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Source: (consider it) Thread: jlg's despair and death
Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

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I agree with sophs. We don't know enough about what happened beyond the fact that there was one fatality and several injured people.

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One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

Posts: 16985 | From: 528491 | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
Chorister

Completely Frocked
# 473

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If jlg struggled so much with life, then I'm glad she found help and a place of escape on the Ship. A reason for us all to keep doing what we do, to ensure this leaky and imperfect vessel stays afloat each day.

God bless this Ship, and all who sail (and have sailed) in her. [Votive]

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Retired, sitting back and watching others for a change.

Posts: 34561 | From: Cream Tealand | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Eliab
Shipmate
# 9153

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Timothy the Obscure:
One thing I will never believe again is that any of us is incapable of anything.

So true, and so fucking terrifying. Because I know that includes me as well, and that all it takes is the right (or, more accurately, wrong) set of circumstances. May God preserve us all.
I don't want that to be true. I want to go back to the world where people who go to their exes houses with guns are sick, selfish monsters who having absolutely nothing in common with the rest of us. I don't want them to be people as honest, as understanding, as humble as jlg.

Fuck this world. It makes no sense.

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"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

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Mili

Shipmate
# 3254

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I've got such mixed feelings about all of this. Having had family friends from church where something similar happened (the depressed husband murdered the wife to prevent her leaving him).

And also growing up hearing my Mum and her siblings' stories about their violent, alcoholic bipolar father. My Grandma eventually left once he started saying they'd all be better off dead -but not before he'd physically and emotionally abused her for years, shot beloved pets and once threatened my Mum with a gun.

The family has had endless discussions over how culpable he was for his behaviour - and how much was down to his mental illness, war experiences, mother who loved and favoured his brother over him, not being given the opportunity to use his academic gifts despite the family having the means to provide him with a university education so he ended up in an unsuitable job he hated etc. Even years later they try to unravel it all. But everyone was relieved, and finally felt safe, when he died quite young and Mum still has nightmares of wandering through strange houses and having him jump out at her from behind a door.

We could have similar endless discussions about jlg and will always wonder if things could be different.

So it's hard to have sympathy for jlg without judging her for her actions. But I know she was in deep pain, and in this case perhaps wronged by her husband (I don't want to assume). I will leave judgement up to God. Like others I wish we could have stopped it all and appreciated the jlg we knew here. But it was beyond our control.

Then the other side of me argues - Grandma got blamed for leaving her ill husband. He was a model church member and Grandma never let on what he was like at home. Did we really know jlg at all? I pray that this was a one off action of jlg at her wits end. I pray for the family she has left behind. I am thankful that all her victims survived and she is not a murderer.

Finally, I believe she was remorseful and realised the horror of what she had done. I also know she would be horrified of the pain she has caused even here on the ship. But her friends have a right to be angry and to grieve.

I pray that all here can get through this and it does not tear the ship apart. That sounds harsh but I saw what the murder in the church family did to my former church - there was already trouble but things were so much worse afterwards.

Posts: 1002 | From: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
Squibs
Shipmate
# 14408

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quote:
Originally posted by Mother Julian:
Squibs said
quote:
Perhaps the daemons lead us to the edge of the abyss - which must seem all-encompassing and irresistible at that distance - yet it ultimately remains our choice as to whether we continue forward into the terrible darkness or turn around to face the light.

I dunno... I've never been there so I could be talking shite.

'fraid so, Squibs, that is undiluted shite.

May you never be there in that dark circle of hell with no light, no hope, no way out. And no further shite about the love of God reaching everywhere - even if true, it's of no use when the demons have you trapped in the pit of despair and you can't recognise anything apart from the bad stuff that is pulling you down.

I don't think you actually read what I said. I didn't mention anything about God's love reaching everywhere. The rest of your post pretty much says the same as mine.

Bur perhaps not the pace for this debate.

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Niteowl

Hopeless Insomniac
# 15841

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quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Armin:
This doesn't seem possible - and yet it has happened. [Votive] for all those who suffer pain, and yet hide it behind a cheerful face.

And on that note, may I be the kind of friend who doesn't require someone to keep that smile on when they just can't do it.

Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck.

Amen. And may we all find at least one friend we can be totally, unflinchingly honest with 100% of the time.

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"The Puritan's idea of hell is a place where everybody has to mind his own business." ~ Wendell Phillips, attributed

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Scarlet

Mellon Collie
# 1738

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quote:
Originally posted by Eliab:
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Timothy the Obscure:
One thing I will never believe again is that any of us is incapable of anything.

So true, and so fucking terrifying. Because I know that includes me as well, and that all it takes is the right (or, more accurately, wrong) set of circumstances. May God preserve us all.
I don't want that to be true. I want to go back to the world where people who go to their exes houses with guns are sick, selfish monsters who having absolutely nothing in common with the rest of us. I don't want them to be people as honest, as understanding, as humble as jlg.

Fuck this world. It makes no sense.

My sister and I say (and realistically so) that it could be us standing outside the post office or shopping mall, shooting people. Don't know what force has held us from that extent, but it is nothing within myself - because I have done some horribly astounding evil things. (what happened to my beautiful life)

But I will not give "god" credit, nor "grace".

