I am not the one to write about loss. I have friends who could write books on the topic. But not me. Still, there has been a loss. And today marks 10 years. So I feel compelled to write. And so I do.
The spring of 1993 was the spring I turned 16, got my braces off, made the varsity cheer leading squad, went to my first prom and had my first legitimate boyfriend. His best friends’ name was Chris, and Chris was dating my best friend, Heather. Needless to say, the four of us became pretty close.
Chris was not the kind of guy with whom I would have naturally been friends. He could be kind of a jerk, actually. He was really funny, but often times at other peoples’ expense (it was high school, after all). He always said I had a big nose but thought it was ok to say because he had a big nose too. He was talented and popular…captain and keeper on the varsity soccer team, voted most outspoken in the senior superlatives. He liked to party. After a while, we saw a softer side of him. I was there when he was baptized. He was charming and, if you could get past being the brunt of his jokes, he was pretty easy to like. Over that year, he became one of my closest friends at a time in life when friends were everything.
Eventually, we all went off to college and lived separate lives. A year or so after I had last seen him, I was watching the news along with the rest of the world as we learned of the death of princess Diana. A short time later, Mother Teresa died as well. And I watched loss and grief on TV. But I was far removed, disconnected, aware but unaffected.
Little did I know that during that same time, on a small college campus in Tennessee, there was a motorcycle accident. And so while the world was mourning the loss of a princess and a saint, those who knew this funny, witty, talented, sarcastic college guy…well, we were mourning too.
Now its been 10 years. So what’s my point? I guess just that he should be here. Somewhere in the world, he should be laughing and loving a wife and having kids and living. And I’m not naive enough to think that he and I would still be in touch because we probably wouldn’t. But I should be able to google his name on a curious Saturday afternoon and find a blip of an article from a random newspaper about when his baby daughter was born or his name listed in an online college graduation bulletin or maybe even his stats in a bio about the US Olympic soccer team or his run on Survivor or…something.
I guess that’s the nature of death. There is a place in the world where it seems like they are supposed to be but they aren’t. I don’t even care where that place is. Just somewhere. But then, who am I to say what is supposed to be or not be? And so I sit and remember, reflecting on his life and who he was to me and those who knew him…and I trust that, even though it doesn’t make it feel any less of a loss, I trust that the Lord knows. And He sees. And He is still good.