It feels like death is being shoved in my face today.
I’ve been reading a book called Listening to Your Life, a compilation of daily meditations by Frederick Buechner. The reading for today was about Jesus’s death on the cross, and how that was a good thing for humanity. This is a concept that, try as I might, I have never been able to fully understand or appreciate.
This awakened memories of the horrific shootings at Virginia Tech that occurred exactly eight years ago, a murderous spree that hit very close to home. I would like to think that something good came from that awful tragedy, but for the life of me I am coming up empty.
I opened the Washington Post and read about the suicide of a sophomore at William and Mary, my son’s alma mater. The young man, Paul Soutter, was to have appeared in a play about the stresses of college life. He was the fourth W & M student to take his own life this year.
On Instagram, I saw freshly posted images of my friend Lacey, who took her life almost two years ago. Her friends still regularly send messages through social media saying how much they loved and miss her. She had seemingly been unaware of how many people cared about her.
I circle back to the reading from Buechner, and try again to understand how anything good can come from the death of young people. If anything, for me, it is this awareness: Life is precious. Protect it, cherish it.