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They took from their surroundings what was needed... and made of it something more.
—dialogue from Primer

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Moth

Shipmate
# 2589

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I have recently come to the realisation that we are not defined by how we are either at our best or at our worst. A person who leads a good life but commits one terrible act is not a monster. A person who lives a terrible life but commits one heroic act is not a saint.

I think that we are most ourselves at our best, because that is what God intended us to be. The us we really like, the us that others love to be with. In this fallen world, some of us struggle to be that person for more than a few fleeting minutes, and some of us manage things better - or perhaps are just more fortunate.

Really, there are no monsters, only humans in despair and confusion and rage. Who would not choose to be happy and brave and good, if we only could? That we so often appear to choose otherwise shows how broken we are.

I'm sure this is not a popular view, but the older I get, the less I can find it in my heart to condemn. Life is simply too complicated and confusing to judge what lies in another's heart.

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"There are governments that burn books, and then there are those that sell the libraries and shut the universities to anyone who can't pay for a key." Laurie Penny.

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Adeodatus
Shipmate
# 4992

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quote:
Originally posted by Moth:
Really, there are no monsters, only humans in despair and confusion and rage. Who would not choose to be happy and brave and good, if we only could?

[Overused]

You just made me cry. In a good way.

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"What is broken, repair with gold."

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sabine
Shipmate
# 3861

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quote:
Originally posted by Moth:
I have recently come to the realisation that we are not defined by how we are either at our best or at our worst. A person who leads a good life but commits one terrible act is not a monster. A person who lives a terrible life but commits one heroic act is not a saint.

I think that we are most ourselves at our best, because that is what God intended us to be. The us we really like, the us that others love to be with. In this fallen world, some of us struggle to be that person for more than a few fleeting minutes, and some of us manage things better - or perhaps are just more fortunate.

Really, there are no monsters, only humans in despair and confusion and rage. Who would not choose to be happy and brave and good, if we only could? That we so often appear to choose otherwise shows how broken we are.

I'm sure this is not a popular view, but the older I get, the less I can find it in my heart to condemn. Life is simply too complicated and confusing to judge what lies in another's heart.

You just made my day--in so many different ways.

Thank you,

sabine

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"Hunger looks like the man that hunger is killing." Eduardo Galeano

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cliffdweller
Shipmate
# 13338

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quote:
Originally posted by Niteowl2:
quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Armin:
This doesn't seem possible - and yet it has happened. [Votive] for all those who suffer pain, and yet hide it behind a cheerful face.

And on that note, may I be the kind of friend who doesn't require someone to keep that smile on when they just can't do it.

Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck.

Amen. And may we all find at least one friend we can be totally, unflinchingly honest with 100% of the time.
Amen. Maranatha: come Lord Jesus, come, into a world of darkness.

[Votive]

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"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

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ChastMastr
Shipmate
# 716

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quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
A relative I love very much had a psychotic break when under less stress than JLG. Just absolutely snapped, and violently. I don't think the Lord laid any of that to their personal account.

Martin Luther compared it to being a man suddenly ambushed by robbers who overwhelm you with superior strength no matter what you do. He considered the person to be a victim, and held Satan to be fully responsible in such cases.

I agree with this. I also believe God's love does indeed reach everywhere, whether we can perceive it or not, and that Jesus suffers with us in these things. What level of moral responsibility we have in dealing with mental illness probably varies a lot, is known by God, and I trust that JLG is in His arms now, being healed of all illness (including mental) and forgiven of all sins.

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My essays on comics continuity: http://chastmastr.tumblr.com/tagged/continuity

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Beautiful Dreamer
Shipmate
# 10880

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quote:
Originally posted by QLib:
quote:
Originally posted by Timothy the Obscure:
One thing I will never believe again is that any of us is incapable of anything. And yes, we have choices and agency, but sometimes we don't see the critical choice coming until we're no longer able to see the alternative.

This fits better with my understanding of things than talk about demons. But how much moral agency does remain in the full grip of extreme mental illness? If you can't see clearly enough to choose - if you've maybe even lost your grip on the fact that there is a choice - are you really chooisng? Are you still a moral agent?

We all take wrong turnings, but the consequences - how badly lost we get - seem to depend on a whole host of other things not within our control. I don't even want to say, "there but for the grace of God...." because I don't believe in a God who would withold Grace from Jenn. I suppose that leaves me with There, but for fortune...

I agree, I can't imagine that a just God would hold someone responsible for 'choices' they made when they weren't in their right mind.

A few years ago, a friend of mine committed suicide. Whether or not he was a Christian isn't important here, but I asked some on the Ship here if they thought that God would him responsible for something that was outside of his control or right mind. One response that I got was comforting-that God *does* make a distinction between something someone does *willfully* and something they do when they aren't completely in control of themselves. He has compassion on those in such situations because He knows that the person would never have done what they did had they not been suffering in some way. I think that that applies here too, that God sees the pain Jen was in and has compassion rather than judgement.

