sunday sessions: coping with loss

December 2, 2012

I wrote the following post one year ago today, just two days after my friend Jared suddenly passed away, and I thought it fitting to share again today for the Sunday Sessions post. This week has been tough—though certainly nothing compared to what his family has felt. I admit, part of the reason it’s so difficult for me to cope with his death is that I fear losing Brian too soon in life. It’s a silly fear, I know, as life cannot be lived in fear—but it’s an honest one, and it wouldn’t be a Sunday Session without an honest confession, would it?

Jared and I in high school, after a basketball game.

I found out yesterday that my friend Jared unexpectedly passed away in his sleep earlier this week. I cannot fully express in words the depth of sadness that I feel for his wife, daughter, brothers, and parents. Only a year older than I, he had his whole life ahead of him. If you knew Jared, you would know that he had a bright smile kind heart that made anyone feel important and valued.

When I first found out, I felt confused and baffled. It couldn’t be true, could it? As I read Facebook post after Facebook post of condolences to their family, I started sobbing. Right in the middle of Starbucks. I gathered my things and ran out the door, only to sit in my car and sob some more. As I began mourning the sudden loss of his life, I couldn’t help but remember the other young friends I’ve lost. Chad, Amy, Nicole, my cousin Josh. All died in their twenties, unpredictably and all-too-soon.

Life is so fleeting. We feel like we’re going to live forever, but we never know how long we have. Rather than living in fear that we might suddenly lose someone we love, my challenge to all of us is this: live today and every day to the fullest…

  • Let’s forgive those who have wronged us, whether they deserve it or not.
  • Let’s tell our family and friends how much they mean to us.
  • Let’s call our parents, grandparents and mentors to thank them for the impact they’ve made in our lives.
  • Let’s send a card to someone who needs encouragement.
  • Let’s take the time to watch the sunset and enjoy God’s simple gifts.
  • Let’s remember that we’re never too young to love, inspire and empower those around us.

My thoughts and prayers are with Jared’s family this week. Jared, Chad, Amy, Nicole, and Josh: you are all missed terribly, and the world simply isn’t the same without you here.

Have you lost a young friend or family member? How has it impacted the way you live your life today?

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  • Reply Etiene Eugene December 2, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    Unfortunately I had also this sad experience, as my very dear friend passed away when we were just 19! So far the biggest loss in my life. It taught me a lot, but especially I got the whole new perception of death. Some people might call it I became more cynical, and I understand that it doesn’t matter how old the person was, death is still death and it hurts the same, but for some reason from that day, I just can’t get sad enough when someone old dies, ‘cos it’s just the natural circle of life. On the other hand, when someone young like my friend or your friend dies, it’s simply unfair! I’m sorry for you loss! Lenka, xx

    • Reply Natalie Lynn Borton December 3, 2012 at 5:51 pm

      I’m sorry that you lost your friend at such a young age. It’s never easy to copy with, though it does teach us a beautiful lesson to treasure every moment we have. Thank you for your thoughtful response.

  • Reply Rebecca and Lori December 7, 2012 at 1:00 am

    I too am sorry for your loss. Your piece is beautifully written. It is so heartfelt, it brought tears to my eyes. Loss is never easy, and it is important for us to remember those we have lost and to keep them in our hearts and in our memories.

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