On Monday night, I received a few messages regarding a former classmate of mine, named Shay. He was gone, his cause of death an accident. He died in Des Moines on a cold November morning.
I didn't know Shay well, having not spoken to him in the past decade since high school. And yet, I can't shake his death. I've been sad this week, and have thought frequently of him, and his younger sister and brother left behind. His parents. The whole thing is terribly sad. Tragic.
I don't have many specific memories of our overlapping time in high school, but this week I've read the words left on his Facebook wall, messages of shock, and sorrow, and grief. The memories left by others help to fill in the gaps, to tell the story of his 28 years. Here is what I know: he had a bright smile, and in high school, unlike many teenage boys, I remember that he was nice.
So where do we go from here?
How does anyone keep going, when the reality is that life is terribly short and incredibly fragile?
I didn't know Shay well, but I grieve his loss and I pray for his family. And this week, news of his death has served as a reminder: to be kinder, to smile more easily, to give more generously, and to cherish a life that is filled with love.