Any problems that afflicted her earthly body (depression, alcoholism, etc) are gone, and all that is left is the beautiful heart and soul that God sees in her, and that you all apparently see as well.

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More where that came from
Now go away, or I shall taunt you a second time!

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Angel Wrestler
Ship's Hipster
# 13673

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DAMN! Damn the illness that tormented jlg and that torments so many. damn.

May God bring comfort on all who love her.

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The fact that no one understands you does not make you an artist.
(unknown)

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Beautiful Dreamer
Shipmate
# 10880

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quote:
Originally posted by Moth:
I have recently come to the realisation that we are not defined by how we are either at our best or at our worst. A person who leads a good life but commits one terrible act is not a monster. A person who lives a terrible life but commits one heroic act is not a saint.

I think that we are most ourselves at our best, because that is what God intended us to be. The us we really like, the us that others love to be with. In this fallen world, some of us struggle to be that person for more than a few fleeting minutes, and some of us manage things better - or perhaps are just more fortunate.

Really, there are no monsters, only humans in despair and confusion and rage. Who would not choose to be happy and brave and good, if we only could? That we so often appear to choose otherwise shows how broken we are.

I'm sure this is not a popular view, but the older I get, the less I can find it in my heart to condemn. Life is simply too complicated and confusing to judge what lies in another's heart.

FWIW, I think you are spot on and wish more people saw others this way.

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More where that came from
Now go away, or I shall taunt you a second time!

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Zappa
Ship's Wake
# 8433

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So many amens I want to add to this thread. Perhaps that in itself is a gift from jen to us. [Tear]

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shameless self promotion - because I think it's worth it
and mayhap this too: http://broken-moments.blogspot.co.nz/

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Gill H

Shipmate
# 68

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What Moth said.

[Votive]

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Searching for a new sig...

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Ariel
Shipmate
# 58

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quote:
Originally posted by Moth:
I'm sure this is not a popular view, but the older I get, the less I can find it in my heart to condemn. Life is simply too complicated and confusing to judge what lies in another's heart.

Moth, you're absolutely right in all your post. It's not a fashionable point of view, in a world that likes to assess and judge others, but I wouldn't worry about that: it's a true one.

God sees all and understands all. I don't for a moment believe that he has been anything other than compassionate to Jennifer.

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Chorister

Completely Frocked
# 473

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quote:
Originally posted by Moth:
A person who leads a good life but commits one terrible act is not a monster. A person who lives a terrible life but commits one heroic act is not a saint.

I think that we are most ourselves at our best, because that is what God intended us to be. The us we really like, the us that others love to be with. In this fallen world, some of us struggle to be that person for more than a few fleeting minutes, and some of us manage things better - or perhaps are just more fortunate.

This makes so much sense to me - I find it such a travesty when people link two things together: 'She's such a lovely person, it must be because she's such a good Christian'. 'She has such a contented child, it must be because she's such a good mother'. When in reality, some of the best Christians, best mothers, etc. have to deal daily with battles, problems, internal demons, that most of us can never concieve of in our own worst nightmares - and they are some of the best because they have managed to keep their heads above water in such circumstances so far. They might not manage it for ever, but that does not negate their tremendous achievement so far.

Some of the above thoughts are influenced by a young mother I knew living not too far from me. It was obvious to all who saw her that she was a terribly tortured soul - and the medical staff could do nothing to relieve that torment. Well nothing effective, anyway. Eventually she killed herself, as the only form of relief she knew. It wasn't unexpected, more a case of when. But the best favour she did was not to take her children with her.

Some people, in their tortured internal world believe that they cause their children less misery in the long run by taking their lives too. Which makes no sense at all to a rational mind, but when someone's mind is a constant daily battle of agony? Who knows?

--------------------
Retired, sitting back and watching others for a change.

Posts: 34561 | From: Cream Tealand | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Pyx_e

Quixotic Tilter
# 57

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quote:
God sees all and understands all. I don't for a moment believe that he has been anything other than compassionate to Jennifer.
Of this I have no doubt.

My doubt and fear centres around whether I have the love and compassion to see and understand Him.

AtB, Pyx_e

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It is better to be Kind than right.

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fletcher christian

Mutinous Seadog
# 13919

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One of the biggest problems I have with the church is its tendency to sentimentalise the love of God. Personally I find God's love utterly terrifying and so beyond my comprehension that I fear to think on it for too long.

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'God is love insaturable, love impossible to describe'
Staretz Silouan

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Twilight

Puddleglum's sister
# 2832

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My favorite line from Moth's post is this one:
quote:
I think that we are most ourselves at our best, because that is what God intended us to be.
I believe those are our true colors, not the dark ones that spurt out on bad days. Maybe God's own true colors are the ones reflected then and the others are not from Him at all.
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Paul.
Shipmate
# 37

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quote:
Originally posted by fletcher christian:
One of the biggest problems I have with the church is its tendency to sentimentalise the love of God. Personally I find God's love utterly terrifying and so beyond my comprehension that I fear to think on it for too long.

