Many times in life, as Christians, we witness or experience events in which bad things happen that leave us asking, “Where is God in all of this?”

During traumatic or painful incidents we wonder, How could a loving God allow such a tragic thing to occur to those who love Him?

Even worse, after a series of such trials, many people become exasperated causing them to question, if not abandon, their faith all together.

On Friday June 10, 2016, I directly experienced a violent death of a dearly loved friend. It will have lasting effects on the remainder of my life, as well as the lives of many others.

God’s grace and guidance have made provisions that continue to strengthen my faith allowing me to persevere.

And perseverance and faith through trauma and life changing disease are the cornerstone of this blog making this story appropriate for my debut posting.

A Gala Event

My three sons Connor, Riley, and Toby McDonough are the face of the pop-rock band Before You Exit (BYE).

On Friday June 10th, as part of their summer headline tour of the US and Canada, they were performing in their home town of Orlando, Florida. That they were in their hometown with their parents present was one of several provisions God made in preparation for the events that would unfold that evening.

The show was at The Plaza Live venue with a capacity of about 1,200 and opened by two talented acts: Cade, a young male singer from Tampa followed by Christina Grimmie from LA, a finalist in season six of the popular television show The Voice.

Before You Exit then performed many of their songs from their latest EP, All The Lights and, like the opening guests, they were well received by fans consisting of teens, parents, and industry professionals.

It was a thoroughly exciting show for their hometown and the boys of BYE were exuberant, even playing an encore for the high spirited fans.

Sadly, there was one individual with ill-minded intentions in attendance who was determined to see the evening conclude horrifically.

A Tragic Loss

qPU9pT__-1After the show, as fans were starting to leave the venue, the artists including Christina were back stage greeting close friends and relatives that had been allowed back-stage passes. They were also preparing to go toward the front of the venue to meet and greet fans, or bid farewell as they departed from the building.

I was standing near doors connecting stage right with the green room corridor. Meanwhile my sister and brother-in-law (Kitty and Michael
O’Grody) were praying with Christina, grateful for her career. They concluded their prayers with, “God is Good.” Then, in unison, Kitty and Christina said,”All the time.”

Christina then said good-bye heading out to the merchandise tables. She was excited to get to her waiting fans and sign autographs.

Suddenly, I heard five loud pops. A security guard said,”I assume those are balloons.” We both walked back on stage to witness wide chaos in the auditorium as fans ran out exit doors along the south wall and front of the venue. They were screaming with terror as they left the room.

I saw bodies on the floor and, as a physician, was compelled to run toward one man lying along the north wall and obviously losing a large quantity of blood. I noticed the left side of his face was all but missing as someone shouted, “He’s the shooter and he’s dead;  he shot himself!”

Immediately, I ran toward  a body I saw lying near the merch tables at the front of the venue. As I came over the top of the young lady I was shocked to recognize her as Christina, the angelic singer my wife and I had grown to love like a daughter since touring Europe and the UK with her and BYE.

It appeared she tried to take a breath as I knelt down next to her. Her eyes were closed and at least one bullet wound was evident on the right side of her head.  I detected a weak and thready pulse but soon lost it  and began CPR as I tried to comfort her, encouraging her to hang on—telling her that Jesus (and I) loved her.

It seemed interminably long before EMS arrived to continue resuscitation. There were no other bodies we learned later—just Christina and a suicidal maniac obsessed with her and intending all along to violently end her life.

First responders and venue staff were corralled in a conference room shortly thereafter where we learned that our sweet Christina was pronounced dead shortly after arrival at the hospital.

We also learned that Christina’s brother Marcus witnessed the killing and knocked the shooter’s arm down, possibly preventing him from further killing. But he couldn’t prevent the shooter from subsequently using another gun to take his own life.

All of us were devastated by this horrific event, although we were grateful that no other persons were harmed physically. Of course, the emotional and mental scarring is unpredictable.

Where Was God?

It feels as though I've lost God!

Unequivocally, without a doubt, God is with us in times of pain, trial, and tribulation.

As the Captain of my ship, He alone knows and determines not only the course of my journey but the destiny of my vessel. Even still, it’s so easy to feel anger when we’re in pain or suffering a loss of a loved one—especially when it happens in an obviously violent or senseless way.

We find ourselves ready to shout from  mountain tops, “How could you allow this to happen God? If you really loved us you wouldn’t let us suffer or toil with such painful circumstances!” Senseless is a word we use to describe such things that hurt and we can’t understand.

We also can’t begin to know what God knows. We’ll never have the ability, let alone be capable, of seeing  the whole picture that God sees.

And, my friends, God doesn’t want to see us in pain any more than we want to see our brothers and sisters suffer either. Nor did He want to see His son suffer the sins of the world. But it was all part of His Divine plan.

In fact, He grieves alongside us. It’s the comfort of Jesus’s palm that soothes us during the most treacherous of insults. Moreover, God will make good from bad, victors will be made of victims, and triumphs the result of trials. He works to make good of all things.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Rom. 8:28

Tragedies such as the violent murder of Christina are the result of the free will of man. Likewise, much of our pain and discomfort has origins that can be traced back to the garden of Eden when God ensured that we had the free will to chose.

Man foolishly chose the ways of deceit.

Part of the Plan

We don’t want to think that pain and suffering, trials and tribulations, are naturally features of God’s plan or His world. And they’re not. They are products of a fallen world, but God does bring good things from bad stuff!

