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Old 12-12-2015, 01:50 PM   #1
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Family Tragedy - Son's Death

I've been a part of this OS family for many years. I wanted to share that on Wednesday night - on his way to church for youth group - that our son, Jaret Harshman (who was to turn 16 on Dec. 28) was killed. He was with 2 of his best friends - both of them survived, one walked away without injuries, the other with injuries that will take several months to recover from.

I am the minister of the church - and this has hit us terribly hard. Jaret was a special kid, and the hole he left will be missed deeply.

I would ask that if you comment here, please do not make any negative remarks or jump to any conclusions. This was a tragic accident - and nothing more. We do not understand it - and I don't want to turn this into a debate about faith or the existence of God, because that's the furthest thing from our minds.

I just share it here because this is another part of my extended relationships. I also ask that you not send private messages. We've been overwhelmed with thousands of notes that it will take me forever to reply to. It's just overwhelming.

If you want to see the coverage of this - it can be found on twitter - search "Jaret Harshman" and you'll start to see the details. Somehow, our 15 year old son made such an impact on so many lives, that he's become a huge story in the greater tampa, fl area - we've not sought out interviews, and are embarrased by this attention, but we've been thrust into this and are trying to share the story of our son that we deeply love. His purpose is unfolding before our very eyes, I believe...

He donated his organs, and we received word last night from the family who received his kidneys. All I could do was cry... Joy and pain mixed, but our son will live through others. this man waited 6 years for a kidney match, and it took our son's death to give his family a new life.

you can look me up on Facebook - Mike Harshman. The stories will then unfold from there.

Here's a link to a couple things - heartbreaking, but I'm humbled that his story is touching so many lives.




There's more I could say - but his story unfolds in so many ways that it's too much to share. Thank you....
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Old 12-12-2015, 02:28 PM   #2
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Re: Family Tragedy - Son's Death

My condolences Rev. Mike. I can't imagine what you are going through, this is such heartbreaking news. Your family and community are in my thoughts.

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Old 12-12-2015, 03:48 PM   #3
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Re: Family Tragedy - Son's Death

My condolences as well. I am terribly sorry to hear this. Hang in there, and we are all here for you. I hope you and your family are able to find peace.
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Old 12-12-2015, 03:56 PM   #4
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Re: Family Tragedy - Son's Death

Sincere condolences to you and yours, Sir...
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Old 12-12-2015, 03:56 PM   #5
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Re: Family Tragedy - Son's Death

My deepest condolences. Your son made a deep impact with those he touched. It's tragic that he's been taken away from his family and friends. At least he's in a better place now and his spirit will live on in the lives he touched.

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Old 12-12-2015, 04:52 PM   #6
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Re: Family Tragedy - Son's Death

I am sorry for your family's loss. I will keep your family and Jaret in my prayers.
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Old 12-12-2015, 05:04 PM   #7
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Re: Family Tragedy - Son's Death

I've read thru the articles, Mike, and have a few thoughts.

I can only imagine what you felt driving up to the scene and seeing that crash; for that matter seeing your son and the pain he was in. I hope that single moment becomes a faint memory compared to the entire rest of his near 16 years.

What a heart you have to reach out in support and not condemn or even insinuate any malcontent for the driver, your son's friend. That's truly a Christian heart.

My dad has been a baptist preacher in northern NC all my life so I've been in church all of my life...it's all I know and frankly, I love it. I know that some may want to say it's wrong that God took your son away while trying to do the right thing but I think the opposite - I think if there's anyplace I'd rather go in death, it's in church or going to church. I would want others to know I'm doing the right thing. I think that while these events are tragic, it's a great testimony of you and your family.

Speaking of testimony...a quote from the article from your son's friend:

"I do have plans to continue going to the church and living out what Jaret would want me to do. Jaret inspired (me) so much over the past couple of years that I'm living out my life the way Jaret would want me to," Ryan Miller said.
I would be so proud as a dad, Mike, that my son inspired others to get closer to Christ versus doing worldly things.

I'll be praying for you and your family these next few weeks and will request prayer for you at my church. May God bless you, my friend.
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Old 12-12-2015, 05:09 PM   #8
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Re: Family Tragedy - Son's Death

My most deepest and sincere condolences to you and your family on the loss of your love one.

Last edited by jmc; 12-12-2015 at 05:19 PM.
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