Stunned silence permeated the air with a bitter scent that sent shivers down my spine. Struggling with an enormous sense of loss, I held my breath, motionless, and in complete shock.
Minutes passed without a single word uttered; color drained from several faces, while others struggled to choke back sobs. After several minutes a faint voice asked:
“Do we know what caused it?”
My director paused, struggling to gain his composure.
“He passed away from what they believe was a drug overdose. There will be a memorial for him two days from now. I’ll be taking a van down for those who wish to attend his memorial.”
After being dismissed, I ran to the bathroom and broke down in sobs. I’d met Evan years prior at summer camp, and although we weren’t close friends, he’d always treated me with kindness and respect. Whenever I sat alone during lunch, Evan would say with a smile: “Hi, Maddie! How’s it going? You doing ok?”
During activities, Evan made sure to include everyone so no one felt left out. He always had a quick joke and was easily the most likable person due to his infectious laughter and bubbly personality. But now he was gone, and the loss felt like a terrible nightmare.
When We Don’t Understand
In the following months, I couldn’t shake the feeling of shock. A bleak outlook overshadowed me as I struggled to understand why something so devastating could happen to someone so young. I’d never experienced the loss of someone in their early 20s, and it shook me to my core. I remained confused and disturbed by the death of Evan, trying to piece together my emotions over such a tragedy. It took several months of prayer and connecting with spiritual mentors to heal and recover from the shock. Grief is not always something to be understood, and it’s something we all handle differently. But, in moments of unexplainable tragedy, it gives me peace to know that I have a Heavenly Father to comfort me.
Words of Hope
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:4, NIV).
It has been six years since Evan’s death, and it’s still difficult for me to think about. Whenever I think of his family, I say a prayer for them and pray for other families afflicted with such loss. I’ve taken life for granted and often fail to understand just how blessed I am. With each breath I take I’m blessed beyond comprehension. Life is extremely precious and serves as a reminder every day that each moment is worth living.
Madeleine Lowe writes from Indiana.© 2002 - 2021, AnswersForMe.org. All rights reserved. Click here for content usage information.