Rest in Paradise, Sydney.

It’s the kind of thing that leaves you speechless and heart-aching.

Today, the world is a little bit darker, and heaven is a little bit brighter.

God knows the moment we will take our first breath, and the moment we will take our last- and yesterday, He welcomed home one of His own.

We can ask ourselves a thousand ‘why’s’; a thousand unanswered questions. Yet the truth is, we know the world we live in and the power it has to swallow a soul and take a life. And still, we inflict pain upon another, and mask our own.

We’ve all been there. The stings of betrayal, disbelief, and hopelessness. The lonely and sleepless nights, endless hours awake, not understanding and asking ‘why?’- the feeling that life might not be worth living. It’s a dark, discomforting place. A place I never wish to return. A place I wouldn’t inflicted upon anyone.

Our strength comes from the hand that reaches down and picks us up, the voice that tells us everything is going to be alright. For some, it’s a best friend, a parent, a sibling; maybe a song, maybe a revelation.

But for some, God reaches down and doesn’t just pick them up, but takes them home. The kind of healer no man can match, the kind of medicine no institution could engineer.

The beauty that is Sydney, the kind that radiates, the kind that lightens a dark room, and lifts sunken spirits, even when she couldn’t lift her own. There are few people in the world that consistently put the happiness of others above their own. It’s no surprise to any that Sydney was one of those kind people, expecting nothing in return.

I’m sure I’m not the only one in shock; Since I met the Bruning family, I’ve been envious of the flawlessness of their three beautiful girls, both inside and out. I celebrated my own sisters 23rd birthday with her yesterday, and all I could think was how devastated I would be if I lost her. To lose a sister is to lose a part of you. To lose a daughter, unimaginable. My deepest condolences to the Brunings and all the lives Sydney touched, an uncountable number.

To be forced to learn a lesson in a tragedy is cruel, but I’d like everyone to take something away from this: Each and every car you see on the road, every face you pass on the street, and every post-sunset light you see shining across the city represents each individual battle someone faces day to day. No matter your age, race, or gender- we are all fighting something. No matter how much we try to deny it and ignore it, no one is immune to being human. And with being human comes the bitterness of struggle. So hold your own a little closer, a little tighter. Let them know they are loved, let them know there is hope in this world.

So be gracious and have mercy. Be mindful of your words, of your actions, of yourself. Be honest, demand truth, demand respect. Shame on those who attributed to the wrong doings, but do not sulk in condemnation for life. Honor Sydney and celebrate her life; live as she lived; selflessly. Know that every ray of sun is her sending warmth to the world. Know that she is everywhere, walking beside you, walking beside her Savior.

Her mind is rid of destruction, her soul is free. She left behind a world where she knew she was loved, but she entered a place where she can feel it, a world where she believes it. In loving memory, she will never be forgotten, but cherished.

In Paradise she rests, loving with heavenly sources.
Rest in Paradise, for you are loved by infinite forces.





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