When We Lose a Young Life and We Ask God Why

“Why, Lord?” Why did You take such a young life away? One who could have continued to be a living witness of Your love?”

As my heart cried, this verse was God’s answer:

“You don’t understand now
what I am doing,
but someday you will.”

John 13:7

A couple of hours later, I found out our grandson, Kaden, had shared that same verse on Instagram.

It only takes a moment for life to drastically change. It was a heartbreaking week for many in our area last week. One evening a teen hit a patch of ice on the road, over-corrected, and rolled down an embankment, hitting a tree. His young life here ended. Only 15 years old. His 16-year-old friend is still in critical condition.

Both teens were in the same youth group as our grandson. Both lived out their faith.

Barry, the one who lost his life, is the only child his parents had. He will be remembered as someone who wanted nothing more than for others to feel welcomed, loved, and noticed.

Tad, the one who is critically injured, is Kaden’s close friend. They have played basketball together for several years. He did come off life support, but he remains in a coma from brain injuries. His body jerks and convulses, but he doesn’t respond.

Tad was 5 when his family immigrated from somewhere in Africa. Kaden said Tad gives whatever money he earns to help out his parents. He lives life passionately. His basketball coach said that last summer Tad missed some basketball practices, because he chose to go to a church camp instead. Even though he loves basketball, Tad says Jesus is still more important.

It’s so heartbreaking, isn’t it? Life is short. We never know what tomorrow will bring. We are but a mist that appears a moment and then vanishes the next.

We don’t understand why now, but someday God will give us light to understand, if not here, then hereafter.

Please pray for Barry’s and Tad’s devastated friends and families. And please pray Tad’s brain will completely heal. Thank you.

If you would like us to pray for a loss or heartache you have, feel free to share in the comments or you can email me in person. I know it’s hard to fix our eyes on Jesus in times when it feels like we’re drowning in grief, but Jesus knows what we’re going through. He cares so deeply and weeps with us. And someday there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain.

“Jesus wept.”
John 11:35
He will wipe every tear from their eyes,
and there will be no more death
or sorrow or crying or pain.
All these things are gone forever
.”

Revelations 21:4

There Will Be a Day
by Jeremy Camp

“…But I hold on to this hope and the promise that He brings
That there will be a place with no more suffering
There will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, and no more fears
There will be a day when the burdens of this place,
Will be no more, we’ll see Jesus face to face
But until that day, we’ll hold on to you always…”

32 thoughts on “When We Lose a Young Life and We Ask God Why

  1. Praying for Barry’s family and friends, and for Tad’s healing, Trudy. So many “whys” abound when young loved ones are taken from us. God holds all the answers, and one day, we will know.
    Blessings, my friend, and may God comfort all of you at this time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your prayers, Martha. I just can’t imagine losing a son or grandson or nephew at such a young age. And losing a friend at a young age leaves a lasting impact, too. Yes, someday we will know why. May we cling to our God who holds all the answers!

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  2. Oh Trudy, I am praying for the families of these young men this morning. It is so hard to understand why loss like this happens. But the verse you and your Grandson shared is just so precious. We cannot understand now, but HE sees, and He will bring all the answers when we are with Him. Blessings to you as you share such compassion and love, dear friend.

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    1. Thank you so much for your prayers, Bettie. Yes, it’s so hard to understand. Yes it’s a precious verse that God has often used to answer my whys, and it was doubly confirmed when I found out it’s the verse my grandson shared, too. Blessings to you, too! May we lean into His heart of love as He promises He will be with us through everything and someday we will understand why!

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    1. Thank you so much for your prayers, Theresa. I’m sorry something like this happened at your son’s school last year. It’s so heartbreaking. May God give special strength and comfort to all who grieve the losses!

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  3. A heartbreaking story – please know I will be praying. For the families, for your grandson, for the church families. For Tad’s healing and for Barry’s precious parents. Praying that God will be very real to them in the days, weeks and months ahead. Thanks for sharing.

