What can we say to someone when their grief and loss is so deep? When we cannot hold ourselves together? It happens in a single heartbeat, so fast that we will never get to say goodbye. We have no words anyway.
Cody was a light in this world. When he wandered into my creative writing class, and what brought him there I do not know, he flourished. He wrote from his heart and his compassion, and his words moved me.
My classroom seemed to be a magnet, at times, for students on the fringe. For students who had no other place or group. For students who were hard to get to know, to communicate with, to motivate. But Cody didn’t see that. He saw the person beneath all that hard and engaged with them and accepted them and made them feel they mattered, and they did matter to him.
Cody went out of his way to do for others, many times at his own expense personally. Others came first.
When my wooden hall pass, that he’d made for me, was broken, he made me another. When that one was broken, he found a piece of metal and using his welding skills, he welded my name to the metal and that became my new pass. Though I no longer need a hall pass, I keep it on my table at home because Cody made it for me.
Through the last two years, I’ve watched a budding romance develop. Cody and another incredible student of mine. All summer she sent me Snap Chats of their various adventures and Cody’s bright smile next to hers filled me with joy and blessing.
He is no longer here with us, but I take comfort knowing that God wrapped Cody in his arms in those final moments on that road and gave him the love and peace he needed. And now, those of us who loved Cody must take each other in our arms and give that same love and peace and comfort as best we can, even if we cannot find words.