It never gets easy. It doesn’t matter how many times it happens. It is always one of the roughest things to deal with.
I’m talking about death. We’ve all encountered it at some point. Whether it is dealing with a family pet, a friend or a family member. We’ve all been there, and it’s not fun.
My dog died not too long ago. It was rough, but not as rough as it could have been. I found out right before I was about to go on the air for A-Sun TV, so I had no time to be emotional.
That was minor, though.
When I was 14 I lost my grandfather. Without even thinking about it I can tell you that was the most emotional I have ever been. I could hardly control myself.
He got really sick during one of my baseball tournaments that summer. I would visit him before each practice and he would always tell me one thing, “Don’t try and hit it too hard, just hit it.”
Best advice I ever got. I applied it to almost everything. Doesn’t it make more sense to just do something and do it right rather than try and overdo it and completely fail? I’d much rather get a single or take a walk rather than striking out with nothing to show for it. Grandaddy was all about taking it slow and getting it done right. By it I mean his life. He got it right.
Last year I dealt with the loss of a friend, Jeremy. No one called him Jeremy, so I won’t call him that here. JermV passed away in May of 2009 in a very unfortunate accident. It took everyone by surprise. Prepare yourselves for this story, it’s a tough one.
A few days before his death Jerm changed his life. He talked to his parents about his faith and how he wanted to revive himself with the help of the Lord. He told all his friends what he was doing for himself, and everyone was so excited about what the future held for Jerm.
However, that accident cut Jerm’s life short. However, his death meant that a lot of others would be reborn. There was an invitation at his funeral, and dozens of people gave themselves up to the Lord. It was one of the more powerful things I have ever been a part of. They played the song “Lightning Crashes” by Live at the funeral. I cannot think of a more fitting song.
Even though I had only known him for a little over four years, Jerm definitely had an impact on me. He introduced me to the music that I like, he was always happy and he had an awesome truck. What high school kid doesn’t want to have a cool truck?
His death was hard on me because for the first time, we were going to go on a road trip together. He and I were going to Atlanta to a music festival. It was basically going to be the best best time ever. However, he died just a few weeks before we were supposed to leave.
He was there though.
We had four tickets to the festival. Only a friend and I went. We ran into a younger boy and his Dad that had really bad seats. We told the boy why we had only two extra tickets, and they sympathized with us and shared stories with us about similar things that had happened in their lives. My friend and I felt moved by those two guys, so we gave them our extra tickets. I really wish that you could have seen the look on the boy’s face when his favorite bands were playing just a few feet from him. He loved every minute. Jerm was there. Jerm was in that kid.
A few months ago my friends and I were hit hard yet again. Tyler, a kid that I grew up with lost his life in a motorcycle accident. I remember getting the text from my friend Davey and not believing it at all. It was so surreal. There was no way that the kid that I went to church with for 10 years was gone. There was no way that the funniest kid I knew was gone from this earth. There was no way it was happening.
I fell asleep with the thought that maybe it was all a dream. It wasn’t. I woke up to my mom crying for Tyler’s mom. I had known Tyler since we were five, this was tough.
I knew that I was not the only one grieving. Tyler and I had grown apart over the years, but still, every time we saw each other there was laughter, smiles and probably a dirty joke thrown in for good measure.
I think it was like that for a lot of people. It was evident when I walked behind the cross that is pictured above. On the back side of the large wooden cross there were several statements written by Tyler’s friends and family. There were funny things that he had said, Bible verses, memories and people saying goodbye. It would make anyone take a step back and think about what had happened the day before.
Death happens. We can’t avoid it. I am not really sure if we can even learn to deal with it. Weather it be unexpected or not, we’re never ready for it.
“The LORD is my shepherd,
I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
He restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
We have to remember that God is here for us. We have to remember that we are His people, as He is our God. We work together, not separate.
Be on God’s side. It’s worth it.