son whose brow she kissed goodnight is gone forever. There is a sister who may log onto Facebook and see messages calling her brother all sorts of vulgarities. This family feels no outpouring of love and support. They most likely feel shame and embarrassment and perhaps even guilt.

This innocent family, the family of Cho Seung-Hui, also needs love and compassion and prayers. They need to know that we do not hold them responsible for the choices of their son and brother. They need to know that we understand they too are mourning, mourning for Seung Cho’s choices and mourning for his mental illness and mourning for his life as well.

When you pray for the victims of yesterday’s tragedy, please pray for the Cho family.



Filed under Christianity, current events, faith, Virginia Tech

20 responses to “Who Mourns With The Killer’s Family?

  1. A nation stood in awe as the Amish community reached out with love and forgiveness to the family of Charles Carl Roberts IV. I don’t have TV reception in my home, but in the articles I read, the reporters understood that the response of the Amish community represented that which was ideal… so sad that all we did was look in wonder and awe instead of absorbing the response.

  2. Lisa

    I linked to you today because I agree 100% and wanted to share your words with my other friends. Hope that’s all right. đŸ™‚

  3. this is a great post!

    am glad that Lisa, linked to you today!

  4. Bobby Cohoon said something similar. I am grateful for all who are acting Christlike. Loss and grief, no one deserves it. Hope and comfort, all we have to give.
    Good post

  5. Bob

    I”m surprised the media hasn’t found a way to blame Cho Seung-Hui’s family. Often the killer’s family is considered guilty by association. They are probably hurting even more because they are thinking “where did we go wrong?” They may also be wondering why they didn’t see the warning signs. Thanks for the reminder that Christ showed us a more excellent way. I do hope that many will reach out to them and express the love of Christ to them.

  6. Thanks for reminding us of a Christ-like forgiveness.


  7. Pingback: “…the Blog Prophet hath spoken…” » Blog Archive » Finally

  8. thank you, thank you, thank you.

    the media knows there would be too much emotional backlash to consider this, but the family will prob get their shot (if they want it) on dateline, 20/20, etc. whenever the ratings start to drop.

  9. Patrick

    Well spoken! A local baseball team last night had 32 seconds of silence before the game, sounding the disgusting idea that only 32 families lost loved ones. Yes, he was demented. Yes, he was a crazed killer. But Jesus died for him as much as He died for me. His family needs to feel the love of Christ, at least as much and perhaps even more than families who lost someone they deeply loved. Those families know the victims died innocently. The answer to “why” is simply that they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Cho’s parents will perhaps NEVER be able to answer the question why.

  10. I completely agree. Very well spoken. Thank you for voicing what I was having trouble placing in my mouth.

  11. Thank you so much for posting this. I agree 100%. I can’t imagine what this family must be going through. So tragic!

  12. Thanks for this. Lisa Ling expressed concern today that there would be a backlash against the Korean population in general. Thank goodness that hasn’t happened. We do need to look to the friends and relatives of the Cho family. Take into consideration that family ties are so strong in the Korean culture, and the need to “save face” – their lives must be unbearable now. The loss itself is unimaginable, but the regret and shame that comes along with it when your son or brother is involved… They must be wondering if they could have done something different. Not only is their loved one gone, but he’s been demonized on top of it all. How incredibly awful. Thank you for pointing out this perspective.

  13. I appreciate all of your comments. I cannot imagine losing a child, yet I find it even more difficult to imagine one of my children murdering 32 people and then taking his own life. What pain and anguish and shame and suffering and guilt and embarrassment and horror! And yet what mourning. Though we have all read how quiet and odd and antisocial this young man was, we can imagine that at some point he was a baby nuzzled against his mother’s neck, a toddler running on unsteady feet, a preschooler racing to give her a hug. As a fellow mother, my heart breaks for her as much as for any of the other mothers.

  14. Very true. Thanks for reminding us of this.

  15. *whew* Good reminder. Thank you.

  16. Rob

    A small group that I am a member of would like to send a note of encouragement to Cho’s parents, to let them know they are loved and are in our thoughts and prayers. Does anyone know how I could make that happen?

  17. Rob, you could probably find his parents’ names in one of the news articles online and then search for them through whitepages.com or some other people search.

  18. Oh, great post, Jenn. Praying for the entire situation.

  19. Pingback: VA Tech Massacre « the ramblings

  20. kevin bussey

    Well said. I hope “The Church” reaches out to them too.

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