Monday, August 12, 2013

For Those Who Remain

One year ago today a beautiful, intelligent, confident, funny and sassy young woman by the name of Kristen was gunned down and killed at the age of 22.  She had just graduated from college and returned to Boston.  She was the daughter of my former pastor and we sang many, many songs and endured many, many long rehearsals together in the choir.

I don't have many words to say.  I will not try to defend God.  I will not quote any scriptures; this is not the time for Bible study.  I will not try to be encouraging.  There's no point with grief like this and all of the encouraging things people say just ring hollow anyway.  I will not try to make sense of any of this.  It's simply not possible.

All I can say is that life is a slippery and precious gift that can slip right out of our hands at any moment.  Whether death comes slowly and gently, reaching us in old age like an old friend who's come to take us home or whether death comes swiftly, mercilessly and unexpectedly, none of us are immune.  We all live our entire lives in vulnerability, never knowing when the next breath we take will be our last.

For those of us who remain for the time being, what are we doing with our lives?  How are we using the small number of days allotted to us on this side?  Are there things we want to change?  Are there people we want to forgive?  Are there dreams we want to pursue?  Now is the time.  Don't waste another moment.  We don't know how many we have left.

Kristen's death shook me to the core and forced me to take a good hard look at my life and make some changes.  For all of us who are still mourning her death, for everyone mourning the sudden loss of a loved one,  may all of the grief, pain and sadness be transformed into catalysts for us living the best life that we can, while we can by the grace of God.

Following the Way,