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September 20th, 2013
07:00 PM ET

Kay Warren on learning of her son Matthew's suicide: "We knew...by that time, we knew"

Thanks to a huge response following Piers Morgan's exclusive interview with Rick and Kay Warren, tonight CNN is re-airing the raw and heart-wrenching face to face conversation that touches upon everything from life and death, to gun control and mental health.

A well-known American evangelical Christian pastor, Warren and his wife Kay Warren lost their son Matthew to a self-inflicted gunshot wound in April, and in the first interview since their personal tragedy, the Warren's share intimate details of the day they learned of their son's passing:

"We drove over to Matthew's house," describes Matthew's mother. "The lights were on. I could see in his window, the lights were on. And I started ringing the doorbell and banging on the door. Now, typically, he would have said 'go away,' or come to the door and invite me in. He did nothing. That was not his pattern. And so I had a pretty good sense that perhaps something catastrophic had happened."

Knowing of their son's emotional battles, the Warren's soon found themselves facing a daunting decision:

"He had also told us that if we called the police, that he would take his life instantly. So a call to the police was an instant suicide," Kay reveals in Tuesday evening's exclusive interview. "I was living with that horrible, horrible choice of do I call the police and perhaps intervene or do I take that risk if I call that he instantly kills himself? So we just had to wait."

When Kay's text messages to Matthew continued to go unanswered, the Warren's returned to their son's home the following day:

"There was nothing. And so we went back to the house, his house. It looked exactly the same," the grieving mother reveals to the "Piers Morgan Live" host. "The same lights were on. We knew. By that time, we knew."

When the unthinkable became reality, and the death of their son was all but confirmed, Rick Warren recalls feelings of a complete emotional breakdown:

"We were sobbing. We were just sobbing. The day that I had feared might happen one day, since he had been born, and the day that I had prayed would never happen, happened," shares the senior pastor of Saddleback Church. "I remember, as we stood in the driveway just embracing each other and sobbing."

Watch the above clip for more details of the Warren's learning of their son's death, and for the entire interview with the man who leads the eighth-largest church in the United States, tune in to CNN tonight at 9.
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soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Katherine

    While any suicide is tragic, and it is easy to see that the point of this interview was the access to a gun by a mentally ill young man, there is another angle to this story. Children of people who practice extreme religious fundamentalism suffer mental problems, exhibited in many ways....depression, cutting, all sorts of problems. As leaders in a church like this, they have made their living preying on vulnerable people. I am sorry for their loss, but here they are, on tv, using the publicity for their benefit.

    September 21, 2013 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. H

    Katherine, I am wondering just what you mean by "extreme religious fundamentalism", and how many times you have visited their church in order to come to the conclusion that this church is "extreme"? Who do you personally know that they have" preyed" upon? And have you met with this couple yourself, and learned what their motives were in appearing on CNN with Piers Morgan? If not... this sounds like a blanket judgement on those who perhaps have morals and a belief system that may differ from yours... there are terrorists who kill for exactly the same reason...

    Certainly there have been infamous televangelists who have been unscrupulous in their use of their position, and indeed preyed upon others to satisfy their greed and lust for power. There have also been stock brokers, coaches, teachers, law enforcement officers, foster parents etc, etc who have also misused their power and position to take advantage of others. Yet we don't paint everyone in these professions in an unfavorable light. That would be lazy, ignorant thinking would it not??

    September 23, 2013 at 12:18 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. chuck johnson

    Piers you are a disgusting coward of a man, its people like you that cause me to never watch the communist news network, go back where you are from.

    September 23, 2013 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Gloria

    Disappointed that I could not see the last minutes of the interview..Wanted to recall the verse that Mrs. Warren recited so I could share it with a friend who lost a relative the same way. Oh my..I have many friends who are ministers and their children are wonderful examples of their faithfulness to the Lord...

    November 15, 2013 at 10:48 am | Report abuse | Reply
  5. messek

    que dieu vous béniss dans les bon moment comme les mauvais amen god bless

    February 10, 2014 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse | Reply

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