I don't understand this at all. In what way is love terrifying? If it has become terrifying surely it's no longer love?
Posts: 3670 | From: UK | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Porridge
Shipmate
# 15405

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One of the most terrifying things to deal with, surely, is to learn that someone else might love or forgive you more than you're ableto love or forgive yourself?

Many of us set very high standards for ourselves, perhaps in part so that we can fall short of them. Then along comes this being touted as all-knowing, all-powerful, all-loving, etc. -- clearly meeting all those standards we constantly fall short of -- who calmly sets those standards aside and takes in our abject, failed, miserable, corrupted selves?

I'd call that a pretty terrifying prospect. It means we have to utterly re-imagine that being, and utterly re-imagine ourselves.

(edited for speellign.)

[ 29. December 2011, 15:04: Message edited by: Apocalypso ]

--------------------
Spiggott: Everything I've ever told you is a lie, including that.
Moon: Including what?
Spiggott: That everything I've ever told you is a lie.
Moon: That's not true!

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Paul.
Shipmate
# 37

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I don't know where to start to reply to that. I think you're using words in a different way to me.
Posts: 3670 | From: UK | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Thyme
Shipmate
# 12360

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I don’t really know where to post this. If the hosts move it then I am sure it will end up in the right place.

Jennifer was a poster I always went out of my way to read. I had two reactions when I saw the news, first – “Surely not jlg, she’s not that sort of person”. Then I saw the reference to alcoholism and thought “that explains it.” I can’t find any confirmation of her alcoholism on the web, although I haven’t looked very hard. There were coded hints about her troubles. But that is typical where alcoholism is involved. The OP said she was a long term alcoholic so I am proceeding on that basis. It fits the facts known to me.

Reading the various threads I have noticed that there is a tendency to focus on her depression not her alcoholism. Also to focus on her suicide, not her attempted murders. Hart articulated this very well:

quote:
Originally posted by Hart:
"Jennifer died of suicide"

Saying it that way doesn't so much help, or make this make sense, but it does reframe things away from something even harder to abide.

Alcoholism is still a taboo illness carrying a lot of social stigma. I think the unspoken assumption here and on the other threads is that depression is an illness while alcoholism is a character defect, a lack of moral fibre, a weakness, as indeed some posters in hell have suggested.

The alternative view is that alcoholism is a disease, just like any other. No more moral culpability attaches to it than it does to cancer, diabetes, arthritis etc.

Unlike most others it is a disease of body, mind and spirit. For example: someone suffering from terminal cancer is unlikely to attempt to murder various people and then commit suicide. It may happen but it is unusual. Someone suffering from active alcoholism is only too likely to behave in violent and criminal ways. Often it will be in a ‘blackout’ state, where they have no conscious knowledge of what they are doing until they come out of the blackout. Even then, they may have no memory of it. This does not condone or excuse these actions, but it does offer an explanation.

It is also a disease of denial. It tries to tell you, and also those around you, that you haven’t got it. Your family and friends will often cover up your drinking and try to brush the consequences under the carpet. This is enabling and collusion, not kindness and compassion. This is the process I thought I saw in Hart’s and other’s posts. But although well intentioned, this is mistaken. An alcoholic will rarely seek help while others are helping them avoid the consequences of their drinking.

That is why I wanted to make sure that any part alcoholism played in jlg’s life and death was not allowed to become invisible – the elephant in the room. I hope this post can help someone avoid the fate of jlg and those she attacked. This is all I can do for her and for them.

Understanding a bit more about alcoholism might also help those trying to come to terms with her crimes and the manner of her death.

If a person is an alcoholic then their disease will usually progress even when they are not drinking and in recovery. If after a period of sobriety they go back to drinking their disease can immediately take a far more extreme form than was the case before they stopped drinking.

If they are not drinking but not addressing the mental and spiritual aspects of the illness then they can be capable of acting in just as deranged and unpredictable ways as if they were drunk.

If you are an alcoholic then your alcoholism is really trying to kill you. Not only that it will do this by degrading your life, destroying all your relationships and the lives of those around you in the most extreme, violent and disgusting ways that it can.

In the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon Family Groups you will hear talk of how a person affected by the disease of alcoholism has to hit their rock bottom before they can start to recover. That place of rock bottom is different for everyone, and for some people it is death, prison or a mental institution.

At the end of this post are some links for anyone who is interested in finding out more about alcoholism and the recovery programmes of AA and Al-Anon. Many meetings of AA and Al-Anon are open to anyone who is interested.

Oh, and by the way, just because you are not an alcoholic doesn’t mean you are not sick. If you have been affected by another person’s drinking you may be as sick as the alcoholic. That is the experience of the Al-Anon family group members. It is not called the family disease for nothing.

AA and Al-Anon will not charge anything and will cheerfully refund your misery if you don’t like their suggestions.

I only know about AA and Al-Anon. These are not the only methods of recovery and not everyone finds their programmes helpful.

Meanwhile for those affected by another’s drinking the Al-Anon mantra might help:

“You didn’t cause it, you can’t control it, and you can’t cure it.”

And regarding jlg – alcoholics when sober are often the most delightful, intelligent, charming and entertaining people you could wish to meet.

