Monday, August 03, 2009

An Hour for Mourning: Maggie Lee Henson, 1996-2009

Maggie Lee Henson, 1996 - 2009

I wanted to take an off-topic moment to convey here my sorrowful condolences to my brother John and his family: My niece Maggie Lee Henson was pronounced dead last night at 6:30 p.m., three weeks after a terrible bus accident that also claimed the life of another boy from their church, First Baptist in Shereveport, LA (where John is an assistant pastor). Maggie was 12 years old, just about to enter the 7th grade, and was a beautiful, happy, vivacious child before Fate cruelly snatched her away.

I also wanted to thank the many readers and friends who've expressed sympathy and asked for updates on Maggie's condition. To be honest, I've been a bit of an emotional wreck over this episode so if you're one of the folks to whom I didn't respond promptly, please accept my apology.

The end of Maggie's short, beloved life came after a church bus flipped and landed on top of her in an accident three weeks ago on I-20 in Mississippi. An Alabama National Guard unit happened to be following along behind the bus when it blew a tire and rolled three times, throwing many of the kids including her out of the vehicle. Maggie and another child were trapped under the bus and soldiers literally had to lift the massive vehicle off of her, after which she was airlifted to Jackson where she's been since then. Yesterday, after three agonizing weeks, the doctors finally peeled back the last of the drugs keeping her in a medically induced coma (one of which, my brother astonishedly noted, is actually used in the lethal injection cocktail) and determined that there was there was no independent brain function.

The Apostle Paul admonished us to "pray without ceasing," but I don't think I ever really understood what that meant before this happened. I wept after hearing this news as I have over and over these last three weeks, but that's nothing compared to the agony endured by my poor brother, his wife Jinny, and their son Jack (who will enter the 5th grade in a couple of weeks). I cannot imagine what they've gone through, or what they will go through. Though it's a cliche' to say so, it's just not natural. Parents aren't meant to bury their children; it's supposed to work the other way around.

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

Scott, I am so sorry for your loss. Keeping you and your brother and his family in my thoughts.

Charles said...

Scott, my deepest condolences to you and Maggie's immediate family. These are things we cannot understand. We can only be there for those who have suffered such loss. And in some way that I do not understand, I am there for you even though I'm several hundred miles away, and for Maggie's family, even farther away.

The Rev.

Anonymous said...

Many heartfelt emotions and prayers to you and your brother's family. My younger sister lost her 11 yr son (only son) seven years ago in a skiing accident in Colorado on a church trip. Her husband was the Children's church pastor at the time. This post brought tears to my eyes remembering the hurt I felt for my sister and brother-in-law. He was an awesome christian kid and we miss him terribly still. The only advice I can give is each will grieve in their own way and let them talk about her.
Prayers and hugs!

Charles said...

P. S.

Maggie was one beautiful little girl.

Anonymous said...

My sincerest condolences to you and your family for your loss.

The hardest thing is to lose a child and there are no words that can adequately express the sorrow of such a loss. You will all be in our prayers.

JJ

Steven said...

Please accept my condolences as well. I lost a niece to a car accident, and it's a pain that almost never ends. There is no real "closure," but I hope the day will come soon when the memories of the joy she brought in life will overcome the pain of losing her.

Anonymous said...

May God comfort you and all her family and friends in this terrible time, and help you through the pain.

Anonymous said...

You have my sincerest condolences. You all will continue to be in my prayers. May her memories bring your family peace and comfort.

Anonymous said...

Many of us have experienced the loss of a child, your words bring tears, and my prayers are with you and your family this morning. We are all in God’s hands, and our reunion awaits.

TxBluesMan said...

My condolences and sympathies are with you and your family...

sunray's wench said...

Scott, I'm so sorry for your family's loss.

Anonymous said...

Scott,

You and your brother's family will be in my thoughts. Our heartfelt condolences go out to the Henson family over Maggies passing.

Don Dickson said...

