It's odd how we can be so moved, devastated even, by the loss of someone we've never met. We are touched by celebrity deaths as if we were their acquaintances. That makes some kind of sense because there's an illusion of "knowing" a celebrity.
What is strange is how painful the death of a complete stranger. Three days ago a young (34) wife and mother of three children (two with disabilities) from our church died of cancer. She was only diagnosed in late fall. No one expected she would be gone so quickly. God took her two days before Christmas, perhaps the worst time for a family to lose a daughter, wife and mother.
I never met this young woman. My wife met her briefly because had worked with one of her children in Sunday School. My wife sobbed when we heard the news. I've been in shock. A little hole has been poked in souls. The sadness is palpable. Maybe it's easy to feel that family's pain because we are young(er) parents. I cannot imagine losing my wife at such a young age (or at all for that matter.)
When a young person dies, more questions are raised than get answered. Why God did you take her now? Why did you leave her young children motherless? Only God knows the timing of tragedies. All I know is that it is painful to imagine being in this family's shoes.
Quite possibly, the lesson for me is to be unceasingly thankful for the blessings of my beautiful, wonderful wife and daughter He has given me. Maybe I am supposed to remember that others are suffering and could use our support. This horrible tragedy is a chance for the rest of us to show love to this family in crisis. I hope that our family and our church step to the plate.