I think Moth’s post on this thread says it all.

AA recovery blog

AA

Al-Anon & Alateen

AA Recovery blog

Al-Anon recovery blog

Al-Anon recovery blog

--------------------
The Church in its own bubble has become, at best the guardian of the value system of the nation’s grandparents, and at worst a den of religious anoraks defined by defensiveness, esoteric logic and discrimination. Bishop of Buckingham's blog

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tclune
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# 7959

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quote:
Originally posted by wilson:
I don't know where to start to reply to that. I think you're using words in a different way to me.

FWIW, Apocalypso uses the terms in a way that seems spot-on to me. Maybe you're just more evolved than we are...

--Tom Clune

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This space left blank intentionally.

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Paul.
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# 37

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I doubt I'm more evolved. More easily confused maybe.
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Pax Romana
Shipmate
# 4653

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Depression is a terrible illness, and so is alcoholism. A person suffering from depression can't just get over it. It can literally take over your brain. If it is complicated by the disease of alcoholism, it is a double threat.

I believe that jlg was not in her right mind, and I pray that our merciful God will bring her into his eternal light.

Pax Romana

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********************
I used to wake up at 4 A.M. and start sneezing, sometimes for five hours. I tried to find out what sort of allergy I had but finally came to the conclusion that it must be an allergy to consciousness.
James Thurber

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Grammatica
Shipmate
# 13248

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God have mercy on us all. "Lord, we know what we are, but not what we may be."
Posts: 1058 | From: where the lemon trees blosson | Registered: Dec 2007  |  IP: Logged
Jamat
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# 11621

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quote:
Timothy the Obscure:I can only imagine what stresses could have pushed jlg over that line, but in so many cases I have seen it has been a feeling of abandonment and betrayal so intense that it made thinking all but impossible, especially when it was added onto a preexisting vulnerability (bipolar disorder, trauma, addiction).
I so identify with this and I think it is something many counsellors see.

The issue is not what causes the sense of outrage and betrayal(mileage varies hugely here) but the outrage itself that somehow paralyses all rational thought temporarily.

Unless one has experienced this I don't think it can be really understood. It is resisting the self destructive thoughts that flood in on the wings of such a sense of betrayal that is the challenge. How do I prevent myself from actions that I will regret forever?

This is where so often God's grace prevents more tragedies I think. Sadly not in the case of our dear shipmate. [Votive]

--------------------
Jamat ..in utmost longditude, where Heaven
with Earth and ocean meets, the setting sun slowly descended, and with right aspect
Against the eastern gate of Paradise. (Milton Paradise Lost Bk iv)

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Scot
Deck hand
# 2095

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quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
This is where so often God's grace prevents more tragedies I think. Sadly not in the case of our dear shipmate. [Votive]

So, in this sad case, was god unaware, unwilling, or unable? Or, perhaps it is not the supernatural, but our own inner resources, friends, and communities that step in and prevent more tragedies.

--------------------
“Here, we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it.” - Thomas Jefferson

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Patdys
Iron Wannabe
RooK-Annoyer
# 9397

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FWIW.

Life is universally fatal.
Evolution says live until you reproduce, aid your young and then who cares. Die.
My theology says God says 'live to be in relationship with God'. This makes no comment on theodicy or goodness, no comment on expression of sexuality and no comment on any of the things that denominations like to fight about. And it does not deny the fatality of life.

So how do we die? Accident, trauma, disease, decay. As I have said before, I see mental illness no different from any other medical illness. The causes for all illnesses are multifactorial usually and the course ranges from benign to fatal in each individual. Even with the same disease. And alcohol abuse, drug abuse etc is a disease.

Some diseases affect more than just one individual. When I have a cold and shake my snotty hands with you, you are likely to get sick as well. If I have an STI and sleep with you, you are likely to catch it. And if I have a weapon and are acutely unwell, my disease will significantly impact you as well.

So where is my hope?

My bible, my Gospel is really simple.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your mind, all your strength and all your soul. And love your neighbour as yourself.

We are created to be in relationship with God and his creation. To love freely, we must have the capacity not to love as well. Christ is both means and example of God's love. He is the introduction to God's trinitarian dance. There is no promise of ease and comfort. The cross proves that. There is only promise of relationship.

So love the Lord your God.

With all your heart- to emotionally commit to God and creation.- But understanding we are flawed and that this will be far from perfect- but that is ok. To be free to be angry, to adore and to reject.
With all your strength-to commit to God as best we can with all the strength we have at any time.
With all our mind- To commit with our brain, to think, to question, to participate in the relationship- relationships are two way- as best we can at any time.
With all our soul- To commit with our spiritual side-as best we can at any time.

And the bit I love.
Love you neighbour as yourself.
We are called to be in relationship with each other and all of creation.
First we are called to love ourselves.- as best we can and that is enough.
And then we are called to love others in our limitations. All people, all creation. As best we can. And that is enough.

But remember life is fatal. We will all die. And disease will rob us of strength, of soul, of mind and heart. Disease will steal our capacity to be in relationship. But the promise of God is that, through Christ, despite our freewill, flawed relationship is enough.

