My Personal Cantor

On Losing Life Before It’s Time

It’s so hard to comprehend death..

The hardest part about my job is when a young person asks me why G-d had to “take” someone so young, when it clearly wasn’t “time” for them to go yet.

Today, I’m stricken with grief over 2 young FSU students who lost their lives heading back to school after spring break. While I did not know them, many of my students – students I love and adore – did know them, and several of them have asked me why.

Don’t forget – I’m a mom, too, and I cannot count the times I put my kids back in their car, kissed them goodbye and then held my breath for 6 hours praying to G-d to carry them safely back to school, and then breathing a sigh of relief when the text or call came through to let me know they were ok.

Sometimes, the call wouldn’t come, and then I would freak the heck out on them, but that’s a whole entirely different post. Clearly, they were always safe – and for that I am eternally grateful.

somebody holds the hand of a child, when death and mourning come too soon

“Why did God take them?”

Today, I am reminded of what I say every week in my services when I talk about God. I remind everyone that God does not control every occurrence in the universe, and that we all have personal and human responsibility to use the gifts God has already given us, to create the lives of our dreams. But we also make human choices, uncontrolled by God, that cause outcomes both good and bad – and sometimes tragic.

I don’t believe God takes children away. EVER. God gave us the precious gift of life, and it is up to each of us to treasure it. But our bodies are made to fail. Nobody gets out of this life alive, and we are all going to pass away, some sooner than others. I believe this is an occurrence that falls out of God’s hands.

Without knowing that at any day we could take our last breath – would we treasure life so deeply? If we knew just how much time we had – would we wait till the end to fill it up?

How many of us post every single day about reminding ourselves that tomorrow may never come? The gift of tomorrow is not from God. It is simply a gift – not from a sender.

“What can we do?”

We simply cannot know – nor should we – and we must treat every day as if it were our last. But when someone we love is taken from us – we must know it was not God’s intention. God gave us life to love and enjoy without any promise of a number of days we will have.

Rest in peace, to the 2 students I do not know. But I pray my prayers are carried to the hearts of the parents who grieve their losses. And to the hearts of the mourners who grieve.

If anyone knows these parents, and can possibly let me know how my community can support them, please contact me offline.

May their memories be a blessing….

Leave a Comment