That is Jason Tippetts and his children, the day after the mother Kara died after her long battle with cancer. He captions this photo on his Facebook page:
Bike ride at the park, stories about mom, ice cream – the joy and sorrow of life.
Look at those faces. There is nothing but joy. I fell asleep last night praying for Kara, and woke up this morning praying for her, and I swear, I felt nothing but joy and light — and I felt kind of guilty for that, until just now, when I saw the image of this family on Facebook.
This is Kara’s gift to those she loved most. She prepared her little family well.
This is what it means to live. I am in awe. I thought I had seen everything there was to see in Kara’s story, but this is over the top. Let the bright shining faces of the family that lost her only yesterday be the testimony to Kara Tippetts’s life and faith. If you want to know how this, the hardest peace, came to be, buy Kara’s book. Look, once again, at the trailer for the documentary someone is making about her:
UPDATE: When I posted this, I thought most people would see it as a sign of hope, as evidence that the faith and love that Kara showered on her family, and her preparing them for the time when she would no longer be here, had been wise and compassionate. Kara and I corresponded from time to time. I read her work, and I know from those private letters how much she suffered, and how she was anything but a Pollyanna about her pain, and the pain her family was enduring because of her cancer. Kara Tippetts was utterly realistic. I certainly understand people not agreeing, but I have been shocked by some of the vitriol this simple photograph has drawn forth from some commenters. I am going to close comments, because life is hard enough for the Tippetts family now without having to read such harsh judgment visited on them for smiling through the pain.