A week after his suicide, the three sons of Pastor Andrew Stoecklein of Inland Hills Church in Chino, California, have finally been told he died and his oldest is “incredibly heartbroken.”
Stoecklein’s widow, Kayla, revealed on Instagram how it “crushed” her to tell her three boys that their father wouldn’t be coming home again. Her oldest son, Smith, who recently started pre-k, she said, asked her heartbreaking questions like, “Why didn’t he say goodbye?”
“Telling the boys yesterday was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. It crushed me. Our oldest son Smith had the most difficult time processing everything. He is such a smart boy and is incredibly heartbroken,” she wrote.
“The types of questions he asked really shocked me. ‘Are you and daddy still married?’ ‘Did the doctors know daddy was going to die?’ ‘Why didn’t he say goodbye?’ ‘What is my life going to be like without daddy?’
“These are questions a 5 year old shouldn’t be asking. These are questions a 29 year old mommy shouldn’t be answering. I hate that I can’t protect them from their grief. I hate that the only way to move forward is to walk through it. There is so much unknown for all of us,” the young widow explained.
Despite not knowing what the future held for her young family, Kayla Stoecklein expressed faith that God will sustain her family.
“The unknown is daunting. This isn’t the life I dreamed about, but I know God is with me. This isn’t the life I prayed for, but I know God will provide. This isn’t fair, this isn’t right, this doesn’t feel real, but I know God is greater, stronger, and bigger. God is for me, with me, and beside me. He is wrapping his loving arms around me and my boys and reminding us even now that He has got this too. #godsgotthis,” she ended in the post.
Tamrin Olden, crime prevention supervisor with the City of Chino Police Department, told The Christian Post that at about 11:08 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 24, they received a call from Inland Hills Church about an attempted suicide. When they arrived, they identified Pastor Stoecklein as the victim who would die hours later at a local hospital.
Pastor Stoecklein had been battling mental and physical health issues at the time of his death.
In his first message at the church on his return from a four-month-long sabbatical on Aug. 12, Stoecklein who turned 30 in May, revealed that even though his church was doing well financially and they were attracting record-setting attendance, he had been falling apart for several months.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair