Forgive me for stealing lyrics, once again, for a title to a blog. It just seems so perfect when pondering the question as to why, when I turn on the local news, I constantly hear about people killing each other over drugs or money or domestic issues, with absolutely no regard for the sanctity of human life.
Yet, I among many others live in a world, right now, of total devastation and grief over the untimely death of someone who lived an altogether unselfish, altruistic, noble, zealous, generous, compassionate, and beautiful life. This person died way too soon, unexpectedly, and long before he was finished his work here on earth.
My question, although I’ve been told a thousand times not to ask it, is why?
This is now the second time within five short months that we, as a family, have observed a family close to us, lose their sons, who we felt were part of our family. My husband and I watched each one of our children lose one of their closest friends at a very young age. One was ill, and the other was sudden.
My mother’s answer is, and always has been, “their number was up.” She is clearly a fatalist. If she believed anything else, she couldn’t have the positive outlook that she does. Even the mothers of these two young men are trying as hard as they can to maintain their faith.
I cannot. I do not understand why. As a Jew, I just went through what is known as the “Days of Awe,” or the High Holy Days, when we ask forgiveness and ask to be written and sealed in the book of life for another year. I asked for forgiveness. I heard a Rabbi talk about the fact that throughout the year, we say to ourselves, “I’m a good person, but on the one Day of Atonement, we ask, am I a good person?”
I’m beginning to think it doesn’t matter whether you are or you aren’t a good person. I am beginning to think there is a random chaos going on. I spent my lifetime following the rules. I’ve always thought of myself as a good guy. Now, I don’t think it matters if you drive up the median to beat traffic, or whether or not you give back the extra change the cashier gave you, or return the wallet you found full of cash. Now it doesn’t matter if you hold the elevator for someone, or help an older person with a heavy door, or let someone merge into traffic. Now, it doesn’t mean a thing if you share your spare change with a homeless person or give money to a charity.
G-D, if there is a G-D, doesn’t seem to delineate. He steals the thugs, criminals and thieves as well as the angels, children and good guys. And we never get an answer to that particular question. Because there is none. And if there is none, then what does it even matter what we do here on earth?
All I know is that I made a promise. I promised to Live Like Devon. That means, for those unfortunates who didn’t have him in their lives, I will, I guess, continue to be me. (That was my last advice to him. I told him to “continue to be you… that’s all I want”). I’m going to give someone a hug today… do a random act of kindness… forgive a grudge… and reach out to a total stranger.
Rest in Peace Devon Grimmé