My Life Gone in Six Weeks

by Rosemarie Kaupp
(Warrington PA USA)

Just a year out from cancer surgery and chemo, I lost my 23 year son and only child, Chris, under suspicious circumstances. He died of a gunshot wound to the chest. Six weeks later, my husband, Fred died of multiple complications from diabetes.

The medical examiner ruled Chris' death a suicide though many things at the scene pointed otherwise. The young woman who was there was the daughter of the mayor of the neighboring large city. He was a man of considerable influence in the area. Overall, it was a very poor police investigation. I had it privately investigated by a career FBI agent and career homicide detective. They told me it was not suicide. Without the cooperation of the police, medical examiner and township solicitor, I could not get any farther in obtaining truth and justice for Chris.

Three things helped me the most. Several weeks after both Chris and my husband died, I had an ah-ha moment. I woke up one morning, sat on the side of my bed and contemplated my situation. I guess due to a lot of prayer, it came to me that I could go on with my life or let these losses destroy me. Given these stark terms, I knew the only thing I could do was choose life. I became aware that it was a conscious decision to get through this journey of grief. I also had three very good friends who were lifelines in getting me out of the house.

Finally, a book by psychologist Kathleen O'Hara, "A Grief Like No Other," moved me forward. It deals with helping parents, families and friends who have lost a child through an act of violence. Through this book, I was able to come to an acceptance of Chris' death. I was able to complete a children's book which I dedicated to Chris which brought me tremendous peace.

The hardest thing I had to do was to tell my dying husband that our son has died. What has been very hard is not knowing what actually happened to Chris. Who was there and how did he get shot. I feel sad that Chris never got truth or justice, but I am leaving this up to God.

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