Tonight, I am using this blog as a place to share my thoughts, because sometimes it’s the only way to begin to move on. This is a blog devoted to my music stuff. But right now, it will be used to reflect on something much more important: love and life.
Two weeks ago my mom called me and told me my 15 year old brother’s best friend had passed away. I was shocked. Maxwell King, a happy, kind hearted, 14 year old collapsed while playing basketball. He passed away the next morning. I’m almost 21. This isn’t the first time I’ve encountered death, or the death of a young person. But it is the first time I have known that young person. I was concerned for my brother, and I was heartbroken for Max’s family. Being friends with many of my brother’s friends, posts began to fill my newsfeed with R.I.Ps for max. The more there were, the more my heart broke. I heard story after story, and saw the way my brother reacted.
It hasn’t been an easy last few weeks dealing with Max’s death. It got even harder on December 14 when 20 children were taken, right in the middle of a school day.
Since Friday, I am almost constantly on the brink of tears. Every time I think of the parents of these kids, or Max’s parents, I can’t help the tears that fill my eyes. The poems, songs, tributes, and stories that I read and hear are a constant reminder that these children are gone. I am constantly thinking about the cruelty that’s in this world and the pain that so many families have to face. Whether it’s from an enlarged heart like Max’s, or a crazed gunmen, it still feels pretty close to the same. It’s hard to think of the world as this evil place where we have to be afraid everywhere we go. But the hardest part is the grief.
I do not want this post to be about MY grief. MY pain. Yes, I am hurting. Something very small can send me sobbing and asking why. But that’s not my point. I don’t want sympathy. I simply need an outlet to write and speak.
I think the thing I’ve struggled with the most is how my loving, caring God can allow such a tragedy as this. Or how he can take a 14 year old who had dreams and incredible, loving parents. Tragedies continue to happen all over the nation with these mass murders. And every time I find myself consumed with the stories, trying to figure out the hows and whys.
But tonight I’m heartbroken. I’ve never been so impacted by an event. Maybe it was because of Max, and I’ve seen the pain his death has caused first hand with my young brother. I’ve seen his parents. Multiply that by 20 with much younger children. It’s unbearable to think about, yet I find myself so focused on these deaths that I can’t sleep at night. I can’t remember the last time I felt so heartbroken. I know I’ve never felt this way over strangers before.
I will not bring up the many heated issues this event has caused. There will be no call to action, no questions on how to change. For me, this post is one that is simply to show the impact this stuff has had on me. And although I don’t understand how God can do this, I find comfort in Him still. I find comfort that these kids, including Max, are in heaven. I find comfort singing praise. singing that to those who grieve, to the broken, to those who have felt death’s sting- there is hope. That even in this storm, God never lets go.
But there is a small sliver of good I have been able to grasp. I intend to take my friendships and relationships into my own hands, and love harder and better than I ever have before. I’m done putting things off til tomorrow. I’m not waiting any longer to have that important conversation. I’m telling you I love you every chance I get. But I’m more than telling you- I’m showing you. I’m living loud and full and with meaning. Live like no tomorrow has always been an important mantra in my life. I want to make it how I live, always.
Get off the computer. Put down the controller. Go love someone better than you did yesterday.