Scrolling through Facebook a lump finds its way to my throat on what seems to be an every-other-day basis. The lump isn’t one that’s created at the sight of an abandoned puppy or that of a sad scenario facing one of our coasts after a devastating hurricane. Rather, it’s typically something, or someone, that’s a little closer to home.
I don’t hold the answers to all of life’s problems and I most certainly don’t hold the “right words” for times such as these. But perhaps, the words I’ve found on my heart this evening can impact the way each of us appreciate our own lives and the lives of those that are unfortunately foregone.
The earthly lives of so many young people are cut short by the standard we all find ourselves setting day in and day out. This might sound a little harsh but it’s how I think most of us feel. We expect to one day come home and hear the news that one of our grandparents have passed or that the old man who used to be our bus driver in kindergarten has a funeral visitation set for Wednesday night. But we never expect the 2:30 in the morning wake up call that one of our brothers or sisters have passed. We don’t expect to see the obituary of an underclassmen pop up on Facebook. We don’t expect to wake up the following morning with one less sibling in the house. We just don’t expect to lose people at a young age. Because well, that’s not how life is supposed to work. Or is it?
We all have these ideals that people are supposed to live until they’re “old” and that a life cut short must mean that “it was their time to go”. While both of those statements are so easy to say, they’re often much harder to believe, let alone accept.
No matter the age we lose someone there’s so many emotions that must be faced.
It’s the accepting of the “lasts” to me that was the hardest when losing my brother, another person gone too soon. When I think of the last Christmas we shared together, the last words we had spoken to one another, the last time I clutched his hand, all of the “lasts” seem to flood my memory at once and cause an indescribable ache in the heart and a wave of nausea. Those feelings never pass. Or at least they haven’t for me.
Perhaps those feelings are the most difficult to accept when they hit. Because when you consider the “lasts” it means there are “no more” to come.
I sincerely believe the “lasts” are the most difficult of things to accept when it comes to losing a young one. Mainly because they were never expected. A heart cannot prepare for losing someone young because even if it’s a diagnosis that says one will only live to be 12 or 22, that’s just not supposed to be the way life works. Or is it?
I have now said that a couple of times because in the last few years that I’ve gone unguided on how to deal with loss I’ve developed my own views on why “the good die young”.
Perhaps the good die young not because “it was their time” or that because “their purpose was fulfilled”. But perhaps they pass because it’s not either of those things. Perhaps they leave their earthly lives behind because they’re not meant to truly die.
As we all pass I believe we leave something behind. Perhaps we leave specific traditions to be followed for years to come or maybe we simply leave a little “catchphrase” behind to be said from time to time and as the words trickle off the tongues of those we’ve left behind a smile is drawn across their face, while their heart smiles equally as big. Whatever it is we leave behind, no matter WHEN we leave, we all leave some sort of legacy behind.
I don’t mean to minimize the importance of those who do live to see 80 or older, but I do, however, mean to magnify the significance that lives cut short have on each of us.
It was just a few short months ago that one of my dear friends lost her brother to a car accident. It was one of the first passings of a young person, since my brother Andrew, that truly “slapped me in the face” for a lack of better words.
Blaze was one of the most beautiful people I had ever met. He spoke with conviction when he talked about his love for ALL people, something that is rare these days. Blaze and I didn’t talk often but when we did it was in the form of Instagram comments or funny Christmas cards. He was maybe one of the youngest people I’d felt a connection to that had passed away, other than my brother. He lived states away and I only hung out with him in person a handful of times, but somehow I felt connected to him on a level that still surpasses my understanding. But with his passing, I truly accepted the statement that “the good die young”.
When I reflect back upon all the memories I have shared with those who have passed young, no matter how significant my relationship was with that individual, I truly believe that my heart is more beautiful for meeting each of them.
Each young soul my heart has passed, I’ve ALWAYS wished there was more of “something” in the world each of them offered. Whether it’s been the contagious smile of one, the profound confidence of another, or the recognizable, from a mile away, yet undeniably genuine laugh of someone else, there’s something about each of them that made the world we live in a lot more beautiful.
Those unique characteristics that each young soul shared with the world are the very attributes that allow them to live on forever; because as those of us who remain on earth live each day, those who have left us behind live to see another day, not in an earthly sense but in our hearts.
The lives that leave us far too soon, while cut far too short, have never lacked in purpose or meaning.
The Lord knows exactly what He’s doing when He places certain people in our lives and in the paths of the people the young meet. It is with profound conviction, I believe that everyone who crosses the life of a young one to go too soon, feels some sort of profound appreciation for life.
Because of those that leave us too soon, I feel that each of us feel like better people for having had the blessing to have known them. I feel that because of those that leave us too soon, the world ultimately ends up being more beautiful. Not because they’re gone. But because they live on.
With the people I reflect back on and realize have left us far too soon, I know that The Lord makes the most perfect of angels to leave the ways of His abundant love as permanent prints on the hearts of all they cross and sometimes, He calls those angels home a little too early.
While I know this is a hard belief to grasp, I believe the life that awaits all of us, whether we pass at 80 or 18 is not a temporary one, and it’s not just an eternal one, but a perfect one.
And because of that, I know the good die young because the good, while young, deserve a life that never ceases and a life that never disappoints.
Looking forward to the day I see all of the young again,