This is a story of a girl who lost her high school sweetheart. This is a story of a mother who lost her first born, a father who misses his oldest legacy, and a brother whose role model no longer walks ahead of him on this Earth. This is a story of two best friends who are missing someone and a high school graduating class who will not see one among them at the five-year reunion.
This story is strange because it is not just an end. This story is also a beginning and a continuance. For some, this loss will spur a lifetime of mourning and pain: every memory both a joy and a pain, every morning a reminder that Cameron’s gone up ahead. And at the same time, this loss is a continuance of pain and mourning–a second or third reminder that every life is precious and can end in the most untimely of ways.
This story is a tragedy, a romance and a comedy. With this death comes a reminder that life can take a tragic and dramatic change; for a boy who is active in athletics and in life, there are few things more tragic to friends and family than sudden and unexplained death. This romance is unlike any other. A man and a woman fell in love and started a family; in the midst of their lifetime romance, these parents must bury their son, who leaves behind a high school sweetheart whose heart and life will never be the same. But let’s not forget that, with this death and with many, there is a reminder of laughter as friends and family reminisce about the fun times: the formal dances, the Halloween costumes, the grueling class projects, and the high school graduation day. In the midst of mourning, friends and family spend much time laughing at the crazy days spent with the missed one.
Furthermore, this is a story of grace. Jeremiah 29.11 says this: “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” In this verse, we can find hope that the Lord, in His infinite and all-knowing nature, knows what He’s doing. In the midst of our very deep and seemingly unending pain, we must grit our teeth and acknowledge that God has a plan for us, too. While Cameron has already finished his journey, we must continue. We must press on so that we, too, can attain that future and hope that God has for us.
There is a story about joy, too, here. Even though the possibility of ever feeling joy again may seem bleak and the emptiness in our heart too much to handle, we must firmly cling to God’s promise to be with us. We must remember that God serves as our Ultimate Comforter and that He remains with us continually, so long as we believe in Him.
Disappointment abounds in this story. And that is okay. Even David, in the Bible, suffered immense pain and disappointment. And he wrote, in Psalm 23.4, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” David, who lost deeply, took comfort in God. We, too, can take comfort in God. If we’ll simply ask, Jesus Christ will let us climb up into his lap and cry, scream, or just be. He is not insulted by our pain. He does not neglect us because we are confused or angry. Our human emotions are always permitted; and He will comfort us forever.
This story could be your beginning. It could be your beginning of seeking to honor Christ in your own life, so that you, too, can bring this Gift to others. This story could spur you to live, forever changed, so that you might experience grace in the midst of an end, a continuance, a tragedy, a comedy, a romance, a joy and a disappointment. What is your story?