Lately I have been in this rut of sadness and can’t seem to get out of it. The day I got engaged was also the day I lost someone I cared so much about. He had a huge piece of my heart and was someone that I wanted nothing but the best for. I wanted to help him in every way I could but I failed. I never wanted anything bad to happen to him and the worst happened. I have had the hardest time grasping what happened. I didn’t think it would hit me as hard as it did, let alone my entire family. There was just something about Dimitriy that I felt so connected to.
I grew up with Dimitriy. He was the kid I was in love with in middle school and as we grew up we ended up at different high schools but I always kept in contact with him. I felt like God put him in my life for a reason. There was so much of him that reminded me of my brother. I truly wanted to help him. I just never knew how. Little did I know that just talking to him helped. He always reached out to me. He would call me in the middle of the night to just talk about anything and everything. I tried to be there for him as much as I possibly could.
Dimitriy spent his last few days with my family. We took him in and gave him somewhere to stay. My brother spent a ton of time with him that weekend. We didn’t realize that we took him to his favorite restaurant to eat and did things that would fill his heart with joy. We found this out later on. The day he passed was on a Sunday. He went to church with us and ended up getting saved that morning. Talk about God really working in his life. I knew he wanted a change and I was so proud of him for giving his life to Jesus. I cried and smiled as he went to the altar.
After church we all celebrated and had a cookout at church for our pastor’s 30th year reunion. While we were there I ended up taking a picture of all of us. I never would’ve thought that would be the last picture he ever took.
When we got home my brother was taking Dimitriy and dropping him off to see a friend. I constantly replay the picture in my head watching him pack up all his stuff in the room he was staying in and telling him to stay in contact with me and let me know if he needed anything. I gave him a hug goodbye and headed off to meet with a friend. If I had known the hug I gave him was the last, I would’ve hugged him a little longer and a little tighter.
Later that day is when Nathan proposed and literally minutes after, his mom called and told us the news. The worst news we ever wanted to hear. Especially during a time when we were supposed to be celebrating. How do you even react in a time like that? It was instant sadness. I questioned why God would allow this to happen. I regretted not talking to him longer earlier that day. I couldn’t understand God’s plan. There was so much regret in my heart. Why didn’t I do more?
I couldn’t believe that I let him slip through my fingers the way he did. All I wanted to do was help him. He had so much going for him. If only I could go back to the moment when I said goodbye and didn’t let him go.
This same week the bible study I am in just happened to be studying peace. Again, amazing how God works. This portion of our bible study was exactly what I needed in a time of so much grief. God showed me so many different verses that would allow me to have peace in such a hard time. God’s hands were all in this. I loved what our book said. “Knowing who God is changes how we respond to the storms and turmoil of life.” I couldn’t agree more to this. I know that if I didn’t have God in my heart, I would have responded to this in a completely different way.
We can’t question God’s works. All we have to do is trust in Him and trust His plan. It’s hard to understand that’s for sure. I have found myself just weeping in my car all alone wishing I did more and wishing he was still here. I couldn’t even walk past the room he was staying in without crying. God has been my anchor through all this and I know he is with his family in this hard time as well.
Dimitriy was so special to so many people and knew how to always put a smile on their face. I will never forget the many amazing memories spent with him. I hope in this time more of people our age will see that this is so real. Life is too short. He was only 20 years old. You aren’t guaranteed another day and that’s something that I have realized very quickly. Know the truth. Come to know who God is and what his love can do. Know that you will spend eternity with Him and feel His grace while here on earth. It’s nice knowing he’s with God in this very moment looking down on everyone as a guarding angel. Oh how I miss that sweet boy.