Already, as a direct result of the tragic evening of June 10th, much good has evolved. I’ve personally witnessed some individuals turn toward God when before that night they questioned His existence. A whole community has come together to love and support our family and that of Christina’s. And there’s the bitter-sweet reality that a countless number of new fans will be inspired and touched by her music and artistry.

Tragedy can be the stimulus for inspiring faith and motivating otherwise doubting individuals to seek God out.

My own faith has been immensely augmented by hearing of Christina’s prayer with my sister-in-law Kitty just before her departure for Heaven.

She Was Ready

Regardless of our plans or those of  our loved ones, God’s intentions or plans may be altogether different. In retrospect, we can see that part of God’s plan for June 10th 2016, was for Christina to meet Jesus.

More than a few people commented on Christina’s appearance, attitude, and overall sense of her surroundings on Friday June 10th. She was a singer who, by definition sings. But that day she was singing any and everywhere—on the bus, off the bus, walking to the venue or from the venue back out to the bus, in the bathroom, or while waiting outside for the bathroom! All of the crew were heard to say, in one way or another, how jubilant she was that entire afternoon.

Christina was a compassionate person. But that day she was especially and passionately in tune with everyone around her. She loved to love, and hug her loved ones. But that day she was full of love and lovely in the ways she gave to others.

Many commented on how angelic she was—radiating a peaceful sense of tranquility for every person in her path. She commented several times that day about how much she enjoyed this tour with BYE, cherishing the company of the boys and staying in the moment—where God lives (never in the past or future).

Just before going on stage, I noticed she was wearing a long coat to ward off a chill from the air conditioning. I thought to myself, the coat will be unnoticed because her face and eyes were magnetically consuming.

Later, looking at video documentation of the show that night, during her duet with Riley and BYE, she was basking in a warm floodlight while the rest of the band performed and observed her from shadows. Then she hugged each boy just a moment longer than usual. Her eyes shined from deep within her heart.

As difficult and painful as it is for us to let go of such a cherished and beautifully talented soul, God knew it was her time—and she was as ready as she could ever be.

With that perspective it’s a little easier to see how God allowed man’s free will to reign, yet simultaneously His perfect will was done.

In the midst of painfully violent and horrific circumstances, we can, and should, allow such anguish to be the context by which we seek to grow our faith—not questioning, or worse, abandoning our faith.

Christina will be forever loved and missed by her family of birth including Mom and Dad (Tina and Bud), and her brother Marcus, as well as her grandpa and many other devoted relatives. The same sentiments will also be shared by her BYE forever family and an entire family of fans, “With Love.” With Love is a beautiful and heartfelt gratitude ballad Christina wrote for her fans. You can watch her peform it below.

“God is good, all the time.”

123 thoughts on “When Bad Things Happen to Good People”

  1. Elizabeth Nicole Schwartz

    Reading this gave me a sense of yes, sadness all over again because of everything that happened that night but also a sense of peace at how wonderfully you worded everything. I’m glad I can get a bit of a better understanding of how God truly does love us and doesn’t want pain like this to happen. Anyway, thank you for posting about this. It’s words I needed to hear without knowing I needed to hear them.

  2. I just want to say thank you for putting your words together and sharing you experience of that day with us. I wasn’t there and woke up in the morning to the incredibly sad news. Ever since have I had such a hard time wrapping my head around it. It never quite made sense. I couldn’t see it before me. It just didn’t seem real. But it does now. You pained the picture I needed to process the event properly. Thank you.

  3. This is very well written. It nails on the head the biblical worldview as it relates to suffering, which is not an easy thing for us humans to wrap our mind around. And yet suffering is one of the top realties of life that causes people to question the nature of God or even His existence. It is of great interest that Bible scholars believe the first inspired book of scripture was the book of Job, a book written to help us process the reality of suffering.

    1. John: Thank you my dear friend for your most cherished companionship in this life; our journeys are often filled with trying hardships. I will remain forever grateful for everything you’ve accomplished but especially for personally enriching my relationship with Christ.

  4. Thank you for sharing ch a beautifully written blog. It helps to see things from another perspective and I most appreciate all the connection and how you split everything up.

    Kind regards,

  5. Well said. Keep writing! She’s a great loss for sure. I never met her, but have been impacted by her.

  6. I’m very touched and amazed that you would share this story. I just want to say that from me being a Christian myself I can’t agree with you more. In a time of grief and pain we should always look to God, not look away. I am a huge fan of BYE and I was absolutely at a loss of words when I heard the news weeks ago. I was worried for BYE because I had no idea what they were feeling, the only thing I thought of to do was go pray for them and for Christina and her family. You all have been in my prayers and thoughts each day, I want you all to know that I’m so happy to be able to be a fan of your boys and be able to call myself an Exiter. God is with us all the time. He will not forsake us nor leave us. May the lord keep you and may the lord bless you over this hard time. You are all in me and my families prayers. All the love.

    1. Thanks so much Kenzie. BYE will continue recovering one day at a time. They lost a sister in Christina but are forever grateful for the never-ending love and support from fans like you.

  7. Such a beautifully written message. It made me burst into tears when I read the event of Christina’s final moments. Somehow this message gave me peace. I looked up to Christina and followed her regularly on social media. I wanted so bad to see her in concert and thank her for her soulful music and message. Christina will be remembered for her kindred heart and the love she had for Christ. One day soon, Jesus will come and reunite us with our loved ones. I cannot wait to meet Christina and tell her what an inspiration she has been in my life. Thank you for this message. May God give you peace and guidance throughout life.

