Healing After Tragedy: Chapman Copes With Loss of Daughter

"We have talked a lot. And you will hear all of us talk about the process of grieving with hope. That's what has kept us breathing, kept us alive is that while we are grieving this process, there is a hope that we have that we're anchored to in the midst of just what sometimes seems unbearable," said Chapman.

Sitting by her husband's side, Mary Beth added emotionally, "I've said, you know, somewhat coldly, 'I don't care whose lives are touched by this story and whose lives are changed or what good comes of it.' As the heart of a mom, I want Maria back."

Crying, she continued, "And that's -- you know, that's what I want people to know is I want Maria back. But because I know that she is completely whole because of my faith, I know that she's completely whole and completely OK and I'm going to see her again. As a mom, I have to shift that grief to go."

For Chapman and his wife, grieving for Maria and maintaining the strength to comfort their other five children has been extremely difficult.

Mary Beth described her other children and the lives they lead: "I have Emily who's getting married and her fiancé, Tanner, and Caleb and his girlfriend, Julia, and Will Franklin. You know, he's my baby boy. And then Shaoey and Stevey, and my grief gets shifted to making sure there as whole and as healthy as they can be.

She added, however, "But it's the heart of a mom, I'd like to have Maria back."

For the three oldest Chapman children, Emily, Caleb and Will, healing comes through couseling, faith and the unwavering love of family.

"Obviously it's been really hard, you know, just the past couple months," said Will about his sister's death.

Will described his siblings' show of support and love: "I started running after the accident, you know, and started just running away from the house. And I remember Caleb was the first one to run and kind of just jump on me and hold me. And then Shaoey was right there by him."

"To me, you know, that meant a ton... I didn't really want to be at the house, I just wanted to be away. And I was just freaking out," Will continued.

In addition to his supportive family, Will also turned to faith to help him through.

"I've gotten str-- a stronger faith through all this, you know, and more faith through all this. But then there's those days, you know, that just hit you and you're just, like, 'Oh, man, this is just awful.' But-- you just gotta continue to choose to live. And that's the faith that, that continues to keep me going, you know."

Will's siblings described the strength of the Chapman family's support system.

"When you see someone hurting and you see someone burdened, you want to take that burden from 'em. And because you-- I-- you'd rather endure that pain than see your brother, in this case my for real brother endure that pain," said Caleb.

"Grief is this windy road," said his sister Emily. "And sometimes you turn the corner and you've got a straightaway and it's beautiful. And then you can turn a corner at the end of that straightaway and it's thunderstorms and mountains and it can be hard, even within the same day."

Chapman said that the accident made the family question their faith in God.

"My son said the other day that, you know, 'Yeah, we are family.'... But we're a family with a lot of questions," Steven Curtis Chapman said. "But that's what faith is. It's living with the questions. That doesn't mean you have the answers. That's exactly what faith is."

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