So much death has happened in the last few days. My roommate’s adopted grandmother, from the church she grew up in, passed away Sunday morning around 6:00 a.m. It’s difficult to grieve with someone when you don’t know the person who died.
Something even more tragic happened the same morning, minutes before the death of my roommate’s grandmother. Three students died in a car accident just miles up the road from Taylor. Sadly, these students were acquainted with my Taylor friends. They had just dropped my friends off before the accident occurred.
Everyone who knows about the accident is thinking one thing, “What a senseless thing to happen.” My heart breaks though I am far removed from the situation. Three international students two from Ethiopia and one from Nigeria, who’s parents are oceans and mountains away, who’s families had all their hopes in sending their children to America, who’s friends will now bear the burden of loss for a life-time.
I know I usually write about race, identity and social norms, but today none of that seems to have a place. Death is an issue of humanity, not felt more by one race than another, not experienced greater in one people group than the next. Death is universal, global, cultural. Twelve of us gathered last night to pray and weep for our friends, for the families who lost their children.
Where is hope in death? In racial reconciliation I have confidence. In equality and social justice I see a promising future. But death speaks when it wills. It sneaks up and strikes when you least expect. For every time there is a season, a time to live and a time to die.
The chapel speaker this morning spoke about grieving. She said the best way to support your friends when they are grieving is to simply let them know you are there. To make your presence known to them, to comfort them in the truth that nothing can separate us from the love of God. Not life, not death, not anything now or to come.