Update: It seems that the death has been ruled an accident this morning. We don't know any details, but regardless, my thoughts are still the same on the matter.
This weekend Dan and I came upon one of those moments when it feels like your life has just completely stopped.
We have been following our dear friends' struggle as their tiny daughter fights for her life at Duke hospital. (http://www.ellastouch.com) For two months it's been completely touch and go. We're never sure what the next day will bring for her or them. She's just two months old and has already overcome amazing odds. It's inspiring to see how badly she wants to live and to see all the people who love their family coming together to pray and fast for her.
On Saturday night our other dear friends' son decided his life was not worth living for and shot himself.
These two precious children, both so dear and so loved by so many. One fighting for this life and one giving it up completely. It makes you stop and think.... have I told the ones I love just how much I love them? Have I lived my life to the fullest and in the best way I know how? Have I made sure that my children know that this life is full of hardships but that all along the way there are beauties and evidences that we have a loving Father in heaven who is mindful of us and knows us each individually? and that each of us has a lasting impact on all of those we come into contact with? That our very existence changes those around us for good or ill?
I think the most ironic part of all of this is that even though we hadn't seen Chase in two years and he probably doesn't remember us very well, we both wept for him last night, and for his family. We felt the loss and grief and pain that comes when this kind of loss - any child who feels alone enough in the world to take their own life and has no idea of the many many people who remember them, and know and loved him. There are so many people fasting and praying and coming together for his family now, I wish he could have seen that when he was alive.
Fight on little Ella, and rest in peace sweet Chase. The rest of us, let's not take any moment of this life for granted. And never forget that the choices you make, both small and large, spread like a ripple through the people around you, touching the lives of those you may not even realize. Make them good choices. Spread love and hope. And please keep these families in your prayers.