A co-worker of mine, Jennifer Schons, from Novi, MI was killed by her husband, who also killed their two children, and himself yesterday. Novi mom slain by knife, her sons by asphyxiation A senseless horrific tragedy. I can't even begin to imagine the terror and pain Jennifer or her children had to endure. What kind of demons would drive someone not only to end their own life, but to murder innocents on the way.
I didn't know Jennifer all that well. We worked in the same office and occasionally spoke about some project we were working on, or just some casual chit chat at the coffee machine, but I never really got to know her very well. She was always pleasant, quiet, and had a very professional manner about her. Perhaps some of the others who worked closely with her knew about some of the difficulties she was having at home, but I never heard anyone mentioning anything like that. I'm sure if anyone close to her knew or even suspected she and the children were in jeopardy from the husband, they would have advised her to get police protection and even offered to take them in. Hindsight.
Every year at our Department Christmas party we collect gifts and donations for a local charity in Oakland County that shelters abused women and children. I believe its called Haven. And while its generous and honorable to donate to charities like Haven, maybe its even more important that we pay attention around our own circle of friends, neighbors, and co-workers for clues that one of them might need help but don't feel right asking for it or don't want to believe the threat is real. You never know what sort of challenges the person the next cubicle over has at home or how much just a bit of support and encouragement might mean to them.
R.I.P. Jennifer, Camden, and Tynan. Your lives were too short and you will be missed dearly.