I felt uneasy the whole day. In fact, I’d been feeling uneasy the whole week. It’s almost beyond words how much I felt the happenings without knowing a thing. Hard things happen in everyone’s life. Too often things just don’t go the way they should have. That’s how my Monday was going. It was cold, and the skies loomed like the storm brewing in my heart. I knew something was wrong. Josh. what’s wrong with Josh?
I remember especially after lunch, I felt it and then in study hall, I got the text. Any other day, I wouldn’t be concerned about such a simple text from my Dad asking what our home phone number was, but today, I knew.
“Did Kyle get into an accident? “
“Surely it’s nothing serious.”
“Maybe they broke a bone, but I’m sure they’ll get over it.”
The thoughts ran through my mind, but still my gut told the story. I’ve heard people say that twins sometimes have a special connection, they sometimes feel what’s happened before it has. Josh and I aren’t twins, but I always wished we were. Even still there was a connection between us I think. Honestly, I’m convinced that it was God’s grace. He knows I wouldn’t have survived without it.
The moment I got home, that’s when I couldn’t deny it any longer. Josh was gone. Suicide they said. The brightest, most optimistic kid in the room, just days before his eighteenth birthday. Who could’ve known he was feeling that way? He must’ve known he was everyone’s favorite. That’s the thing though. He’s been a warrior since day one. The emotional battles he’s been through are deeper than any person should have to deal with especially before they’re eighteen. Yet it was out of anyone’s control.
Ever since we were little kids he wanted to be in the military. He’d send my dolls off to the Marines with his teddy bears. Yet he had his sweet and goofy side. He’d cook up the wildest recipes if only to play with me and help me get over not having a sister to play house with. Somewhere along the line, he started slipping. I doubt it was out of impulse. At the moment I’m sure it was, but for him, it was more of a slow fade. Trauma before your even twelve has huge impact on a person’s life. The weight is too much to bear on your own, but he was a soldier so he’d take it like a man even if he wasn’t even a teen yet.
We all got stuff. I don’t write this to weigh you down, but rather to lift you up. You have today. Spend it well. Reach out to the ones you love. When the weight gets to be too much, don’t try to hold it on your own because no one wants to see their favorite crushed under burdens they were never made to carry. Be thankful for every chance you get to see your loved ones, knowing that each chance is a gift to be treasured.
There will be days when you lose. Or at least you feel like it, but know that God will provide in miraculous ways. I know for sure if God hadn’t worked a miracle out of my tragedy I would still be broken somewhere trying not to drown in my grief. It’s crazy really how he provided. And I think he knows what everyone needs, and for each person he provides differently, because we need our own reassurances. Not that he causes them, for he hates death more than we do. He is the one who cried with Mary and Martha when Lazarus died even though he knew Lazarus would rise from the dead.
Two weeks before his death, I had a dream that Josh died in military conflict. The enemy wanted him, but he reached up for God even as he was dying and God saved him. In this way I was certain he went to heaven though at the time the dream didn’t make sense other than I knew he had plans to enlist in the Marines. Then the weekend before his passing the strangest thing happened. There was a concert that I really wanted to go to. At the last minute I got invited to go by friends I hadn’t spoken with in months. Then, on our way there and the way back, I just had this thought. Something really hard is coming, but God is so good. He’s showing me that he will never leave me. Somehow, it’s all going to be okay. Man I don’t care what it is, God is so good.
To this day, I will continue to proclaim it. God is so good! Life is painful a lot, but live life thankful for every moment of every day. Love the people around you even the ones you don’t really like. God made them too and you don’t know what they’re going through or how much time they have left. Even if they seem to have it all together, they probably don’t and God knows, we could all use a bit more love in the world right now.