Saturday, December 8, 2012

The spirit of one has an impact on many

 Today's post concerns the passing of a Kirkwood High School alumnus, one year younger than me. I write that and I am immediately taken back. The fact that someone younger than me could be taken away from this earth. I write that and I think of all the things she could have become, or done. I write that and I think about all the things I still want to become and do, but have so ignorantly put on the backburner, thinking I still have time. 

The loss of a Kirkwood alum, one who I personally did not know, has had an impact on the community as a whole. It reaches to people like me, that didn't know her, and it reaches to her closest friends. Her family is mourning, but the community is reaching out to them. I, along with many others have struggled with the loss of someone close in the past. It hurts. A lot. It's not easy to comprehend at first, and it may never be so. I think a lot of people, myself included, when going through this kind of surreal happening tend to think, "How could this happen?" or  "Why did this happen?"

Emily was taken from this earth far too early, in the heart of those who knew her. She had plans, I'm sure. For people who don't believe in Christ, it may be easy to say, "If He is so great, why did He let this happen?" That's a tough one. I have asked that before. The answer? Well, maybe He didn't mean to. In the absence of God, things happen. Another possible explanation? Maybe God's plan and her plan were different. It's hard to comprehend. I struggled with that idea in the past because of the loss of a friend but maybe, just maybe, the loved one that we lost already did what was on God's to-do list for them. I know for a fact Emily made tons of people smile. She inspired others. She loved others. I know Emily touched a lot of hearts, heck, she touched mine and I never met her. Maybe that was what God wanted her to do. She has a lasting impact, just a day after her passing. 

When I was 12 or so I lost a best friend who was just a year older than me. I struggled for a long time why God would take her away from me, from her family. She was supposed to become a teacher with me, she was supposed to ice skate, she was supposed to be something. Anything. Then someone told me something I will never forget. Sometimes, God puts people on this earth, just to make others smile. We think that she was supposed to do something. We think our knowledge is better than that of God's. Why? Because it is easier to place blame from a horrible event, than to accept the lesson He is busy teaching us. As hard as it still is for me to accept the loss of my friend Rachel, 8 years later, I now know that all of those things she was supposed to become were in my head. God intended for her spirit to make me smile, and that is just what she did. 

Not only did Rachel's and Emily's life have an impact on so many, but their death did too. By donating her organs, Rachel's family saved the life of three others. She taught me how to be grateful for what I have. So far, by Emily's passing, people have learned the importance of driving safe, as well as cherishing every single moment. We have to remember that God does have a plan for us, one that may differ completely from what we have in mind. We have to remember not to hold back in life just because it may not be comfortable, He didn't promise comfort. 

So my encouragement to everyone reading this is to tell people you love them. Forgive those who need it. Apologize to the people you have hurt intentionally, or unintentionally. It isn't worth holding a grudge. Thank everyone around you for being there. Smile. Live. 

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