Teela Hart

Surviving Domestic Violence


One of Our Sons


The definition of faith according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary is the belief with strong conviction in a system of religious beliefs; belief and trust in and loyalty to God.

Lofty and boisterous, the pastor’s voice boomed through the silent congregation.  “God protects us, He protects our children.”

The church phone rings, the pastor, unaffected, continues his discourse.

Mary runs to answer the phone.  “Nooooooo!!!”  Her cries guttural and agonizing.

I leapt from my seat and ran to Mary discovering her collapsed on the floor, her words incoherent.

“What Mary, I screamed, what happened!?”

“He’s been shot!”  “He’s been shot in the head!”

“Who!?”  “Who’s been shot!?”


The carefully laid foundation of my faith came crashing down like thunder rolling across a stormy sky.  My world was spinning, everything around me faded away, my legs failed me and I tumbled onto the floor alongside Mary.  My lungs were in a vice, I could not breathe.  There are no words to describe the grief that consumed me.

Within seconds, which seemed like hours, the congregation surrounded us trying to uncover the cause of the terror that had disabled us.  Their words reverberated as if through water, I could not comprehend what they were saying.  My vision was blurred; I could hear my heartbeat in my ears.  I was in a perpetual state of complete confusion.  My words stifled by something I cannot explain.

“God, God, God, where are you!?”  I bellowed as Jon carried me out of the church.

The visitor’s room was cold and unappealing.  Mary with her tear stained face sat across from me moving back in forth in her chair chanting repeatedly, “God please let him live, God please let him live.”

Karen, her eyes dilated and swollen, sat beside me with the look of shock on her face.

David’s parents (my brother and sister-in-law) were out of town and had been notified, however, had not yet arrived.

The heaviness in the room was crippling as we awaited the doctor’s arrival.

Heart wrenching cries filled the air, hopelessness governed, and an impenetrable fog settled over my mind as the wait for word on David’s condition lingered on.

I could tell by his countenance that once again, wails of pain were about to rush from the room and into the sterile halls of the emergency department.

“I am so sorry, we have done an EEG (electroencephalogram) and the results show there is no brain activity whatsoever.  He is an organ donor; therefore, we will need to transfer him to Duke Hospital for further preparation.  We have him prepared for visitors now if you would like to see him.  You can go in two at a time.”.

David was 23 years old.  He and his girlfriend had been fighting.  Now David is dead.

I discovered that day that my faith had been misplaced.  I had naively and eagerly deposited it in the hands of a God who neither protected me from Jon nor David from Candy.  And as it stands, one of our sons is dead.

Author: Teela Hart

I am a mother, daughter, sister and domestic violence survivor.

23 thoughts on “One of Our Sons

  1. Teela, I am so sorry…this is one of the first posts I’ve read in your blog and I too had to re-read this and realized the reality. It doesn’t make sense…I have two sons and I just hurt from reading this. No mother should have to go through this. Keeping you close to my heart.


  2. Hello Teela,
    Take heart. You are not alone.


  3. As a mother also, I cannot begin to imagine how one might get past the loss of a child. Simply know my thoughts and prayers for healing are with you, your family, friends and community. Sending warm hugs your way!


  4. Teela, a few minutes ago, I sat down to write my acceptance for the award you so kindly nominated me for, and I came across this post.

    I had to read it a few times to comprehend it because the first time, I thought maybe it was fiction. The second time, I was overcome with shock and chills. The third time, I realized this is something that really happened to you and your son. I had to sit for several minutes to gather myself…

    I have three sons and I cannot imagine losing one of them to a violent act such as what happened to your David. I am terribly sorry that you had to endure this. I can’t even begin to imagine what this must be like. Just know I am sending out loving vibrations and I congratulate you on standing up to Domestic Violence. (Those words so seems small in comparison to your strength).


  5. I am so very sorry for such devastating news. I cannot even imagine.


  6. I am so sorry for your loss and heartbreak. May the collective spirits of others, those who lead with kindness and compassion, surround you and comfort you.


  7. There are things that happen that we don’t understand. Angel put it better than I could. Trust God..especially in these kind of times! Lean on Him. I know.


  8. I am so sorry for your loss. We can never understand why someone that we love is taken from us… just like we can never understand why abusers abuse and kill their victims. But I can tell you that we live in a fallen world from the beginning of time. Remember Cain and Abel. The Bible clearly states that the enemy comes to kill, steal, and destroy. Satan will use any and everyone that he can to hurt others just like he used Jon and Candy. These are acts of Satan. One of the things that helped me get comfort through all of the turmoil that I lived through is knowing that Satan will use the weakest link to hurt others. That meant to me that I was NOT the weakest link. My ex was. You are not the weakest link. You are stronger than you realize. God does not want you abused. Satan does. God does not want you broken. Satan does. But God waits patiently for all hearts to turn to Him. I pray that God will give you the strength and courage to get out of your abusive situation. I pray for a touch from God for healing, deliverance from evil, and total restoration. I still understand where you are coming from. You are broken. You are wounded. You are angry… and it’s all OK. You can yell and scream at God all that you want. He is a Big God and He will be waiting for you to let go when you are ready. I will keep praying for you, my sister. God bless you!!


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