Last week I received a text message from a close friend of mine. She was asking for prayer as she had lost her brother that morning in a car accident. My heart sank to the bottom of my chest and I felt helpless. All I wanted to do was to call her, to visit her, hug her. It's a miserable feeling knowing that someone you love is broken and you cannot do anything to ease the pain. I immediately prayed for her and her family, that God would surround them, give them comfort, peace, understanding...
Friday morning we attended Greg's funeral. I'm 24 and this is the second funeral I've ever been to. Both were young men, both involved vehicles. Greg was only 25 and engaged to be married in the upcoming months. I had met him on a couple different occasions, he was always soft spoken and polite. As we sat in the audience listening to the stories told by his loved ones I was brought to tears. Each person had their own special story about him and every single one ended with the fact that they knew Greg was in Heaven, finally getting to meet his one true hero, Jesus Christ. His heart was devoted to God, he was saved and eager to share God's love with anyone he encountered.
We don't understand when someone so young and so incredible is taken from us. We ask questions, we get angry. But we were reminded at his funeral that our time here on Earth is just a blip, yes most of us will live well into our 80's and 25 does seem too young to die, but in the grand scheme of things Greg lived a good life. It was finally time for him to be with his Father.
As I sat and watched his family I was inspired. Yes, there were tears. Tears of anguish, saddness and hurt. But there were also tears of happiness. Mr. Butler talked to his son and ended with, "Save me a spot, I'll see you soon." His family is at peace knowing that Greg is in Heaven and knowing that someday soon they will all get to be together again.
It was a beautiful funeral, so emotional; tears, laughter, singing, silence. It was very moving. I cannot put myself in their shoes, I don't think I can fathom the weight of their loss... if I even begin to try tears stream down my face. Their immediate family of 7 was very tight and they all love one another so deeply. Do you tell your family members every chance you get that you love them? That they mean the world to you? Life is not a guarantee.
Just this past week I finally got my brother back. I have been getting to know him all over again and soaking up every moment with him. His laughter, his smile, his big blue eyes, his since of humor and his heart. Greg's death hit me hard because it made me think about losing my brother. There is so much I still want to tell him, to learn from him, to show him. My heart aches at the thought of losing him now. I am grateful to be blessed with his presence in my life and want to take advantage of every moment.
Death is a part of life. Everyone will experience the death of someone in their lifetime. What can we learn from those experiences? What will people have to say about you when you are gone? I barely knew Greg, but I left there Friday with a good sense of the man that he was- he left a legacy. He impacted those around him, he may not have had much to say but he sure walked the walk.
I am thankful for the life that the Lord has given to me and am determined to continue walking in His light, to continue learning and growing. I am far from perfect. I am a work in progress. But today I love a little harder, feel a little stronger, and smile a little bigger because I know that tomorrow is not promised to me. I want to leave a legacy, my life will not have been lived in vein, I am here for a purpose and I intend to fully live that purpose while I can.
Be inspired today. Death is never easy, but it can make us stronger. More united. Continue to show love to those you care about, you never know what goodbye will be your last.
Please continue to keep the Butler family in your prayers, they are on a new and difficult journey and your love and prayers help to make that journey more barable.