Chaplain Recalls Comforting Moore Parents Who Lost Children

Monday, June 3rd 2013, 8:51 pm
By: News 9

So many people have rushed to help those affected by May's deadly tornadoes. This includes a volunteer chaplain who was called in to comfort those families who lost children inside Plaza Towers Elementary School.

After the tornado hit, many of the families who had children in Plaza Towers elementary school were brought to the Abundant Life Church, where volunteer chaplain Jack Poe and several others had to give those families the worst news of their lives.

Poe says May 20 is a day he will not soon forget.

"My heart's broken because I know we have multiple, multiple deaths," he said.

Poe lives in Moore and his home was spared. However, it was his job to tell the families of these precious school children, that they would not be coming home from school.

Complete Coverage: May 2013 Tornado Outbreak

"Looking into the eyes of these people who are pacing and to see the pain the uncertainty that's there, and we would just simply say we're waiting word from the school officials at that time," he remembers.

Another challenge was to find out which funeral home would be chosen to bury the children.

"How many people have planned to lose a child and have money to pay for a funeral?" he asked himself.

Thankfully a group of funeral directors stepped in to provide those services for free.

"My heart just leaped with joy that at least we could say to these families we are going to take care of you and your needs at this moment," he said.

Poe knows these families have a long road ahead of them, though. He was the chaplain during the Oklahoma City bombing, and knows everyone will have to find strength from somewhere, whether it's a comforting word from the bible or a comforting shoulder to cry on.

"The difference between a victim and a survivor is that victims focus on what they can't change and survivors focus on what they can," Poe said.