  8. you shared some of the exact thoughts I had on this day and some of my favorite verses as well. Romans chapter 8 is full of so many insiteful words. thank you so much for this. my heart is with you and your family.

  9. I too was Not angry with God or the shooter but questioning why God needed Christina now. I was in shock, disbelief, denial but never thought that God didn’t have a plan. I literally had to converse with God for these 20 days to find an answer. Not sure if it’s right but the World has been in turmoil for the last 6 yrs. that’s when we were all introduced to Christina. I feel that even though it seemed like the Devil is strengthening his Army, God was grooming Christina because he too is strengthening his Army. June 10th, 2016 was the day that God needed his soldier to sit beside him. That day God felt that Christina was strong & faithful enough to help him in his Plan to get His pupils back on track. It pains me terribly Not only for my friend but her family also. I considered her as I consider my own daughter but my pain is no way near the pain of the family. I feel for her parents as I would be devastated if she were my daughter & I feel the pain from Marcus who I’m sure feels guilt, failure & the loss of half of his being. I feel the weight of all those who really Loved Christina; as a person, daughter, sister, friend, colleague, artist & devotee of God. May we all find Peace & comfort in knowing that God needed his Disciple & she’s where she is supposed to be. God Bless Christina, Tina, Bud, Marcus, the rest of the family, friends, colleagues, fans & the Pulse victims. I’ll miss you but your always with me.??
    See you soon to get my “Death Note” hat…

  10. Thank you so much for making this. I loved Christina, and that time when I heard the news that she passed away I’m so broke. And I asked God “Why did this happened?”
    I’m praying while crying I know God is with me comforting me. And I know God has a reason why did this happened.
    Thank you so much.
    All the love ❤

  11. This is more than Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! Thank you for this comforting words Dr. Mark.. We are all saddened to the tragic happened to Christina. We all praying for her soul and also we are praying for the emotions to all whos been hurt to what happened to Christina specially to the Boys (Riley, Connor & Toby) Godbless you and to your family Dr. Mark..

  12. Stacey Nelson

    Thank you for writing and sharing this. I hope you , your sons and your loved ones are finding support in this difficult time.
    As a parent of a B.Y.E fan and a fan myself, I think of them often and wish terrible events like this never happened.
    I will continue to keep all of you in my thought’s and prayers. God Bless!
    From S. Nelson (mn)

  13. Czarina Buenaflor

    Thank you so much for writing such blog. It’s still painful for me to read about how that night ended, and I’m just a fan, how much more painful does it feel for her family and all her loving friends such as you? I am also pained at how BYE is deeply affected by this incident, I can’t wait to see them smile again. I love them, and forever will. I must admit that it’s the reason why I started reading this blog, no matter how biased it may sound, I am not ashamed to admit it. However, I am truly grateful for reading it until the end for I have been deeply enlightened and my faith was ensured. I specifically loved what you wrote, “God ensured that we had the free will to chose. Man foolishly chose the ways of deceit.” I, too, had my doubts. And I’m thankful for having read this for I am now assured that God gave us the free will, and we’re only the ones taking that for granted. I can’t imagine how painful it must be for God to see what’s happening to the world, but I will not lose my faith in Him. Thank you Dr. Mark. And I thank God for your vision about this too. I am also glad to know that Christina was happy before she died. No matter how drastic her life ended, I am sure that she is still happy now. I am inspired by her life, and by yours too. Please send my regards to the boys. We, the fans, truly miss them. But their recovery is of utmost importance. God bless!

    1. Thank you Czarina! God gave us the free will to love Him too. What kind of relationship would we have if he made us to love Him automatically, right? He wants us to choose Him. Thanks for your comments and keep BYE and Christina’s family in your prayers.

  14. Thankyou so much for this Mr. Mcdonough, I cried because of sadness but you made me realized how blessed I am to have my family, friends, BYE, Tina and especially God. Thank you so much I’m not expecting that there’s a person who’ll made me realized these things. Thankyou for this blog. I missed her 🙁 #RipChristinaGrimmie

  15. Mark, you were a year ahead of me in school, and how grateful I am to learn of your faith in Christ. How appropriate you cite Romans 8:28 because God has truly used all things for good in your life. Continue pressing forward, my brother, allowing your light to shine before men so that others will see your good works and praise your Father in heaven. My prayers are with those who knew and loved Christina.

  16. jeannine digby

    Thank you Dr. Mark, my name is Jeannine Digby, Christina became friends with my daughter Annie, and my twin autistic grand daughters Emma and Mary. You see they were so very close, Christina and Mark even coming to our home and staying, she did so muchfor my girls, now they are so… heart broken. The day of the Atlanta concert they spent all day with her and Marcus, lunch together, and just having fun. For the first time this week they laughed and smild because of BYE, I have sat with them and they showed me all the videos tell your boys thank you and please pray for my babies, God Bless you

    1. Jeannine: Thank you for reaching out. I think I met your daughters in Atlanta. Christina was so happy that day and I’m sure your granddaughters had a positive influence on her and Marcus’s lives. Emma and Mary (and you) are on my prayer list and I pray for your continued healing.

  17. Mr. McDonough,

    As somebody who was there at the concert that night, this was very comforting to read. It also filled in some blank spaces for me, of course curiosity can get the best of us and your mind can wander off wondering “What happened after we ran out of the building?” It is comforting to know that Christina was not in pain for long or at all, and that (of course) she is at home right now with The Lord singing her heart out.

