Just found out that a guy I went to high school with has apparently killed his estranged wife and himself, in a murder-suicide case in our small home town.

A divorce – an ugly one – was underway, and both parties allegedly had other love interests.  The couple had two children.

I am shaken and grieving, although neither of these people were great friends of mine, and I probably last saw them about 15 years ago.  It’s shocking when violence touches a small, close-knit place such as the town where I grew up.  This was not just some couple in some town on some street, and the phrase “this hits close to home” is really true.  It hit me.  It hurts.

It’s not so much that domestic violence is less likely to crop up in small communities; it’s not less likely at all.  And domestic violence touches all our lives in some small way or other, no matter where we live or who we know.  It’s that if you’d told me at graduation, “One of your classmates will kill his or her spouse more than 20 years from now,” I’d have believed you – I’d just have guessed a different person entirely.  In fact, I’d have probably guessed at least a hundred other people before getting to this guy – and my graduating class was only 244 people. 

The couple lived on a street I’m very familiar with: a close friend lived there, my piano teacher lived there, some close friends of my parents’ from church still live there.  My sister lives a few blocks away, and heard the sirens.  The image of fire, rescue, and police vehicles clogging the street, lights flashing, is haunting me.

I can’t stop thinking about those kids.

If you are so inclined, prayers for the family, and for the people who love them, would be much appreciated.