Clinging to God Through the Loss of a Daughter


When my children, which I have four of, were very young, I had asked, prayed, and begged God to never take my children from me.  I love them so much. They were my life, just as any child is to a parent. If He did, I knew I would be a basket case.  

My daughter, Jillian, who was 26 years old at the time, was murdered on October 21, 2015 by her estranged husband.  


A friend of Jill’s contacted me at work and was concerned because she was not answering her phone.  Jillian was living with me at the time.  So, I went home on my lunch break to check on her.  At first I could not find her. I searched every room, then went further into her bedroom and found her lying on the floor, motionless. Apparently there had been a struggle because the wall had indentations in it from her body being slammed into it.  Her beautiful blue eyes were rolled back in her head, her mouth was open because there was a sock in it and then covered with duct tape.  She also had the cord to her oscillating fan wrapped around her neck and was tied in a knot.  Later on, her husband’s comment was “I never killed anyone before and I wanted to be sure she was dead.” A vision and words I will live with for the rest of my life.


I just wanted to give you some of the details, not to be pitied, but for you to realize that tragedies happen.  Where will you go and what will you do if/when tragedy, pain, discomfort, sadness, and anger finds you?  How will you handle it?

I am able to stand here today because of the grace and love of my God.  Without Him, I would be that basket case.  I never got angry with God.  I believe God does have a purpose for everything.  If not, I would not be here today.  Reading the highlighted areas in Jill’s Bible, I believe Jillian is in God’s glorious kingdom and for that I am thankful.


As for her husband, yes, he is in jail for the next 20 to 40 years.  Yes, I do pray for him and yes, I have forgiven him.  I do not agree that what he did is right, but it is out of my hands and into God’s.  I believe, love, and trust in God.


And if I may, I would like to thank Everyone over the past 5 ½ years for keeping my Jillian alive with your ladybugs.  I was so afraid she would be forgotten, but you are not letting that happen and I am so grateful and humbled. 


Thank you!


Joan Cottone