    I’ve been following Christina’s career for months and was blessed to get to see her live once before June 10th and even I could tell that there was something different about her during this particular show. She was more perky and radiated more joy, she was even more interactive with the crowd than I’d seen on Youtube videos or the concert of hers I saw. She was just more….Christina, if that makes any sense. One of the reasons I brought my best friend to the show was so she could see Christina and get to experience her amazing vocal range, and I am so glad that she got to witness it that night. She also agreed that Christina radiated the light of Christ. When we met her at the merchandise table, she was so bubbly and happy and so excited to meet everybody. I will never forget getting to make her laugh or talking with her and Marcus together and I will forever treasure the CD that she signed for me.

    I want to thank you for this post as it gave me an overwhelming feeling of comfort and ease in this time of anxiety and lingering fear. We must always trust in The Lord and as the post says, God is good all the time. I’ve seen on social media that some people are blaming God for this and taunting Christians right now saying “Where was your God through this? Prayer didn’t work for Christina because God let her die.” and it’s so painfully untrue. I wish they could see that this was the free will of a man who was not in the right place. That God was with Christina and continues to be with us and comfort us in our times of suffering….

    I also want to thank your boys for making music that has managed to help get me through this in my own way. As a musician, music has always been my greatest comfort, right behind God’s Word. Before You Exit’s music has always been fun to listen to, but of course now it has a completely different meaning to me. It now means so much more than a fun song to dance to, it means healing and comfort and remembrance of that night. Their music, and Christina’s, has helped me so much these past three weeks, I can’t even begin to say.

    I continue to pray over you and your family, the Grimmie’s and everybody else (fans, tour crew, extended family etc.) that was there that night. I pray God’s peace, protection and healing over all of you. Yes, God is good, all the time.

    1. Reese: Thank you for such a heartfelt reply to the blog. You obviously have a clear perspective and I pray for continued clarity as you enlighten others. I’m sorry for your loss too; time will heal us. And your correct; she was surrounded by angels that day. God Bless.

  18. Heartfelt story about what happened. When Christina died I remember some of the responses: why, confused, angry, never ending sorrow, depressed. We are always reminded intrusively that life is temporary. That song she sang “In Christ Alone” shows the hope and purpose we can have, obtained outside of all religious ritual and rules. Christina expressed that, without any religious form, by unconditional love. Christ did that too. Immortality HAS been brought to light, death abolished 2 Tim 1:10, by the gospel 1 Cor 15:1-4, upon just trusting it, believing it, trusting in the Savior Ephs 1:13. Christina knew the foundation Whom she stood on. Believers will be in one family, knowing each other, involved together in the activity there. It will be a continuation. I hope her “frands” who are not believers, will get on the right side of the equation. Salvation, adoption, is a free unconditional gift, is not bigotry, but is the hope (elpis) she had, and i guarantee would want her team to be part of.

    1. Right on Art! Thanks for your insight and wisdom. To paraphrase CS Lewis, he said of our lives here, we’re but the cover and title page of a never-ending story. Christina knew it and shined for others accordingly. You do too!

  19. Beautifully written, except for the detail of Christina’s dying. Could have done without that imagery.

  20. Thank you so, so much for writing this. I feel like I know Christina better than I did before, and I am so encouraged and inspired by her winsome faith. It means more to me than you know to see how she lived her life and her incredible love and joy. Although I ache at the fact that she is gone, it is really incredible to see the impact she has had and will continue having. She is one of my biggest role models. And I so appreciate you, your wife, and your sweet boys as well. They are truly blessed to have parents like you. Keeping you all in prayer.

  21. Thank you so much for your wisdom and insights regarding this tragic event. I found myself questioning my faith after the tragedy and its with your article and Pastor Marty Berglund’s preaching during the memorial that I have started to wrap my head around this. Thank you so much.

    1. Thanks Daniel. Keep the faith and persevere; we don’t have the luxury of seeing all the tiles in the mosaic, but God does. He has a plan and will continue to cultivate Good from Bad. Christina is now singing a song of renewal and life everlasting though it still hurts to have lost her from our life here.

  22. I’m so sorry for all you and your family have endured Mark. We never know when our time here on Earth will end or how we will exit. Somehow God listens to our hearts when we suffer and he knows all our pain. I have faith that every thing happens for a reason,weather to make drastic changes or bring people together,all I know is God is always there for us. People will mock and judge as they do,but no one can take away the love in our hearts for our father in heaven.

  23. Khaychelle Barcena

    Such a beautiful and inspiring blog Dr. Mark. I know God is testing our faith but he is always here guiding us. Hoping that your three sons can recover as soon as possible. As a fan of BYE, the whole place and they are always part of my prayer. Please do write again, so that people can accept faster what happened or what will happen to their life. I always love bogs about our father in heaven!

  24. Thank you sir, this made me realized things that I never understood before especially to God’s plan.

  25. Gabrielle Meizco

    Thank you Mr. Mark McDonough for sharing your experience and your messages that giving me inner healing.

    It made me realize that God has a great plans for us. God always love us and never leave us. I believe that the salvation from Jesus will guide us till we had the eternity.

