Sunday, August 18, 2013

Gone Without Goodbye

This post is probably going to be the most personal post I've written.  But for me sharing through writing is cathartic so I need to write this out.  This past week a tragedy happened within my school family and within my personal family's life.  To keep the backstory short, here's a little of what happened...

In February of 2013, a co-worker of mine lost her 26 year old son to cancer (colon cancer I believe).  It was a tragic blow to our school family to watch this family go through the pain of losing a child.  Then on Thursday morning, this same family had another blow dealt to them.  Their 18 year old daughter got into a head on collision on her way to breakfast with friends and had to be life-flighted to a hospital.  Through the next 48 hours they had to say goodbye to their 18 year old daughter because of the damage sustained in the car crash.  It was absolutely heart breaking to watch this family lose two children within a year.

It was also much more personal to my family.  Because you see, a little over a year ago I married my wife, Liz.  The mother of this family mentioned above, is the one who set my now wife and I up on our first blind date.  The 18 year old mentioned above was also one of my wife's, Liz's, best friends and a bridesmaid in our wedding.  Spending Thursday and Friday up at the hospital waiting on the doctors to finish surgery after surgery was hard to watch the family go through the pain, but it was also difficult to watch my wife deal with the agony of losing one of her best friends and especially at such a young age.

The tragedy is still fresh in all of our lives.  Every body deals with grief in different ways and at some point we all choose to ask God, "why?".  Why would this family have to go through not one but the loss of two children in less than 6 months?  What's the purpose?  And being a man of faith, I haven chosen and will continue to believe that every thing that happens in our lives happens for a reason.  Reasons we can't understand, and will never truly understand.

Tragedies don't make sense.  Losing someone close to us, never makes sense.  And honestly I don't know how people make it through tragedies like this without any faith.  But like the mother of this family told us, her children are now dancing together in heaven with their Heavenly Father.  And I know that Natalie and Michael are in a much better place, and I know that I will see them again one day.

So today, and this week, and this month, and this year as you go through your life make sure you remind those around you that you love them.  Don't miss any opportunities that you are given.  Because life is precious, and life can be gone in an instant.