Aaron Pasch passed away July 18th, 2015. He was 23, only 5 months older than me.
There isn’t actually any tangible proof that Aaron and I ever knew each other. I poured through my old yearbooks and found nothing – no photos together, no “see you next year” signatures. We didn’t even have the same teachers or classes…ever. In truth, I don’t think we really talked at all the past ten years. He got involved with the track and field crowd, I was involved in theatre and the arts, and our paths didn’t cross very much once we turned twelve.
But we did know each other. Aaron moved to my school district in second grade, and because we were both pretty nerdy kids we quickly became friends, acting out Star Wars and playing other goofy games on the playground in our Southeast Elementary “golden years.”
It’s a strange feeling, losing someone who wasn’t really a part of your life, but who was still a definite part of your life. It’s a loss that doesn’t feel like it should be a loss; it is, but it isn’t.
I wasn’t able to go to Aaron’s visitation or funeral, but I wish I could have. I think that would have made it feel more real. Right now it doesn’t feel like anyone I grew up with could possibly be dead. We all have so much more life left to live.
I was talking to my friend, Jeff, about the concept of Too Damn Young, and he brought up that as Christians, the idea that anyone is “too damn young” isn’t accurate to our faith or our belief in how God works.
“It sounds like the world is random and out of control and meaningless,” he said. “When the good news for everyone grieving is that though we may wish that those we lost had longer lives, it wasn’t random or meaningless and God’s timing is always right and he always is just in whenever he takes us home.”
I know that Jeff is right. He often is. I know that technically, none of us deserve to live long lives, and God doesn’t owe us anything.
But the fact is, even if God’s plan is just and fair, that doesn’t mean his plan makes any sense to us.
Aaron dying two months after he graduated college doesn’t make any sense. My friend, Morgan, being murdered in her 20s doesn’t make any sense. My dad dying of cancer at 53 doesn’t make any sense.
The only way to make sense of any of it is to understand that the world we live in, where accidents happen and cancer happens and life happens and people die young, isn’t the world God designed. We live in a fallen world. My dad said that a lot to people as he was dying, I think because it was the only way for him, or for any of us, to understand why the things that happen, happen.
I hope that it will make more sense on the other side. I hope Aaron will be there.
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have trouble. But take heart, for I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33