Food for Thought: Sometimes, life just doesn’t make sense
Bear with me today, while I step briefly off the path of my typically funny, sometimes sarcastic observations, to share with you something that is anything but amusing.
Last night, my husband and I went to a funeral home to pay our respects to the family of a 14-year-old boy who was killed in a boating accident last weekend. I dreaded the evening, dreaded coming face-to-face with his grieving family, but I wouldn’t have missed it for anything. This young man was loved by many people; so often, we don’t find that out until a person’s life is over. We knew his family loved him, but we had no idea how many young people his fleeting life had touched.
Someone asked me years ago why I thought predictably sappy, happy endings are so popular at the box office. Aside from the obvious feel-good reasons, I said that I believe it’s because there are so precious few of those endings in real life. The tragic last pen stroke so abruptly put to this boy’s life is just one more illustration of that observation.
What do you say to surviving family members at a time like this? It is my personal belief that this boy’s life is not over, just his life on earth. Not only do I believe that; I take great comfort in it. The boy had started going to church several months ago and was a professed Christian. He had a young, fragile understanding of eternity and what it means. I take comfort in that, too. I hope they do.
It’s devastating events like this past weekend’s that give rise to the inevitable question: “Why does God let bad things happen to good people?” I know I’ve struggled with that one since I was a teenager and lost my own mother after a cruelly long illness. I am nowhere near smart enough to answer that question, by the way. I can only hope that, someday, I will both have the answer and understand it.
What I do know is that tomorrow is not a given. I know that we are never really ready to let go. And I know that it’s not what we say to those who are grieving; it’s the fact that we’re there to say anything at all, or nothing at all.
May you rest in peace.