A couple weeks ago, I made a post called “Death, and the Life of Social Media”. Little did I know how close to home this would hit me just eleven days later. On September 16, 2012 around 7:30pm, my nineteen year old cousin, Chandler, passed away in a car accident. He was driving down a road he had driven a thousand times before. He lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a power pole. He was pronounced dead on the scene when help arrived.
When I decided to blog about this, I was not sure how to approach it. When I began thinking about what I loved most about my cousin it became clear; I had to write about my cousin’s love of life. Not even two months ago, he tweeted this:
Chandler was constantly spending time with friends and family, and doing whatever he could to have fun and make the most of the day. He played sports, loved being on the water, riding dirt bikes, and other crazy and fun things. It touched my heart to see him play with his little niece and nephew who loved him so much. He loved people, and loved life. He tried to live without regrets. This might be cliche, but it is true – you never know when your last day will be, so live today like it is your last. It is easy to slip into the thinking that “this is not fair”, or “his life was cut too short”, but I cannot let myself dwell on those ideas. I believe that God has a reason for everything. He did not cause this to happen, but He allowed it. I do not understand the reason, but that has to be ok because He sees the big picture and I can only see a small part of this world that my life is embedded in.
Chandler turned nineteen a week before he passed away. This is a tweet from the day before his birthday:
In some ways it is wonderful to be able to visit this trail of memories that he has left behind, both on Twitter and Facebook, but in some ways it is hard to revisit them. In another way though, it is almost like a little part of him is still with us, making us laugh and reminding us of this young man who we miss so much.
One of my favorite artists, Lecrae, says it best:
“And when it’s over then something else starts. The only thing that’s really gonna matter is that hope inside your heart.” -Lecrae