A little over a week ago, a friend of Tyler’s was senselessly killed. My heart is still heavy and sore over the thought of it. I didn’t know him all that well, only through conversations at the grocery store and at the company Christmas party. This much I know, he was one of the gentler souls I’ve ever met. I always enjoyed seeing him and getting the chance to say hello. It took me little time to realize he was someone who wanted to live a simple, peaceful, vibrant life and at only 24, he was doing that very well.
The details of his death are unclear, but after attending a beautiful memorial for him, they only pale in comparison to the details of his life. Those closest to him described him as sunlight, as the person who would have helped them heal in light of such a tragedy, as a deep and spiritual friend, and a sweet younger brother.
This certainly has laid a mile marker on our life in the city. A reminder that we don’t have time to waste, and an inspiration to live in a way that can change the world you’re living in. At the very least, impact the lives of those you live among.
My thoughts on guns are fully explained elsewhere, and really belong there more than they belong here. But I just want to say, this issue now has two faces for me. The one of kind, gentle, young, Xe, who’s life was taken far too soon. Far, far too soon. And the one of the confused, scared, misled other who likely lost themselves that night, before knowing a minute of the life they were stealing. I am confident that had the scenario been slowed, a conversation had, the outcome would have been entirely different. If it weren’t so easy, so fast, so disconnected to end a life.
Xe’s father said as he lead the memorial for his son, just down the street from where he was killed,”Please don’t hate anyone, as much as you may want to. Send love and light to the person who opened the door for my son that night.” Then, he lead a processional to the corner where it happened and asked for peace for the neighborhood, for a better future.
I hope I can hold that depth of grace for others in my life.
Rest peacefully, Xe. After all, blessed are the peacemakers. I only wish I could have known you better.