    When the first time i heard the information about Christina passed away, i felt confused, angry, and sad at the same time. Especially, she passed away after doing her concert with my favorite band of brothers ‘Before You Exit’ that giving me a lot of inspiration in music. Before BYE and Christina starting the ATL concert, i prayed that they’ll always save in God’s hands. After reading that tragic info in internet, i asked God the reason why it happened to one of my favorite singer. I prayed that her family, friends, and fans can be strong and they’ll always trust in Jesus and surrender all.

    I’m so lucky to read this blog. May Jesus bless you and your family.

    Gabrielle Meizco

  26. Jessica Bronsert

    Wow, I´m just speachless! Thank you so much for writing this! <3
    I actually never really believed in God, but as I heared the News and heared about the tragic loss of such an inspiring Person, I loved the thought, that with Christina, heaven gained another angel. And somehow I thought about everything again, about God. I know this sounds strange, but with God in my thoughts and in my heart, everything started to make sense to me. And this text strengths me even more in that. I am so thankful that I could get to know such an inspiring Person, even that I didn´t met Christina personally! Hopefully we will all see her in heaven again! Thank you again for writing this! It gives a lot of people hope and peace! Thank you! (And I´m sorry for the bad English, I´m from Germany! So, many greetings to all of you! God is good.)

  27. I can say that these words meant a lot to mg daughter Rachel , who was in the meet greet line and witnesed the outcome. You spoke to her core as she agonized over how to feel about being there and livjng.
    She commends your efforts and is forever in debt to Marcus.

  28. My husband and I loved meeting you and your wife today. This post is one I will come back to again and again for perspective and truth when circumstances cloud my perspective on God’s will and love. Thank you for sharing.

  29. catherine anota

    wow it’s so beautiful story. for me being a roman catholic , God gave me also many challenges in my life but im always praying that i can through all of this. Mark can you tell you’re sons that just keep praying, praying and praying and God has plan for all of us, and God is good all the time, all the time God is good , God will do the rest. amen, God bless you!!!!!!!!

  30. Wow I really needed this. I’ve been having such a hard time with her tragic death but this gives me some comfort. Thank you Dr. McDonough.

  31. Katherine Blanchies


    Ken and I have been thinking of you and Joan and the boys so much. I still can’t believe it happened, and that we were there and had left just a short time prior. I am so blessed to have seen her that night and to hear her beautiful voice. Your blog is amazing and I felt peaceful, honored and blessed beyond measure when reading it. Your writing is emotional, captivating and inspirational. I cannot wait to read more of what you up on paper. Keep it coming! We are fortunate to have you, Joan and the boys in our life and we love you very much.

  32. Unbelievable. You were the last person she ever saw while still somewhat conscious? How have you been able to cope with that? Because I’m taking this quite hard, and I didn’t know her like you did. From you’re description, she seemed pretty unresponsive. Was she able to fathom your presence at that moment? Were you able to observe any type of understanding she might have been having at that moment? I’m just curious if she knew, what was going on? Or was it just impossible to tell.

    I still can’t seem to shake this off. The pain is still very real for me. And I was only a fan. I only became a fan because I just happened to be watching an episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2011 which Christina appeared on. If it hadn’t been for that, I would’ve never known who she was. But I became a big fan ever since, and I still don’t understand why she didn’t win The Voice.

    I feel like she was destined for so much more. She was only 22. I don’t need to tell you this, but Christina was special She wasn’t like the other young female singers out there today. She could’ve easily been bigger than all the young female stars today. But she refused to sell out, and rejected anything that didn’t fit her standards. She didn’t twerk, or sing about sex, drugs, money, or violence. She was someone who more interested in showing off her voice, than her body. Someone who had this boundless wealth of encouragement, compassion, and love for anybody who needed it over social media. And I ask why God took Christina of all people? She was someone we actually needed.

    She would selflessly say on social media, that she wanted God to burden her with all the pain and sadness her fans were feeling, so we wouldn’t have to. And I have this awful belief that had she known beforehand, she would’ve accept this fate. That she would’ve sacrificed herself, if it meant her fans could be safe. That’s what saddens me the most.

    1. Thank Chris. I’ve been next to more than a few people at the time of their deaths. And I always assume they can hear or know some of what happens in proximity. Most important for me is believing that Jesus was with her, a personal escort to heaven, and He was in charge. We lost her too soon but God had a bigger gig that called her – bigger that The Voice or any other venue.

  33. Pingback: Christina Grimmie: The Story Behind the Other Orlando Shooting - TLG Christian News

  34. I do not know what to say… My heart, my soul, my life changed and nothing will be the same…

    I didn’t know Her personally, but because of Christianity and Her faith I feel I lost my Family member.

    I thought, that I felt in faith in God, but no – I am stronger. Just my tears drops everyday and I think about Her every minute from this terrible day 🙁

    There are no words that can describe such a loss – an Angel, a Miracle and still Ordinary Girl left this world, cruel world and became a Lord Choir member – main voice and beloved child.

    I am from Poland, far from US, but even here Her life will never be forgotten and I believe, that I will come and God bless me to have right and chance to put most beautiful flowers on Her grave.

    She deserves it and I need it, to calm down my heart, myself…

    I promise to *never* forget about Christina and pray for Her everyday like I am doing now.

    Please – pray for us Christina, because You are much closer to God now and we need His bless to be stronger and fight with an evil in this World.

    I believe you have this “sunshine” everyday, You “feelin’ good” – You wanted, you got it 🙂

    I… Love… You :*

      1. You are totally true and I agree with you completely Dr. Mark. Thank you.

        But we must to remember one thing – we should keep alive Christina’s legacy. She never changed, She loved God, She was never “like other”, She was individual and… She never lost Her faith.

