These past six weeks have been difficult ones for my family. On September 16th, my thirty-six year old nephew died from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident, plunging our family into sadness like we’ve never known before.
Chad leaves behind his parents, a nine-year-old daughter, a six-year-old son, a sister, two nieces, and a lot of other family members and friends who will never stop missing him. Our family has experienced loss before, but this time, it’s different. And it’s different because Chad was what we all consider to be too young to die. It was just too soon to say good-bye.
I know that life doesn’t come with guarantees, and young people die everyday. Just the same, I fully expected Chad to be around at least another thirty-six years. I wanted thirty-six more years of his goofy grins, his funny stories, his presence in our lives and at our family functions.
We all expected Chad to be here to enjoy hunting season with his father and his son, to take one more beach vacation with the whole family in tow, to teach his kids to drive, to help his sister choose his parents’ nursing home, and to walk his daughter down the aisle. And so we grieve. We grieve for missed opportunities. We cry for all those things that might have been, but now will never be.
Our only comfort is in knowing that it is God in his sovereign wisdom who numbers our days. It is God who gave us thirty-six years to know Chad and to love him. Why only thirty-six years? I don’t know. But I know the One who knows the reason why, and I trust Him.
These past six weeks have been dark ones, especially for Chad’s immediate family. I don’t exactly know what it must be like to pick up the pieces of your life after the death of your son, your brother, or your daddy. It’s heartbreaking to see their pain and to know that my own pain is just a shadow of theirs.
I’d like to tell Chad that I was proud of him. He was a hard worker, a great guy, an awesome dad! It’s too soon to say good-bye, so I’ll just say, “See you later!”