This past week one of my youth received the phone call that his girlfriend was hit by a car and didn’t make it. She was 17 years old and walking across the street to her car when her life was taken from her. Of course this was very hard on the young man, to find out that his close friend had passed away out of no where.
What do you do with that? What do you say? I remember when I found out the news and having never met the girl was speechless. Seventeen years old.
It reminded me of the people that I have lost in my life. Some expected and some not so much. All of my grandparents are gone. My granddad died when I was very young and I didn’t really get a chance to know him. From the stories I have heard I know he was a great man .
I grew up with my other grandparents however, and was very close to all of them. I remember as if it were yesterday standing beside my Mammaw’s bed as she drew her last breath. It brings tears to my eyes as I am writing this.
We lived next door to my grandparents, and I remember vividly one night my mom telling me that I may want to go visit with her. I could tell by the way she said it that this could be the last time I would get to see her. It didn’t sink in with me immediately. I had a friend over that night so he and I started walking across the yard. About half way it hit me that I was on my way to see my grandma for what could be the last time. I broke down right there in the yard. My friend of course had no idea what to do. He just put his arm around me and we sat there. That’s all I needed him to do.
Several years ago I received a phone call in the middle of the night. The voice on the other end of the line said that one of our youth (who we were very close to) had been in a very bad car accident and it didn’t look good. The next day, around noon, I received another phone call to let me know that John had passed away. I had no words. I didn’t know what to think. I didn’t know how to feel. What would I tell the other kids who were very close to him. He was 16 years old. I had just seen him the night before. I had many questions and still do not have the answers.
In these situations there are not always answers. There are not always words to say. There is confusion, anger, bitterness, sorrow, and many other emotions. I am reminded of a story in the Bible when Jesus came into town right in the middle of his friend’s funeral. He sees the hurt that the people are experiencing and the text says he was “deeply moved and troubled” and then he wept. Jesus the Son Of God wept. This brings great comfort to me. It lets me know that whatever I am feeling in these moments of great loss… it is ok. Its ok to lose it in the middle of the yard. Its ok to ask questions. Its even ok to be angry. Whatever we are feeling. Its ok. For Jesus wept!