Wednesday, June 1, 2011

What I Think About: When the Young Die

When I was nearly five I met a girl named Jina.  Nearly three decades later she is still among my closest friends.  As often happens with friends, I became close to Jina's brother, Jeremy.  He was sort of the big brother I never had (he even did irritating things like whipping me with wet towels and hanging me upside down). I love it when that happens--when you get two friends for the price of one.  How precious is that!?!

Jeremy--not quite 35--died early on Tuesday from a massive heart attack.

Not believing what I was seeing on Facebook, I called Jina and she confirmed what I had been reading.  Jeremy was dead.

I couldn't believe it.  I can't believe it.

Those words are foreign on my tongue.  How can I grasp this awful truth--that sometimes, the good--the young--the fathers to young daughters ... die?

It was uncomfortable talking on the phone to my oldest friend.  What could I say?  Words are junk in moments like these.  Comfort impossible.  Hope feels like an illusion--both to offer and receive.  So I said all I could say--that I was heartbroken and loved and her.

What I wanted to scream--to her, to the neighbors, to the wall was, "IT IS NOT FAIR WHEN THE YOUNG DIE!"

Today as I mulled over my memories of Jeremy I thought about death.  Everyone tells us not to fear death but how do you not?  Even if you have hope and faith, how can you not fear death?

I remember reading once--I think in a John Eldredge book--about death and how it is nearly impossible for Christians to reconcile death because we were never meant to experience death.  We were the eternal people.  Life eternal was ours but we traded it.

One bite of an apple later and death is all around us and who can be comforted?  Sure we move on and it gets easier but every now and then it hits--that memory that makes you laugh so hard you cry; that burning ache caused by loss; the empty chair at the dinner table.

Death haunts us even when we hope in the future.

When the young die, people--myself included--question God.  Why Jeremy?  Why so young? What now? Where is the redemption in this?  Why, God?  Why?

I don't have the answers.  I probably never will.

What I think about when the young die is that God is still God and God is still good.  Though I burn with hurt and anger, I will stand on this Rock.  I will believe in Him if I feel it or not.  I will not be shaken. 

Thanks to Shell at Things I Can't Say for hosting my random (sometimes depressing) thoughts.


  1. Aw Reagan. So sorry for your loss. I am horrible when it comes to dealing with death. Both of my BFFs have lost their mothers, women I have known since I was 11, in the past 5 years. I was an absolute mess at each passing...sometimes more so than my BFFs! Hugs to you and your friend!

  2. "What I think about when the young die is that God is still God and God is still good. Though I burn with hurt and anger, I will stand on this Rock. I will believe in Him if I feel it or not. I will not be shaken." I think this part sums it up perfectly! We don't have all the answers for good reason, but that sure doesn't make it any easier for me to accept. Sorry for the loss of your friend.

  3. I'm so sorry for your loss. It's very tough when someone we love, especially someone young passes away. I hope things look up for you soon.


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