In this relationship, No one is exempt. Ever. Thank Christ.

--------------------
Marathon run. Next Dream. Australian this time.

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Hazey*Jane

Ship's Biscuit Crumbs
# 8754

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There have been a lot of humbling and thought provoking posts in recent days, and that was one of them.

Thank you Patdys.

[ 29. December 2011, 21:59: Message edited by: Hazey*Jane ]

Posts: 4247 | From: UK | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
fletcher christian

Mutinous Seadog
# 13919

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posted by Wilson:
quote:

I don't understand this at all. In what way is love terrifying? If it has become terrifying surely it's no longer love?

I wasn't going to respond to this because I wasn't sure if I could - at least not clearly, but seeing I made the statement, perhaps I should clarify; or try to.

What Apoc said and also this...... Thinking even on the act of incarnation and of what that actually means; it is to become one with our frailty, a frailty that could have resulted in the child getting a cold or flu and dying that first week, or stubbing a toe later as a toddler and getting an infection and dying, or being sat on by a carefree cow in a stable while Mary was getting cleaned up and while Joseph was in a corner contemplating making a run for it. But no, thank God it didn't happen that way, but it could have. He could have been stabbed by some random bandit on all those roads he travelled, drowned as a child in a pool or got cancer or something fairly early on in life; but luckily he didn't. But he still entered the horrible messy frailty of it all, the whole dangerous mess to muddle through it with us. The God of everything that is, all that has been, all that will be was held in the arms of one of us. He whose mathematics elude us still, whose physics baffle and surprise us, whose universe holds many mysteries and unfathomable bounds, came to enter my frailty to know what it is to be like I am. Me - just another tiny human on a tiny planet in a huge sea of space dust, whose life is but a tiny brief light and then it's gone, faster than a firefly display among a billion fireflies. And all of this because of one truth; that God somehow, for some reason, finds me worthy of his pressing affection.

...excuse me for what I am about to say....

.....but that is some scary assed shit.

--------------------
'God is love insaturable, love impossible to describe'
Staretz Silouan

Posts: 5165 | From: a prefecture | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged
Jamat
Shipmate
# 11621

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quote:
Originally posted by Scot:
quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
This is where so often God's grace prevents more tragedies I think. Sadly not in the case of our dear shipmate. [Votive]

So, in this sad case, was god unaware, unwilling, or unable? Or, perhaps it is not the supernatural, but our own inner resources, friends, and communities that step in and prevent more tragedies.
This is not meant to provoke but I think, 'unable.'

There is the free will issue but there is as well, the problem of the present age being under the control of spiritual powers. God accesses our lives through the Gospel. His intervention mostly depends on the faith prayers of believers inspired by the Holy Spirit.
1Pet 1:5 .."protected by the power of God through faith.."

There is a huge back story of theology here and maybe not the place.
Make of it what you will.
Jamat

[ 29. December 2011, 22:54: Message edited by: Jamat ]

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Scot
Deck hand
# 2095

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This is Purgatory. This is exactly the right place.

I am well aware of the huge body of theology behind this question. I am also aware of the utter lack of concensus among theologians and believers.

You say that god was unable to intervene because he is dependent on "faith prayers of believers". That seems like a weak excuse for a deity. If he can only act in concert with prayer, then he isn't even as capable as a human. There is no empirical evidence that prayer changes anything, yet we all know that we can make something happen simply by doing it.

Your version of god may be loving and all-knowing, but he seems to be closer to impotent than omnipotent.

--------------------
“Here, we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it.” - Thomas Jefferson

Posts: 9513 | From: Southern California | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
rugasaw
Shipmate
# 7315

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quote:
Originally posted by Pyx_e:
quote:
God sees all and understands all. I don't for a moment believe that he has been anything other than compassionate to Jennifer.
Of this I have no doubt.

My doubt and fear centres around whether I have the love and compassion to see and understand Him.

AtB, Pyx_e

These past few days I have seen Him in you.

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Treat the earth well, It was not given to you by your parents. It was loaned to you by your children. -Unknown

Posts: 2716 | From: Houston | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

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quote:
Originally posted by Eliab:
I want to go back to the world where people who go to their exes houses with guns are sick, selfish monsters who having absolutely nothing in common with the rest of us. I don't want them to be people as honest, as understanding, as humble as jlg.

It's part of the great challenge of this event to come to terms with the fact that things like this are done by "people like us".

The very first guy I met in prison as a new prison chaplain was a (British!) neighbour and acquaintance (we took our kids to school together) in for domestic violence.

That said, either you guys have a whole lot more access to reliable accounts of what happened than I've found or, as I've posted before, in my view you are placing far too much faith in the newspaper accounts (or at least interpreting the facts the way the media are presenting them).

Perhaps this is me just trying to rationalise, and I admit I haven't dug very deep on this story, but I think there's just too much we don't know to draw too many conclusions.

For instance, Eliab seems to think that Jennifer went to the house with a gun. She may have done, but we don't know that. We don't even know whose gun it is. She may have pulled the trigger on all occasions, but (for instance) where the gun came from, how she got hold of it and the circumstances in which the trigger was pulled on anyone are all far from clear.

