Alicia’s tragic murder naturally made the radio and television news in the San Diego area. When Jason heard it he was stunned. It couldn’t have happened to the Love of my life? It had to be a case of mistaken identity, he felt. Yet he knew that Alicia had not returned to the apartment.
Distraught and bewildered, Jason did the only thing he knew to do; he obtained our phone number and gave us a call. When the telephone rang Michael answered it, Jason’s voice broke over the phone, and the two men broke down and wept together. “There is nobody out here who understands, Jason said.” I am facing this all alone. I’m torn apart, you know? “Half of me is gone, what can I do?” Michael tried to console him and explained as best he could, that the only one who could really help him was God. Turn to him Brad, Michael pleaded. He prayed with him, and they ended the conversation.
A few hours later the phone rang again. It was Jason saying “there is really nothing left to live for.” I’ve been thinking and I’ve decided to end it all. Our immediate reaction was “Oh no, didn’t we have enough weighing down, just now?” Oh God, please do not let Jason kill himself, I pleaded.” Michael tried to reason with him of the folly of such an act, and attempted again to make him see how very much God cared about what he was experiencing. He’ll meet you Jason, right where you are. He is rich in the supply of everything you need, he wants so much to give it to you. Just reach out and believe him and trust him to do it. Michael then assured him that we were constantly praying and that we understand what he was going through.
When the phone rang the third time we began to fathom just how real Jason’s suffering was. He really had no place to turn. He wanted to talk with and feel close to those he knew understood. My relationship with Alicia made me feel like a complete person for the first time in my entire life, he told Michael. There was a wholeness I never knew, and I can’t explain to you the torn-in-half feeling I’m experiencing. As I sat listening, my own heart completely broken, I felt love reaching all the way across the country to Jason. We all need one another. Jason was a real person whom God loved and for whom Christ died. His feelings were genuine and he now needed us, and yes we too needed him. Only God could have made me feel this way.
Members of the family along with friends were sitting in the room taking in this scene. Finally David hurried to the phone and said, “Dad, tell Jason we are wiring him money for a round trip plane flight. Tell him to pull himself together and get things ready to get on the plane tomorrow.” Jason hesitated at first, after all he didn’t really know us and he hardly believed in us. He wasn’t sure he even wanted to attend a funeral. Yet he knew he wanted to be with us more than anything else. He finally agreed to come. Brent, our oldest son met Jason at the airport the next day and brought him to the house. Tall and slender, his dark hair was shoulder length and windblown. His eyes were filled with distrust and misgivings. We put our arms around him and sincerely let him know we were glad to have him come. We wept together for a while and after some time he relaxed and began accepting our Love as genuine.
Now we were privileged to see this “son of ours.” His life did appear empty, through his eyes. He was confused and lost as many of today’s young people are. We are given this beautiful opportunity to show him acceptance and understanding. To share with him our love and mutual grief, and let him see Christ in our lives and in our home. What a tremendous responsibility.
Arrangements had been made to have Alicia’s body flown home. All the necessary things that had to be taken care of, we preceded to do. There were many phone calls and telegrams, funeral arrangements and visits with our Pastor. But we were also enriched by our overwhelming response from so many friends. Every face, every card, every flower had a special message. Each one was expressing deep sorrow at a time when words are inadequate.
And then the day had arrived, it was time for the funeral. Jason sat with the family during the service with no questions asked and no explanations given. The funeral was now over and a great sense of relief swept over us, we had done all we could. The days had been trying and filled with strain, just taking care of the necessities. The great flood tide of sympathy that had come rolling in had helped so much. We would now have to make it on our own.
Jason made preparations to fly back to California. His overall reactions regarding time spent at the funeral home, and the service itself, were hard to determine. He was very quiet and uncommunicative with respect to it. Jason had told David later the whole affair was something he couldn’t relate to. He couldn’t understand the displaying of a dead body, especially someone loved so very much.