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  4. These losses are so hard, Trudy! So hard for our grown-up hearts to handle, so much harder for teenagers who don’t yet have much life experience to process what’s happened. I’m so sorry your family and community is having to go through this. We trust God’s plans and purposes, but it is still very, very sad. Love and hugs, my friend.

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    1. Thank you so much for your empathy, Lois. Yes, even when we trust God’s plan and purposes, it is still very, very sad. You know this by experience. Love and hugs to you, too! May we cling to our God who knows, cares, and understands!

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  5. Oh, Trudy, my heart goes out to those parents and friends and family. May God comfort as only He can. As a mother I can just imagine what they are going through. So, so hard. Blessings and love! xoxo

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    1. Thank you so much for your caring prayers, Gayl. Your mother heart is really going through a storm with your son’s serious health difficulties. I’m so sorry. I’m sure it’s really scary. Blessings and love to you, too! May God wrap us in His loving arms of comfort as only HE can!

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  6. Oh my goodness, Trudy. I am praying now for everyone impacted by this tragedy. Barry is Home now and that is to be celebrated, but oh how deeply the parting wounds us. Praying for Tad’s full recovery from his injuries also. May the healing hand of our Lord Jesus Christ be on him especially, healing all of his physical wounds. May God’s comfort and peace surround your community as you grieve together, especially Barry’s parents. May the Lord use all of this for His glory!! May He bring untold riches of goodness out of the ashes!! Amen.

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    1. Thank you so much for your prayers, Liz. Yes, even though the loss here is his gain, those parting wounds are deep. I can’t imagine what Barry’s parents are going through. I have come to find out through Barry’s obituary that it was Tad who invited him to his church not long ago. Our grandson has been a close friend with Tad for years but he was just getting to know Barry more these past few weeks when they went to Burger King together after Youth Group meetings. So very, very sad. Yes, may the Lord bring untold riches of goodness out of the ashes! He has the love and power to do that!

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  7. I’m so sorry to hear about this tragedy, Trudy! Praying for Tad’s healing, for Barry’s family, and for Kaden as he deals with it all. It is so sad, and hard to understand why these things happen, but that verse is such a comfort, reminding us that even when we don’t understand God knows what he is doing. I love that God spoke to you and Kaden through the same verse- such a great reminder that he is there and that he cares about our pain. Love and hugs to you!

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    1. Thank you so much for your prayers, Lesley. Kaden just texted me that Tad is now slowly opening his eyes when the doctors tell him to! We hope and pray his brain will fully heal. Otherwise he had no broken bones, but the brain is such a serious matter. Yes, I am overwhelmed with gratitude at how God cares so much about our pain. Love and hugs to you, too! Through every heartache, may we truly embrace that God knows what He is doing!

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  8. I am so sorry for your grandson’s loss and all those who loved this young man. May his parents experience the love of God like never before:

    For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen Barry’s mother and father with power through his Spirit in their inner being, so that Christ may dwell in their hearts through faith. And I pray that Barry’s Mom and Dad, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that they may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

    And may our God fill you and your grandson to overflowing with His living water that this Mom and Dad may feel your love and prayers for them. God truly has filled your family with such compassion, Trudy. May it overflow to bless such hope through this horrific pain of losing such a young life. May the comfort of the Holy Spirit abide through you. Much love and hugs to you.

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    1. Thank you so much for this touching prayer through God’s Word, Anna. They truly do need the power and love of God to hold them up. Love and hugs to you, too! May we embrace God’s truth that He “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.”