It seems to me there are enduring points to be made (as Silver Faux has in Hell) about having things that do serious damage (ie guns) lying around, and general points of discussion relating to theodicy, how much or how little we know of people online, how much or how little we do to help others and so forth, but if we use our personal reconstruction of what happened in this instance as grist to our arguments we may be very wide of the mark.

[ 30. December 2011, 07:03: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

--------------------
One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

Posts: 16985 | From: 528491 | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
comet

Snowball in Hell
# 10353

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I love the Ship. This is such a good thing, hashing this all out like this. I wish I'd had you lot during some of the other crises in my life.

and yet, I did. once. You guys just didn't know it. I read the boards hungrily, often 3 or 4 times a day, soaking in your debates on everything and anything. And you all helped a lot. I read threads and boards none of you would ever expect me to be reading. I had nothing to say and everything to learn and I got through, in large part, thanks to you. and you never knew.

You have an audience. and you have a ministry. keep wrestling, it's working.

--------------------
Evil Dragon Lady, Breaker of Men's Constitutions

"It's hard to be religious when certain people are never incinerated by bolts of lightning.” -Calvin

Posts: 17022 | From: halfway between Seduction and Peril | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
Taliesin
Shipmate
# 14017

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Yes. I don't often have anything to add.

Having seen a thread that mentioned st pixel's, I went and had a look...

and then came back here.

There is something huge here that isn't anywhere else.

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Nenya
Shipmate
# 16427

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quote:
Originally posted by Taliesin:
There is something huge here that isn't anywhere else.

I agree. I was reading here for a long time before I joined and even now read far more than I post. I can't begin to express what it means to see you all wrestling with this, with such honesty and raw emotion.

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They told me I was delusional. I nearly fell off my unicorn.

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Doublethink.
Ship's Foolwise Unperson
# 1984

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
That said, either you guys have a whole lot more access to reliable accounts of what happened than I've found or, as I've posted before, in my view you are placing far too much faith in the newspaper accounts.

Well, the identities of those shot are well established, and all the newspaper accounts are referencing the same official statement by the authorities. The shooting didn't occur at jlg's current home, it occurred where her ex was living with his new partner (in a house jlg still jointly owned). Official statements include the information that no one else fired a gun during the incident apart from jlg. There is a little additional information in the prayer request a friend of the adult female victim put up that Twilight referenced.

This woman posted she was moving to be with jlg's ex on the 5th of Sept - presumably actually moved some time after that date. The shooting took place on the 13th of September.

[ 30. December 2011, 09:57: Message edited by: Think² ]

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All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome. George Orwell

Posts: 19150 | From: Erehwon | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
irish_lord99
Shipmate
# 16250

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I didn't know jlg well at all: I didn't every converse with her directly on the Ship, though I did read a lot of her posts.

I'm definitely not going through the same emotional storm that many of you are, but I can feel how this whole episode is rocking the Ship like it would any community. I especially see it in the Hell thread I suppose, people going through the stages of grief, reacting to jlg, to God, to one-another.

Observing it all has been, for me, like listening to a song that you haven't heard since high-school; and when you hear it it brings you back to the last time you played it. Like you're right back there, you know? It's almost like an emotional flashback. To be honest, I've been pretty emotionally fucked up since reading the news.

Several similar instances from my past (small-town Alaska tends to have high suicide rates) have come back to haunt me the past few days; like I never really 'solved' them or figured out the all-important answer to 'WHY the ever-loving hell would you do that? WHY?!' And of course, the answer still evades me.

"I don't know."

I think that's the answer.

Sure is a shitty answer though.

--------------------
"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." - Mark Twain

Posts: 1169 | From: Maine, US | Registered: Feb 2011  |  IP: Logged
Eutychus
From the edge
# 3081

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Think²:

Thanks - but I stand by the thrust of my comments. Mrs Eutychus and I have been close to enough people involved in this kind of incident to know that there can be a lot more to it than what is reported.

I've been at one crime scene where practically everybody, including the police who moved the body (much to the annoyance of the investigators later) assumed, quite understandably in the circumstances, that it was a suicide, whereas it transpired the person had been strangled, with traces of unidentified DNA present. I know well another case where it was widely assumed the person had died of cancer, whereas they had actually been actually raped and murdered (neither of these were in prison; both the victims were close friends of ours; both happened locally, and as far as I know neither made the news). I know well a third case that has been widely reported as murder, whereas I'm fairly sure that it was accidental death. I have personally known two people who inflicted serious harm with a shotgun, and again I'm as certain as one can be without actually being there that the way things happened was nothing like their portrayal in the media.

I'm not asserting that anything like this happened here, just that we simply don't know the exact circumstances. On the basis of actual cases I'm familiar with, I could put together a scenario that doesn't contradict anything that's been reported, but that plays quite differently from what most people seem to be assuming.

I'm not going to speculate any more, though, because it occurs to me that we are dealing with identifiable people who are still alive, and any scenario could be completely and utterly wrong.

We just don't know exactly what happened and never will.

