Tuesday, January 17, 2012

January 17th

WARNING: This is a sad blog!!!!!
(but it does have a happy ending)

Two years ago today, my brother lost one of his best friends.  I wrote this to my brother's friends a few days later, and I thought today would be a good day to post it on here. I'm not trying to bring up past heartaches, but rather celebrate and reflect on such a young life.  I believe that Matt is smiling down on us in Heaven now, and we should keep his memory alive.

I've always heard the expression "Cheer up, you look like you just lost your best friend."

I never knew what that really looked like until my (not so) little brother came home Sunday night with his eyes all red and puffy from crying harder than he ever had before. It killed me. As his big sister, I've always been protective of him and felt the need to shield him from sadness and sorrow. I didn't know how to handle this situation. I couldn't take away the utter pain, hopelessness or desperation that burdened him. There was nothing I could say or do to make it all better.

The next night, I walked into a house and witnessed the expressions on the faces of a room full of people who had indeed just lost their best friend. A room full of young people with plans and dreams, whose world came to a complete stop the minute they found out that they wouldn't get to see their dear friend here on Earth anymore. It was unfathomable, yet very real.

Only seventeen years old and about to graduate in June. It's easy to ask "Why? Why him??" But we can't do that. God has a plan, and even though it's difficult to see or understand right now, one day we will.

I didn't know Matt as well as Michael or Macy or any of you did, but I do know that whenever I was around him, he was always so laid back and calm and always smiling. He also laughed at all my jokes and witty retorts, which is always a plus in my book. He was meek and humble and cared a great deal about his friends and family. I'll be forever grateful for the time he was here to be a companion to my brother. True friends are hard to come by, so he was certainly special.

I know the next few months - and even years - are gonna be hard for y'all. Graduation is going to be difficult. Thinking about it just tears me up. But you gotta hang in there. Matt made his journey "beyond the shores" a lot earlier than most people do, but he still left a huge impact. The sweet memories you have of him will make it possible for him to live on in your hearts. So will songs like "I Go Back" and "Small Town USA." It touches me to see all of y'all sticking together and leaning on each other for support. It's amazing how one little life could impact the lives of so many others.

I have no doubt that Matt is with his Creator, looking down on us and smiling. Take comfort in knowing we haven't seen the last of him.

Matt - "We'll see you on the other side"

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