How do process the loss of a life? When someone is suddenly, unexpectedly pulled from this world to the next, how do you handle that reality?

A family in our church community (a close part of our church family, really) was launched into that process on Tuesday. A husband, a father, a son, an uncle, and a friend — and a car accident changed the lives of those in his world completely. My prayers go out for them, and my heart breaks with theirs.

When I first heard the news all I could think was that it couldn’t truly be possible. I kept hoping for news that he’d suddenly walked through the door, perfectly fine and ready to hug and hold his wife and his children. To not just watch them from afar, but to pull up to the dinner table and eat with them, to roughhouse and tease as if nothing’s happened.

I wanted it to turn out to be some sort of bizarre joke, but I knew it wasn’t. And it wouldn’t be funny if it was. Yet even now I can’t help but thinking it would be preferable. Sometimes reality is when you most wish that you were dreaming.