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      1. I just cannot even imagine the depth of their pain. Only God can reach that depth with the depth of His love. Amen. Yes, LORD. Show us the power of Your love: that Your ways are so much higher, so beyond our human fathoming. Thank you for that love and hugs…I feel it across the oceans 😊😘

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        1. I can’t imagine the depth of their pain either, Anna. “Only God can reach that depth with the depth of His love.” Yes, Amen! May we keep pleading on the power of His love! When we communicate here, it’s hard to believe you’re across the oceans. 🙂 I feel your love and hugs in my heart, too. 🙂

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  9. Oh, so sorry for those losses Trudy. It is definitely so hard to make sense of tragedy. Our church family recently experienced loss of a young family to a car accident while doing mission work in Africa. And a previous pastor’s son lost his battle at 11 weeks old. That quote you shared is so true. Live can change in a moment. We grieve and learn of the preciousness of life through tragedy. And have to hang on to the knowing that He knows all that grief that tragedy brings. May God be hugging your heart, and your nephews heart during this time.

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    1. I’m so sorry for all the losses you’re experiencing in your church family, Lynn. Yes, it is so hard to make sense of tragedies like these. It’s so true that we learn more of the preciousness of life through tragedy. Thank you for your prayers, also for my grandson. May God be hugging your heart also! May we cling to our God who knows the depths of our grief through all the troubles and tragedies of our lives!

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  10. Trudy, I am so, so sorry to read of these tragic losses. I’ll definitely be praying for Tad, and for your grandson. And I’m praying for those who know the two boys well. It’s hard to understand why God allows these things to happen. After the unexpected death of a friend’s daughter earlier this year, and when my father-in-law passed away a few weeks ago, I keep falling back to the verse that God knows the number of each person’s days. I may not like God’s number, but I have to trust that His plan is the best, even when I don’t understand. I’m continuing to pray, my friend.

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    1. “I may not like God’s number, but I have to trust that His plan is the best, even when I don’t understand.” This really touches my heart, Jeanne. Someday we will understand why. Thank you for your prayers, empathy, and encouragement. I just can’t imagine losing a child so young. I hope your friend is feeling God’s Presence holding her up. I remember when you wrote about it. And your father-in-law’s missing place must be so hard, especially with this first Thanksgiving and Christmas without him. If I remember correctly, that was very sudden and unexpected, too. May you all feel God’s loving embrace holding you up and strengthening you!

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  11. Sweet Trudy, I am praying for Tad and his family (and for your grandson, of course). We only stood on the edge of that deep darkness five years ago, when our son was in a terrible accident (at 17) and was life-flighted to a nearby trauma center. We didn’t know if he was going to make it. He spent many days in a coma … and I sat by his side, not leaving the hospital. During that time, two of my close friends who had lost a child ministered to me. Thankfully, like I said, I was only to look into that deep pit, coming closer to imagine what the loss of a child would do to us. God however does know. He is able. He is there. I am praying. Sending love your way, Trudy!

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    1. That must have been so scary, Heidi. I’m so glad your son made it. I hope he doesn’t have any lasting injuries. I’m sorry you experienced that edge of darkness and I’m sorry your two friends lost a child. Thank you for your prayers. Yes, God is able and He is with us. May that truth strengthen us through whatever we go through here on earth! Sending love your way, too, Heidi!

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    1. My heart is breaking with yours, Lisa. Yes, it’s so hard to understand. You personally know what it’s like to lose a child. My heart aches for you as you remember her birthday this week. Thank you for your prayers and empathy. May God help each of us to remember we don’t need to understand and we just need to hold His hand!

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  12. Oh what desperately sad and heartbreaking news this is! My heart goes out to Barry’s family, loved ones and friends who grieve and mourn the loss of his young life. How hard it is to fathom why this has occurred or be able to see it as anything other than a tragic and painful accident.
    I am praying for all who’ve been affected by this sad event, including your grandson and his surviving friend, Tad, who remains in a critical condition. May God reveal the depths of His tender, compassionate heart and endless comfort and love to all who are suffering and struggling to come to terms with what has happened. Thanks for informing us and giving us the opportunity to add our prayers to yours.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your compassion and prayers, Joy. Yes, it’s so hard to fathom and so very devastating to family and friends. Praying with you – “May God reveal the depths of His tender, compassionate heart and endless comfort and love to all who are suffering and struggling to come to terms with what has happened.” Amen! And may He reveal it to you, too, in all your suffering and struggles!

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