My heart goes out to you and John and Jinny and your entire family, Scott. She was a beautiful young lady. I am so, so sorry.

Anonymous said...

I am truly sorry for you and your family's loss.

Angie Winn said...

Hi Scott - Angie Arnett (Winn now)here.
I'm so sorry to hear about Maggie Lee. I also lost a niece to a terrible accident (about 4 years ago). I can somewhat relate to your loss. These are the things in life that we can't understand and test our faith. Be strong for John right now - he will need you to help him through this terrible time. It does get better with time - however the first year is very tough! You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Charles Kuffner said...

Scott,

I am so sorry to hear this. Please accept my heartfelt condolences.

Anonymous said...

Scott, I will keep you, your brother & his family in my prayers. I'm at a loss for words of comfort but know that as a parent, I share your heartache.

Boyness said...

Scott...my heartfelt sympathy to you and your family. Thank you for posting the picture of that beautiful young lady. Heaven is a little brighter place today.

Michael McCrum said...

Scott, I'm so sorry for you and your family's loss. May God's grace break through the hurt to bring a feeling of peace to your souls.

Ray said...

I'm so sad to learn of this loss to you and your family. My deepest condolences go out to all. I lost my 7-years old daughter in an auto accident in 1996. I know my Jamie was there to greet her into the fold.

TFS said...

I am so sorry for loss. God bless you and your family. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Anonymous said...

Prayers are certainly with your family and friends of this beautiful little angel. Cathy

Grandmom said...

A year ago, Aug. 2, we lost a precious great granddaughter to a tragic accident. We understand your family's suffering and are so sorry. For The Love of Christi, 467-2600 can help.

Other Tall Husband said...

There are no words. I am so sorry.

--Scott Owen

Anonymous said...

Scott, may you find peace knowing Maggie is in the Lord's embrace.

Nipper

Bill Baumbach said...

Scott,

The year Maggie Lee was born, I lost my son to a car accident.

Reading your post bought back a flood of emotions that will always be with me.

You and her family have my sincere condolances and prayers.

There is no healing from such a loss, but with time, there may come a peaceful acceptance.

Bill Baumbach
The Collin County Observer

Hilary said...

Scott:

I am so sorry for your loss. My deepest condolences to you and your family. And thank you for having the strength to keep attending to "Grits" during this terrible time - a real feat of dedication to what is right.

Hilary

Anonymous said...

My heart breaks when I read of a young person dying at such a young age and it is so now. I pray that time will ease your pain and the pain of all who loved this child. God bless you and yours.

Noelle said...

So sad to hear about Maggie. Thinking of you and your family...

Anonymous said...

I'm sory sorry for your loss. I have no doubt that Maggie is in heaven wrapped by Christ's total love.

Supremacy Claus said...

Grits: I have your family in my thoughts, and will pray for them. Only love and precious memories remain. Those will never die.

T King said...

I'm sorry for your loss, Scott.

Maryellen said...

My deepest condolences to you and Maggie's family. She is a beautiful young lady. My God comfort you in your time of loss.

“Because we know the Who, we can endure the What, though we don’t understand the Why”.

In Christ,
Maryellen

coachwife6 said...

Such a tragic story. The photo of her is breathtaking. I know your brother and his wife continue to hurt terribly. Will add their entire family to my prayer list.

Vox Populi said...

Oh, I'm so sorry ! I'm only a sporadic reader of your blog, currently. Mainly because your articles are so thorough that it takes plenty of time to read one. I am a subscriber and my renewed interest is due to starting law school in January. So I checked out your huevos rancheros and saw this sad news and the link to here. Please tell your brother and his wife I AM so sorry. We lost a young one. The pain never really stops. It will be ten years very soon. Seems like yesterday and right now I'm really not myself. So, I do understand too well. I'm so sorry for you all. Please tell your brother and all who love this dear, beautiful girl that I will think of them often and pray for peace and strength for them which is hard-won. And so elusive to grasp and hold. Hugs ! Peace to all of you.