[ 30. December 2011, 10:25: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

--------------------
One has to take part. Scary as it is. - Martin60
Jerusalem is a city without walls

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Adeodatus
Shipmate
# 4992

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I'm very thankful for this thread. Purgatory at its very best. (I'm also thankful for the Hell thread: Hell at its very best, too.)

There are many things I could write here. Two will do, for now.

First, this thread has brought out something well known by many who have had to deal with certain kinds of mental illness: "We are all capable; no-one is a monster". I've known the first part of that sentence for many years. The second part is a hope I cling to, for my own sake.

This is also the reason why I think some of us who never knew Jennifer are so affected by the news. We know that with a few of the right nudges, we could easily do the same. But I resist saying "There but for the grace of God...". First, because it's so often nothing more than a sentimental platitude. Secondly, and more importantly, I could never bring myself to worship a God who is so arbitrary, so capricious, in giving his grace, so cruel in withholding it.

Which brings me to the second thing I'd like to offer. Theodicy: it doesn't work. Never has, never will. It always fails in the end, because it always backs itself into a corner and ends with a pathetic, "God's ways are not our ways." Scot is right: God must be unaware, unwilling, or unable. (Or absent, or non-existent, I'd like to add.) Any of those options is unacceptable in traditional theodicy, therefore traditional theodicy fails.

Something came to my mind last night. Years ago, I read a book by Peter Baelz, quondam Dean of Durham. It said something to the effect that God can only do what love can do. On one level, this makes sense, and helps me make sense of events like this. Love is an extremely weak force. It's like gravity, the weakest force of nature: we can take it for granted, barely noticing its presence; the smallest of other forces can overcome it on the small scale and the short term; and often it can take aeons to accomplish its greatest effects. Mere love could not prevent what Jennifer did. Perhaps it might heal the wounded - I don't know.

But on another level, I cannot intellectually accept Baelz's idea. It seems to take "God is love" and turn it into "Love is God". It seems inadequate in encompassing three millennia of Judeo-Christian exploration of God, much of which argues against it. It seems to make God, as I have noted, more like a force of nature than a Person or Persons. Above all, at times like this, it still leaves us asking, "Then what use is God?"

And that, friends, is where I've got up to today.

--------------------
"What is broken, repair with gold."

Posts: 9754 | From: Manchester | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged
Bronwyn
Shipmate
# 52

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This year for me has been very much a year of things like the things which have happened to my family happen to other people not me. It has been a time of great greif and soul searching a lot of questions of why me depression hurt and lack of faith church letting me down and God seems so distant.
So many questions and so out of God' s plan. So many times it has been my god my god why hath thou forsaken me? It has been an eye opener as til now that sort of stuff happens to others not me.
Now I am waiting for 2012 nothing else can go wrong. Still it makes me question why us.

--------------------
Fragile X syndrome is part of our lives. Someone I love makes me proud who has this syndrome. I love you Miriam.

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comet

Snowball in Hell
# 10353

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quote:
Originally posted by irish_lord99:
Observing it all has been, for me, like listening to a song that you haven't heard since high-school; and when you hear it it brings you back to the last time you played it. Like you're right back there, you know? It's almost like an emotional flashback. To be honest, I've been pretty emotionally fucked up since reading the news.

Several similar instances from my past (small-town Alaska tends to have high suicide rates) have come back to haunt me the past few days; like I never really 'solved' them or figured out the all-important answer to 'WHY the ever-loving hell would you do that? WHY?!' And of course, the answer still evades me.

"I don't know."

I think that's the answer.

Sure is a shitty answer though.

I want to say something profound to you here, since I know you understand and I hope you know I understand. all I can think to say right now, though - I understand why you left. Sometimes, that's all I want to do.

--------------------
Evil Dragon Lady, Breaker of Men's Constitutions

"It's hard to be religious when certain people are never incinerated by bolts of lightning.” -Calvin

Posts: 17022 | From: halfway between Seduction and Peril | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
Moo

Ship's tough old bird
# 107

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Jennifer's life underwent a great upheaval when she moved from Newton, NH to Mason. I used to live about fifteen miles from Mason. It is a lovely little town with a population slightly over a thousand. However, there's not much to do there.

Newton was a very small town also, but it wasn't that far from Portsmouth and other larger towns. Mason had quite a few authors and artists among its residents; I don't know whether Jennifer had the opportunity to meet any of them. I remember a thread where she was complaining about the small size of the town library.

In Newton she was very active in town government. I gather she got tired of that; maybe that's one reason she and her husband moved. I think they saw the task of restoring the old house they bought as a pleasant joint project. Then her husband found another woman, and she moved out. At that point her life must have been very empty.

I miss her terribly.

Moo

--------------------
Kerygmania host
---------------------
See you later, alligator.

Posts: 20128 | From: Alleghany Mountains of Virginia | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
cliffdweller
Shipmate
# 13338

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
]It's part of the great challenge of this event to come to terms with the fact that things like this are done by "people like us".

Exactly this.
[Votive]

--------------------
"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

Posts: 10910 | From: a small canyon overlooking the city | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged



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