We just got back earlier this week from home after my cousin passed away suddenly at 24-years-old. Despite of his and my grandpa's death, I have to say our family has been tremendously blessed. Until this past 12 months, no one of our grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins or siblings close to us had died except my one of my grandpas who died when I was 1 and unfortunately I was way too young to remember him.
I know I am not that old, but that means for 30 years of my life, I had not had to deal with the grief of losing someone who had been a big part of my life at all. My husband and I lost 3 babies due to miscarriage a few years ago and that was extremely, overwhelmingly painful, but it was still different. To go home and not see both my Grandpa and now my cousin, it seems like a weird dream - one I wish I could wake up from.
I think in my head it was almost like babies and the unborn were very venerable, but once they were born alright and brought home, they would not die ... even though all people do at some point. I guess some of that is that invincibility of youth. Regardless, losing my Grandpa and then losing David a few months later is a jerk back into reality.
David was a big part of my life growing up. I don't remember him ever not being there after he came into this world. Even when his family lived in Arizona for awhile, every time we saw them it was like no time had passed (which I pray is what happens for my kids should we be blessed to move home some day).
We used to live in the same neighborhood, go to the same church and same school and knew a lot of the same people. He was such a good, gentle boy who grew into a good gentle man. My son used to love to run up and play peek-a-boo with him and he had so much patience and a soft spot for little kids, he never turned them down.
All I kept thinking during his wake and funeral was, "It isn't fair. This isn't supposed to be this way." You know when you are little and your parents tell you life isn't fair - well I always assumed they just were referring to trivial matters like it wasn't fair my brother got a bigger cookie. But this is no trivial matter and we aren't talking about a smaller cookie.
Still, I think every person is put on this Earth for the amount of time God needs them to do His will. Some of them, like my niece Sydne and my babies only get a little bit of time, but touch and change hearts. Some may get years and some decades. I think although David's life ended at 24, his loving nature and good heart will continue to touch everyone who knew him and maybe even some who didn't and hopefully draw them closer to God. I pray maybe it makes some of those kids who weren't nice to him growing up stop and think twice before treating someone like they don't matter and I pray it helps all of us reevaluate where we are going and what we are doing or avoiding to be where we aim to be, living in God's presence.
I have this great vision of David sitting up there with both my grandpas and my Sammy, Annabella and Esperanza as well as Sydne and my Uncle David (who he was named after) just having a great big Mexican party waiting for us to arrive. That leaves me with a big smile on my face.
This song touched my heart as I lost my babies and it seems fitting for losing David too. The beauty is we have faith and hope we will be reunited again ... knowing that helps us carry on.
Steven Curtis Chapman
This is not at all how
We thought it was supposed to be
We had so many plans for you
We had so many dreams
And now you've gone away
And left us with the memories of your smile
And nothing we can say
And nothing we can do
Can take away the pain
The pain of losing you, but ...
We can cry with hope
We can say goodbye with hope
'Cause we know our goodbye is not the end, oh no
And we can grieve with hope
'Cause we believe with hope
(There's a place by God's grace)
There's a place where we'll see your face again
We'll see your face again
And never have I known
Anything so hard to understand
And never have I questioned more
The wisdom of God's plan
But through the cloud of tears
I see the Father's smile and say well done
And I imagine you
Where you wanted most to be
Seeing all your dreams come true
'Cause now you're home
And now you're free, and ...
We have this hope as an anchor
'Cause we believe that everything
God promised us is true, so ...
So we can cry with hope
And say goodbye with hope
We wait with hope
And we ache with hope
We hold on with hope
We let go with hope