Why did I feel so wrong? I wanted to pray; I needed to pray. Something was throwing off the equilibrium of my more-often-than-not-balanced weekends. Then the phone rang. Her sweet, caring voice seemed tainted by worry, by pain, she spoke, “I have leukemia.” In my wildest dreams I would have never predicted my return to Texas would under such horrid circumstances. Watching tear-stricken faces blur past me was not my idea of the joyous reunion I’d longed for a year earlier. Two years later and my heart still burns when I think of her. She used to plague my dreams, my little reminder. The pain I felt, the one that visits every once in a while, has ignited every ounce of my being to want to succeed—to want to live—and to want to die.
As morbid as that may seem, death is a pathway to endless possibilities. It took me a while grasp the fact that if Courtney would have never died I would have never learned to live. In the beginning, I allowed hatred to fester in my soul praying it would numb the pain But the abundance of hatred continued to harbor in my gut, slowly tearing me apart.. It was one of the darkest times in my continuing teenage existence. I was full of hatred; the world, God, and society. A society who had handed an innocent family all the pain they could collect and then spit it into their faces—their own personalized cross. I was blinded by my own anger; I didn’t even take a second out of my life to think of what good Courtney’s death had caused. She was a dead inspiration.
Courtney inspired me to live my life to the fullest. I had to. She was only fifteen when she took her last breath and I was slowly approaching that ever-present deadline. I started to grow; my mustard seed had been planted, watered, sunned, and slowly began sprouting. I excelled in school, got involved more in church activities, and grew as a musician (I’ve written more songs about her than anyone else). Lost in all this effort, however, was the true meaning of what I needed to be fully at peace. For such a small message, it took me a lengthy amount of time to find it. Courtney’s death was a blessing. Death is a blessing not a curse. It is the sweet, succulent rest that awaits us when our work is finished. Courtney was not brutally murdered by humanity; Courtney was rebirthed in life. She was at peace.
As much as a long to live my life, I have come to the conclusion that I want to die. I cannot hide in the protective blanket covering life, but I must go out into the world and live as if I am dying. Death isn’t a curse but a lesson from a greater teacher. A teacher who wants us to know that beyond the world there is greater life. I want to live that life, the life where I won’t die. I used to fear death, but not anymore. I want to die because maybe, more than maybe, that is the only way I will ever learn to live.
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