        If we think about Her once a day – for a moment, or just for a second, we will be a better people and… near to Her. Of course – we also should avoid to be “like Christina” or imitate Her, but we must to follow Her. Her legacy.

        She changed life of many people – let’s change our life with Her too 🙂

        Thank you Dr. Mark for every word, and everything you have done. God Bless you and your Family!

  35. Dear Dr. Mark,

    Thank you for your powerful witness. As a brother in Christ, a father of young adults and teens, and as one who’s had a bit of suffering myself, I am grateful to meet you through your blog. Here again I must thank Christina, who I believe is rather “busy” with Jesus now, bringing people together and letting Him shine His light in so many many places and hearts. Love always bears fruit.
    Though I don’t know them (except ‘in Christ,’ of course) my father’s heart is broken for her dear parents, who gave such an honest sharing of their faith and humanity and suffering at the memorial service, and of course for her amazing brother, whose loss is something I can’t even imagine but whom I pray will hang on to the God who is good all the time.
    And I am deeply moved by your own sorrow here (and grateful that you were there with her in her final moments speaking to her the holy name of Jesus, the name above all names, the name of Him who is Love–what a beautiful gift you gave her to bring to Him). Your own life story is an inspiration, and I am glad to make this connection with you. And though my kids and I are not yet familiar with the music of BYE, we will be very soon. God bless you, Dr. Mark!

    1. Thanks John for your heartfelt reply. I can feel the faith you hold as I read your words. You’re obviously a loving father to your kids and an inspiration to other parents. We try to maintain that kids are children of their heavenly father with giving hearts first…everything else second.

  36. Eric Champlin

    This is beautiful, Mark. Thank you for sharing this. It is sad, yet joyous to hear that Christina’s last words were, “God is good. All the time.” As you mentioned, God knew it was her time, and she was as ready as she could ever be. God bless you.

  37. Thank you for this. Although some of these details were heart-wrenching, the others were inspiring and comforting. It’s so good to know that she was happy that day, even moreso than usual. Everyone who has heard about her death I know has been struggling with the question of “why”. And I think you answered it well. Thank you.

    1. Thank you katie. It does still hurt but so much good has come through her loss and good will continue to come from the loss. We just can’t know how God does, and will, use her.

  38. Thank you so much for posting this blog! It was really well written, I love the detail you put in. I found out that she got shot the night of before she had passed, and I prayed as I went to bed, and I woke up to see the news. I was pretty heartbroken, she was and is so talented, she was a great example for people to follow, and I loved watching her videos, especially the funny ones. I still have some trouble with it, but I know she’s happy now in Heaven, and I know God has a plan for everything. I’ve been a fan for a few years, and unfortunately never got to meet her, but I look forward to the day I will in Heaven. Your words brought comfort to me, and I am praying for her family, friends, BYE, and anybody mourning her loss. She’s not dead, she’s alive.

  39. Thank you so much Dr. McDonough for writing this. I know if a lot of people see this, it will serve as an inspiration to them and will encourage them to keep their faith towards Him. God is really good all the time and everything happens for a reason. Our lives have limitations and we cannot really blame God if He has to end it. Christina is such an amazing person, even by means of being famous, as well as your kids, they are such a good role model to us generation because nowadays, people took advantage to whatever blessings they receive from God. So I am so thankful because God gave them their job to inspire many people like me. and as a huge fan of your sons, I never regret loving them in fact, my love and support keep on growing more and more not just because of their careers and music but also because of who they are and what kind of life you have given them and I am truly impressed that you and Mrs. Joan McDonough have raised them very well. I’m not that religious person and I have made many mistakes against God’s will but I still put my faith up high on Him. I’m sure if Christina reads this, she will be smiling from above. God Bless you and your family Dr. Mark and keep on writing inspirational stories that will give hopes and will make other people realize that God always has better plans ahead for them if they may have faced the darkness in life. Thank you once again.

    1. Thanks Syra. None of us is perfect or free from sin and I remain grateful for my relationship with Jesus which salvation depends upon. Thanks for your support of BYE too. None of us knows when our last day will come and that’s all the more reason to love one another while we can.

  40. The fact that she was ready was actually all I needed to find peace with her death. She inspired me so much even though I was a fan for barely 2 and a half years. I deal with stage fright (which only started when I went to secondary school) and I also had a rebellious past but I was ready for a change when I was 13. Even time I was about to break, she was there, spiritually, I don’t know how but she was. Both her and your sons have inspired me so much and helped me through the hardest times that her death really took a toll on me. It hurt a lot, but after reading this I felt nothing but peace. The way she died could’ve been avoided but she could never avoid her death. It was God’s way of saying time is up and no matter how much we thought she could’ve been alive now, she wouldn’t. God would’ve still taken her (At least that’s what my religion – Buddhism believes) away from us but I guess this was His way of telling humanity it was time to wake up and realise that USA had to do something about their gun laws, so He took her away in such a horrible way. I’ve rambled for quite a while now but hopefully I got my point across. Thank you Dr. McDonough.

