Another week another tragedy. That's what it seems like nowadays. We are peppered with news stories of mass shootings, workplace murders, or dance club massacres. Even with all the exposure to these horrors, our hearts break anew each time we hear more tales of victims, survivors or the families left behind.
On February 15, news broke of a new tragedy. Five people had been gunned down at their workplace just outside Chicago, Illinois. The shooter, an employee who had just been fired, pulled out a gun during his termination meeting, shooting indiscriminately at those in the Henry Pratt Co. office. Police responded and a standoff ensued.
The gunman was killed when he opened fire on police.
It's another story of an unhinged person with a gun killing innocent civilians, but one widow has offered an account of the massacre - and it's heartbreaking.
"Friday after noon, the day after Valentine's Day, was a literal nightmare," began Terra Pinkard in a Facebook post. Terra was married to Josh Pinkard, the plant manager at Henry Pratt Co and one of the five victims.
"I received a text at 1:24 from my precious husband that said 'I love you, I've been shot at work,'" she continued. "It took me several times reading it for it to hit me that it was for real. I called his phone several times, text, FaceTime, nothing."
Terra says she grabbed her three children and raced down to her husband's office. She was stopped by police who had cordoned off the area. The text message was the last time she ever heard from her husband.
"I drove to the nearest hospital. He wasn't there. I drove to the second nearest hospital. Not there," she wrote in her post. Eventually she was told of a "staging area" for victim's families. It was there that Terra received the worst news of her life.
"The police told us there were fatalities. He read my husband's name. I immediately left and went to get my kids."
Terra describes telling her three small children that their father wasn't coming home. It's an unimaginable scene that would be played out four more times that day in other rooms.
"I told my children their dad did not make it and is in heaven with Jesus. I've never had to do something that hard."
We hear about these tragedies and we cry, we yell, we argue with those around us, but then we move on to the new tragedy. There will be no moving on for Terra and her family, or the other families who also lost loved ones on February 15.
As she bravely shared her story, she helps the murder become more than "just another shooting" and puts a face and pain to the headline. Remember Terra, Josh and their family in your prayers and in your thoughts.
They need them.