At times I wish everything would just stop. Sometimes it’s because I’m enjoying a wonderful evening and the thought of it ending saddens me. At other times it’s because there aren’t enough hours in the day for me to finish everything I set out to accomplish. Right now I want to freeze time because it just doesn’t seem fair that life goes on when one life has been cut so short.
Last Sunday I received news that my friend Chase Anderson passed away. He was 24 years old. I was very lucky to get to visit with him back in August as we sat at Starbucks and discussed his enthusiasm for his job and how I might be able to help him out. We both lost track of time and hadn’t realized that 3 ½ hours had passed since we first sat down. It’s strange how you meet some people and instantly feel like you’ve known them for years, but that’s how Chase was. Even his dad, Pat, was like that. I probably met with his dad two or three times and found the same genuine enthusiasm for work and life that Chase exuded over a year and a half later. You see, Pat passed away last December. Now, a year later, his family has been faced with the unbearable loss of Chase as well. The passing of both of these men just proves to me that sometimes life just doesn’t make sense.
It’s funny sometimes how fate steps in and puts you in the right place at the right time. Tuesday night I was out at a local karaoke bar visiting with friends when a guy got called up to the stage to sing. Apparently he wasn’t aware that his friends had put his name in to sing. As the music began, he made an announcement that the song was dedicated to Chase Anderson. My heart skipped a beat and I began looking around the room to see if my ears had deceived me. I looked to my left and saw a guy who was nodding as his friend on stage began singing. I went up to him and asked him if he knew Chase and in fact he did. Tears filled my eyes and quickly began rolling down my cheeks. I told him how sorry I was and he and I just stood there hugging for what seemed like a long time. Apparently a group of Chase’s friends decided to get together to celebrate him and just happened to be at the same place I had chosen to go to that evening. I found out his name was Chris and that he and Chase were very close. We got lost in conversation about Chase as he had been known to do himself. It was apparent how many lives he had touched and just how much he means to his friends. I’m sure I’ll see Chris and his group of friends again this weekend as we all say our goodbyes.
Back in August of last year I posted a blog entitled I Believe in the Fourth. I’ve been thinking about this blog quite a bit since last night. In the blog I discussed the three major ways most people view life ending – when a person stops breathing, when a person’s heart stops beating, and when there is no brain activity. While these are all logical explanations of death, I tend to believe a person is truly dead when they are no longer spoken of by others. This to me is the fourth way life ends. The world may still be turning and life may continue on, but after talking with Chris, seeing all the Facebook and CaringBridge posts, and my own reflection of his life, it is apparent to me that Chase will be around for quite some time…and justifiably so.