  41. I am one of BYE’s biggest fans, and one of Christina’s too. I’m just a fan a thousand miles away from where she lived, and I’ve never had the honour of meeting her, or seeing her sing live, but her death really hurt me deep in my heart because it just wasn’t fair.
    This is a beautiful article that does her justice, and I hope all you guys are okay.
    Love to you and Connor and Riley and Toby, and everyone else who knew and loved Christina,
    Samhita <3

  42. There is one question that has been bothering me ever since this happened and I’d love to finally get the answer. Since she was meeting fans while it happened, did any of them witness her being shot? I know this might be a weird question but I can’t get it out of my head and it has kept me awake for several nights.

    I got really emotional while reading your blog and I wish you, and your sons, the best of luck with everything that the future holds.

    1. Helen:
      Yes a few of the fans and her brother Marcus were standing there but most didn’t see the actual shooting as it was so fast. Nearly all ran quickly to the front of the venue, into bathrooms, and out the side doors. I went to help the shooter (not knowing who he was at first) but he was dead.There were only a few of us still next to her when EMS arrived. keep the faith Helen and pray for everyone. Thanks

  43. Thank you Mark. While was raised in a church going family, I have grown apart from organized religion, especially since my 48 year old wife was taken by cancer. I strangely have been following some very religious artists such as Christina, Lindsey Stirling, and Tiffany Alvord. Their sharing of their religion through music and words have often given me a warm feeling and sense peace. Thanks for the detailed blog. It seems Christina suffered little and was “ready” even at her young age. I too was not angry at what happened but rather shocked and wondering why. Reading your blog numerous times has started to give me healing too. I met Christina on TheVoiceTour a couple years back and hoped to see her this year, but had previously scheduled vacation when she was in Chicago. I considered cancelling the vacation but though I would have many more years to see her.

    1. She, like many artists today was not afraid to declare her faith. Thanks for your feedback. Follow BYE too; they thought of Christina as a sister and they definitely share her faith.

  44. I think we need to read this article every time when we are in pain of losing somebody. it has been a month and I was listening to Christina’s songs and staying in pain. Then I found this. After I read this article, I’ve gained hope and happiness. This made me better. THANK YOU for all of those. I’ll keep them in my mind.

  45. April McKnight

    Hi Mark. Thank you for giving me those words. I’ve cried a lot from Christina’s death. And I still can’t go on without thinking of her every single day. If I end up crying about something, I always end up crying harder because I end up thinking about Christina. She was such an inspiration to me. I have regrets on not missing school to see her because she was my number one. I question if she knows how much I loved her, now that she’s in heaven. I wonder if they can feel that or understand that from there. Or maybe they dont even worry about people anymore. 😮
    You know, Mark. Ever since that day, I have had an empty feeling in my heart, and I’ve felt like I’ve got into a sense of depression. I know Christina doesnt want it. But I can’t help, but be so sad. Sometimes, I cry so bad that I wonder “Where are you right now God? Are you watching me cry? Are you disappointed in me for being sad? Can Christina see me? But.. She doesn’t know me.” I’m a strong Catholic, but sometimes I think that too. Christina wrote comments on my drawings for her a long time ago. But I also don’t know if the dead can remember everything. One of my biggest fears is forgetting every memory when I die.
    Mark? This is the one question that I have been thinking about everyday. I’d like if you could give me an insight of what youd think. This– Do you think Christina felt the pain? Since you said she was trying to take a breath and that she still had a pulse? I always look up pain for bullet wounds to the head just because I think about it so often.
    Once again, Thank you Mark for your words of comfort. You’re helping all of us. May you heal and be happy too.

  46. Jessica Fridrich

    Beautiful article, thanks for sharing mr. Mark.

    Christina was my inspiration for many years . i hope she doesnt feel anything when the bullet hit her.

  47. Pingback: 5 Stages of Grief: The Effects of Tragedy and Loss - Dr. Mark McDonough

  48. I wanted to say thank you so much for posting this. You are right that God has a perfect will for each person’s life. Thank you for sharing this from a Christian perspective.

    My brother Rusty got diagnosed with leukemia a little over a year ago when he was about to go on a chorale missions trip to Albania with our college, The Master’s College. It was the hardest thing my family had, and has ever had to deal with. I was constantly humbled by realizing that I couldn’t take away the pain of what he has had to go through. However, he has used what he has gone through to bring glory to God. He has been able to sing to the hospital and be a light for the Gospel in a such an environment that he could reach because of his faith through hardship and pain.

    I have teared up reading this article about Christina that you wrote as well as the Twitter responses by your sons. Your guys’ faith is such an encouragement to me, especially in a world that so often denies the Truth.

    In this life, there is persecution, but we know that God is in control and that He wins the battle.

    God bless,

  49. Thank you X 10000 … for having written this amazing blog ..
    I met your boys and Christina in Paris and it was a dream .. I want to tell you how much I’m proud of them .. You’re my hapiness in this sad moment .. Here in France it’s very difficult in this moment with attacks and your blog helping me everyday ..
    Thank you again for everything.
    You’re an Incredible family ♡
    Much Love ..

    Sorry, my english is far to be perfect. .

  50. Thank you Doc for putting this blog out on the net. Reading this really helped me crystallize my thoughts about this tragic incident. So she is gone now, but I believe that her influence had never been stronger before than now. Just like Jesus, Christina is a martyr. Based on your description of her, I think if she and the killer had met on the other side, she would have, with a sincere and open heart, forgiven him. This image had been playing in my mind for days after I read your article Doc, and I am very much in awe of her character (even though it is just my imagination). I believe now I can really empathize with the concept of “turning the other cheek”, when previously I can only think of retaliation. Now, I can truly understand how attractive and just plain awesome it is to be magnanimous.

