Thursday, October 23, 2008

Death Is Profane...

I’m a little frazzled this week as I try to collect my thoughts on a tragedy. Even though I am basically an outsider to the situation, it is still not something that I am indifferent to as I observe. The bottom line to all of it for me is that death is profane.

So what happened? Crystal, a girl my sister has been friends with since middle school mysteriously passed away this week. She had visited the doctor with pneumonia –like symptoms a few days ago and before anyone knew it, she was laid up in the hospital in a coma while all her body’s systems began to fail. And eventually her body just gave in and she passed Wednesday morning. Death is so profane.

I got into the mix because I am a minister. At one point Tuesday night they were quite panicked (understandably so), expecting that Crystal could go any moment so they called me to come and pray with the family and pray over Crystal. When I arrived, it was in the midst of confusion and heartbreak (as would be expected). The family was also looking for a priest to give Crystal her Last Rites (a Catholic Ritual.) I ended up spending a few hours with this group of people that consisted of friends and family of Crystal.

The hospital had us in a private room and as we sat in this room, the dynamics were just so odd. Everyone is experiencing variations of fear, grief, sadness, and hopelessness but they all handled it differently. Some sat quietly in their own thoughts. Some cracked jokes with each other. Some talked about things they remembered about Crystal. Some just talked about things completely unrelated to anything that was going on. Everyone handles these types of situations differently.

The vibe in the room constantly changed. One moment it would be dead quiet. Then a phone with a Chipmunk’s ringtone would ring and laughter would erupt. Conversation would come and go. Group conversation would happen, and conversation between two people would happen. People were going back and forth between visiting Crystal.

Finally we got together as friends and family and prayed together. Prayed for those hurting and mourning, prayed for a miracle, and prayed most of all for peace and understanding that only God can give. Then I did something I have never done before. We went down to see Crystal, in her coma, and prayed over her. It is a picture that will not leave my mind. There I am with her parents, asking God to heal her, to bring her back, and that if such a miracle is not in his will, to at least grant us peace and understanding and to display grace to Crystal and her family that is deeper than my understanding can comprehend. It puts things into perspective.

So much sorrow. So much hurt. So much wrong. The thought “death is so damn profane” has not left my mind since that night. If you remember, please pray for the grieving friends and family. I have been asked to do the funeral, so please pray for me that God would use a confused, 25 year old kid to bring comfort and peace to friends and family of Crystal.

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