My heart is heavy and I don’t even feel like I have the right to carry this burden - but I am.
An individual that I never had a single conversation with, left us Monday. I don’t know the specifics and I am about as far removed as one could be from his passing, given I had no direct ties to him except mutual friends and being a follower of his Instagram feed.
But I sympathize with all the people I know that are mourning the death of someone they called friend. And when I say sympathize, its meaning goes deeper than just feeling compassion for their loss.
Like I said, I didn’t know him on any personal level but the thing about people like this kid is that they never realize the lives they impact, influence, and inspire. This kid inspired me. He moved me, he challenged me, he reminded me that there is so much beauty in this world… and that’s just from photos and captions. He was incredibly talented. He was one of those people that made me sick because I felt like anything he touched he would be good at. From his art to his music, his creations were beautiful and full of raw emotion - and that inspired me.
I don’t know why he felt the way he did or reached the point he reached - but like so many of you who knew him and loved him - I too wish I could’ve done something to help him.
The unfortunate (and fortunate) thing about death is that it brings things to light in our own lives and forces us to ask ourselves some really tough questions. Do I really know the people I call “friend”? Would I be able to tell if they were struggling without them having to tell me? Have I built deep enough relationships with people that they know they can call me at any hour of the night - any day - no matter what? Or are my relationships social media deep? Are they founded in Facebook likes, Instagram love, and 5 second SnapChats?
I am no stranger to where this young man was when he made the decision to let go. I’ve been there - more than once. And I know I’m not the only one that knows that feeling. But how do we get there? How do we get left there? How do we get out of there?
Honestly I don’t really feel like I have the answer… but I’d like to think it has a lot to do with the depth of our relationships.
I want anyone reading this to hear me please - I am in no way saying all of this to lay any amount of guilt on anyone. One thing is true, this guy loved his friends. You can tell by how he portrayed them on Instagram and how people speak of him. So please hear me when I say that I am not trying to add pain to deeper pain that is already there.
I merely wanted to take the opportunity to share what his life and death has brought my own life - Immeasurable inspiration and the challenge to love people deeper than the world’s standard.
By this all men will know that you follow me if you have love for one another. John 13.35