    Heck, I even got a parting gift of sorts at her memorial. On Youtube, I remember watching the Pastor talking about “All Is Vanity” and how Christina had grasped that concept at an early age, how it had taught her humility and help her stay grounded as an artist. It made me look up the Ecclesiastes 1:2, and finally gave me the answer to a question that I had been pondering for a long time: the difference between Wisdom and Knowledge. (the answer involves the virtue of Humility, but this will be another topic, too long to write here).

    So Christina Grimmie was not my numero uno favourite entertainer before Jun 2016, but now that she is gone, I had been poring over her stuff non-stop for a whole month now. AATIRs, her originals, covers, the Death Note anime, even looking at L in a new light… I feel like I lost a classmate or something even though I have never met her and she is like half a world away and half a decade younger.

    But this loss did inspire me to treasure whatever relationships I have right now with every fibre of my being. Coz yu never know when it will all end.

    Finally, I wish to thank Christina Grimmie for being such an inspirational figure. I thank Dr McDonough for helping me organize my chaotic thoughts regarding this tragedy so that I can tease out the inspiring life lessons, for providing this comment section so I can write everything down, and thanks to all teamgrimmie frands here who take the time to read my too-long post. May we be wise and prosper together. Teamgrimmie RAWKS!

    1. Ron: Thanks for your feedback; it’s much appreciated. You’ve obviously spent some time thinking about it and have been emotionally affected in a large way. Thanks for taking the time to “organize” your thoughts as I’ve no doubt they’ll leave a lasting impression on other readers of the post. Keep following and thanks again.

  51. Thankyou so so much for this. Yes its true, Christina was ready, she’s always been ready to meet Jesus. From her actions and from her words, I would see Jesus through her life. For that , she’d became my greatest inspiration and I would like to live the way she did. I only heard of her the day she passed, but since then, I’ve been watching all her videos day by day . We shall meet her in heaven, but until then, she’ll continue to live in this world through her music and through her legacy.

    1. Jack: Thanks so much for commenting from Humble Texas. I’m glad you like the posts and look forward to any and all feedback. It’s always inspirational for me to hear that people benefit from the posts. Keep following and let me know how you feel about future posts.

  52. Thanks for writing this. There is great comfort in knowing that she didn’t suffer, was happy and full of God’s love.

    I was blessed to meet her twice last February here in Dallas. Once after the video shoot for “Without Him” where I was a crowd extra. (Side note: I think “Without Him” also refers to Jesus) At that meeting I got to tell her that her song “I Bet You Don’t Curse God” got me through my wife’s (of 38 years) heart valve surgery from the moment the doctor called with a stern voice and the test results through her recovery. I told her quote “Your song helped me keep my sanity, composure and Faith”. She was visibly touched by that. Just before parting I also said “YOU, have made a difference. Not many people your age can say that.” She almost cried and we hugged again.

    I met her again after the concert 2 days later and she remembered me. She was as special as they come.

    Thanks again. Bless you, BYE and all who knew and loved her.

  53. Pingback: When Billy Joel's Song Hits Close to Home - Dr. Mark McDonough

  54. Pingback: 3 Tips for Rolling with the Seasons Of Life - Dr. Mark McDonough

  55. Hey Dr. Mark! I contacted you through your contact tab a couple of days ago! It’s about my experience with Christina. If you could reply that’d be great

  56. i would have called myself an agnostic person.. and i did not know who Christina was before i heard about her terrible accident.. i cannot stop thinking about Christina Grimmie.. i cannot stop thinking, if only she could avoid what happened to her, i could give up my everything.. i desperately hope she is in heaven.. i really want at least that to be true.. but of course i cannot be sure heaven really exists.. i don’t have proof heaven exists.. maybe i am not suppose to ask for proof that heaven exists.. maybe that is the key.. if Christina is not in heaven, it would be too unfair and i don’t ever want to believe that.

    1. Dennis: Thanks for your comments and for following the blog. Most importantly, thanks for loving Christina and the things she stood for. I’m always comforted by my faith in the Word, and I have no doubt there is a heaven and Christina will be there as Christ has promised all believers in Him.
      Evidence supporting the Truth of the bible is irrefutable and I believe it with all of my heart. But also, my personal experience (see narrative on my Near Death Experience in bio) is part of my personal testimony and a truth I can’t deny.
      Finally, as a physician I am also a scientist. Thus, like many men of science I do not believe that scientific evidence is exclusive of Creationism, when examined closely. In fact, more than anything, science supports the idea of a supreme Creator (God) by its confirmation of complex phenomena that can’t be explained by any other means. Keep the faith Dennis and thanks again for following.

  57. I’m so sorry for what you had to experience that day. This helps me in more ways than I thought it would, and I can’t believe I’m only reading this now. It has put me at a greater peace. Christina lived a life of love, and I’m so honored to have witnessed it. We’re so lucky to be where we are, and we should be nothing but joyful about Christina’s life. Thank you for these words, you’ve helped me tremendously. “God is good, all the time”.

    1. Thank you Skylar. Her life was one of authenticity and she touched many others. Thanks for your comments, especially for the reminder that “God is good, all the time.” Keep following and share with others!

  58. Jeizel Marie Berdin

    Hi sir, I left a comment as a visitor yesterday and was hoping to receive a reply from you but when I scroll won to all comments it’s gone. Yet, it’s okay. still wishing you more power and blessings for you and your family.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top