There is a sinking feeling that we, after much struggle and difficulty I'm sure, gave a horribly insufficient word to in the English language. We call that feeling sadness. Sometimes we call it loss. Sometimes it is death, cancer, sickness, disease, hunger, pain, depression... We've given a lot of insufficient words to that feeling.
A large portion of my friends lost someone today. His name was Cody. Their prayers for him have been swirling around in Heaven for a little week now, but obviously there were other things in store for Cody.
I never met Cody Botten. Strangely, I miss him. I miss him as if I'd run into him every day in the halls (I hadn't). I miss him as if I'd talked him outside of school sometimes or texted him on the weekends (I've never). I miss him as if I'd had the privilege of calling him friend. Unfortunately, that privilege was never mine. But the love and pain of my friends links me to Cody in a way it has linked hundreds of teenagers in the last week. People who've never seen his face or heard his name have prayed for him.
I was on Facebook, perusing my Home page, when The People You May Know button suggested Cody Botten. Eager to see if he was recovering (maybe his parents had gotten on), I clicked on his picture. I was met with a long list of comments wishing him well and telling him to rest in peace. One girl said: "We will all see you sooner or later in heaven Cody." All the thoughts begging for attention in my head fell silent when I read that.
Cody, if there's Internet access in Heaven, I'd like you to know that I prayed for you while you were fighting to recover. I'd also like you to know that I love you and miss you in that unique way a stranger can love and miss another stranger.
To families and friends of Cody, if you read this please know I am praying for you. I have tried my best to be respectful to Cody's memory in this post. For reasons of respect, I will not tell anyone that it is here. It will not appear on my Facebook wall or my Twitter. Others can find it if they are meant to.
In Memory of Cody Botten. May He Rest in Eternal Peace and Joy.