Tangles in the Weaving

It's hard to wrap my head around, to know how to feel.

January 24th, Monday, and I was checking my email before going to Dag, and found the breath knocked out of me as I read words on my screen. No, this doesn't happen. Not to people I know. Not to students in the class I TAed. Not here. How do you lose a person? Where could he be? What was going on in his head? Was he okay? The questions seemed to stretch endless.

And the time between then and now seemed endless in some ways too. At first it cuts through everything. We lost someone. There is the oddness of waking up thinking about it, of walking down the sidewalk and wondering when you'll see him next, of seeing that no one is sitting at that particular table in the library. A lot of searches on google.

And then, eventually, there is nothing, and there continued to be nothing. The prayers continue, but so does the rest of life. Searches continue, and classes do too. Winter gradually gives way to spring, and the campus is filled with students whose wrists are marked with red rubber bracelets. We pack in anticipation of going home; I sort through old paperwork and find his name written at the top of a quiz.

Today was the last day of the semester. I finished my junior year; he should have been finishing his freshman year. I got back from my last final and checked my email as I finished packing. And a body was found in the river. This wasn't the first time that has happened, and so we waited for more answers.

Sometimes it is hard even to know what to hope for. An answer? Or more uncertainty and a feeble grasping for a solution that seems impossible? I am tangled in threads that seem to run every way, saying that God can do anything and also that life generally does not work in miraculous ways, that I want to be able to keep hoping and that we need some kind of closure.

So packing finished and I went home for these two nights before I go back to campus to start my summer job. One of my roommates was online and I shot her a message, asking how the project she was working on was going. We exchanged a few lines about that and then she said, I think they found his body.

Those were words I did not want to hear, although I agreed, and it was only a few minutes later that there was confirmation of what she said.
And I still don't know how to feel. All mixed up, especially as it comes with the end of a school year, which is always bittersweet anyway. There are a lot of questions that we won't get answers to, and my mind flips back and forth between songs. Elle G, which I had been afraid would be an answer near the beginning.

Silence all, nobody breathe
How in the world could you just leave?
You promised you would
Silence that evil with good...

Maybe this world is a barren place
For a soul prone to get lost
But heaven still hounds from the smallest sounds
To the cries of the storm-tossed...
Every old demon
Playing back a crime
If they'd needed blood, I'd've gladly given mine...

And Center Aisle.

It was my first time
Won't be my last time
And the questions rise
Expectations fall
In light of it all...
It's not fair
It's not fair...
What crimes have you committed
Demanding such a penance
That couldn't wait for five more minutes
And a cry for help
'Cause this room is so peaceful
And this room is so quiet
And I hate the silence
And I can't walk the center aisle

And a line from Rabbit-Proof Fence, at the very end, when Molly and Daisy are finally home, and Molly cries, "I lost one... I lost one."

That seems to sum it up.

And I leaf through Lament for a Son, because Wolterstorff's words seem to sum up the ache in my heart as well as I could write it myself.

We found lists of things he was planning to do: plans, intentions, proposed undertakings, breathing hope... Now it's all gone. All the rich future he held -- gone in those tumbling seconds. His death is things to do not done -- never to be done.

I had loved reading his plans as I graded his papers over the fall semester.

There's a hole in the world now. In the place where he was, there's now just nothing... There's nobody now who saw just what he saw, knows what he knew, remembers what he remembered, loves what he loved. A person, an irreplaceable person, is gone. Never again will anyone apprehend the world quite the way he did... Questions I have can never now get answers.

But back at the beginning, I wrote, and we sang, It is well with my soul.

And God knows that I hate this answer. But I still pray that it will be well with our souls, that there will be a filling of the hole.

I cannot imagine yet what it looks like, only trust that the God who became man, the King with the hands of a healer, will yet weave even these frayed pieces into a whole.


  1. good summary.

    I hope you can find a way to share some of this with the family, at least the parts about what he wrote.

    ((Dangerous Crusader))


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