My cousin Chase died today. The words taste foreign. My brain can’t reconcile what has happened. I’ve never lost someone close to me before. I had hoped that we’d be one of those unicorn families that are never struck with sudden death or disease. This morning I realized that I had been completely and immovably convinced that my family was under the protection of unstoppable forces; that horrid things didn’t happen to us. They couldn’t.
I was wrong.
Chase was born just a couple of months after my younger sister Emma and at the time our families lived together. My mom’s side of the family has always been extremely close. The cousins are more like siblings than cousins. Loosing Chase this morning has been a whirlwind. Grief comes in waves and in different ways. Mostly I still don’t believe this has really happened. A huge part of me feels like this is some tactless cruel joke and Chase will come walking through the door any minute. My brain and my heart can’t seem to communicate or come to terms. It’s been a long day to say the least.
Chase was killed in a car accident early this morning. My stomach churns typing out the words even though I’ve heard them a hundred times today. He was only 21.
I’m a Christian and when things like this happen the world seems to watch you extra closely. While I’ll never in a million years claim that Christians have it all together, I will still proclaim that Christ does. I don’t understand why God allows the things that He allows. I don’t understand why good things happen to bad people or why bad things happen to good people. I don’t understand why some cars can roll and people walk away unscathed while others are taken from us. I could go on for hours about the questions I have thrown at God’s feet, sometimes screaming at Him while I’m at it. All I do know is this, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and He saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18.
The strength and grace that I have seen in my aunt and uncle today surpasses all understanding. Not to say that they aren’t broken and grieved beyond belief. They are angry, but they have peace. They are crushed, but there is hope. They believe to the depths of who they are that God has overcome the grave, and that Chase lives in and with Christ. I’m in awe of the beauty they have shown today. They are, truly, beautiful people. My heart is shattered for them and Chase’s three younger brothers. My heart is shattered for the rest of us cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents and friends that will miss Chase for the rest of our days. Chase loved God with all his heart, all his mind and with all of his strength. He is very much alive. He is very much loved. He is very much missed.
I love you Chase.