Tuesday, January 27, 2009

so it goes.

a young guy died at work today. i don't really know how else to say it, but that's what happened. his name was matt. i didn't know him. i don't know why he died. the most detailed report was that he had a tooth abscess that was infected and the infection got to his brain. my manager's wife suggested it may have been a blood clot to his lung. regardless of how it happened, it happened. i walked into work 30 minutes before the store opened and he was standing there panicking, unable to breathe properly. the ambulance was on its way. shortly after i began putting wine glasses on the bar, he passed out. he was a large guy, so you heard him thump against the wood cabinets he was standing near. another manager began administering mouth-to-mouth. i had taken CPR classes 5 years ago, but didn't remember enough to want to step in. frank seemed to know what he was doing. the paramedics came and took him out. matt's lips were blue. later that day frank said over the kitchen PA system that matt didn't make it. he was 27. he had two kids.

my emotions have been fluctuating all day. i haven't spoken much since frank said that over the loudspeaker. he requested a moment of silence. afterward, frank asked for God to have rest on his soul. you could tell that frank was overcome with emotion. when frank loses his cool, we all lose our cool. i couldn't imagine being frank at that moment, having to share with the restaurant that one of our own had passed so unexpectedly.

i don't know what to think. i've been thinking through it since frank's voice interrupted my bowl of soup today. that soup quickly became obscolete. a lot of things become obscolete when someone dies. especially someone three years my senior. i didn't shed any tears today. not yet at least. i didn't know him at all. he had two kids. what broke my heart most was thinking that his daughter may have seen him going to work for another normal day today without knowing that she'd never see him alive again.

life ended for matt today. i was told that he wasn't a christian. based on my beliefs, i'd say that he is in hell today. i hate to say it, but that's the belief that comes with christianity. his future plans are over. he won't travel anymore. he won't be able to provide for his children. he won't read another book or hear another song. that's what scares me the most.

it's been about 13 hours since matt hit the floor only 30 feet from me this morning. its been 10 since i learned i'd never see him again. in those 10 hours i've been trying to figure out why this event was a part of my life today. it seems like just another example of why i need to take every day and run with it. i want to read the books i haven't read, hear the songs i haven't heard, write the songs that haven't been written, see the parts of the world i haven't seen. i know i need to share my faith. i need to do whatever i can to save the souls like matt who don't know the Lord Jesus Christ. maybe i've been selfish in my recent hiatus from ministry. i know that i need to rededicate my life to living in a Christ-like way, sharing the Gospel in everything i do.

my view of death has been skewed lately, especially after having finished kurt vonnegut's "slaughterhouse-five" recently. in the book, billy pilgrim travels in time through his life. he seemingly exists eternally, reliving parts of his life out-of-order over and over again. when he experiences his death he simply time travels to a different part of his life. but i know that that's not how life is. when our life is over here, where do we go? i have a lot of goals to accomplish in this life. i want to get married and have kids. i want to provide for that family. i want to see a lot of things i haven't seen, read a lot of books i haven't read, and listen to songs i haven't heard. but when my life ends, it ends. my mortal goals will cease. i don't know when that will happen, but what i do know is that i'd be much more worried about my own death if i wasn't sure if where i'd be going next. so it goes.