Ask any pastor and they will tell you the same thing: Death comes in waves and batches - across any community. Often in 3's.
I remember as a youth pastor burying a 12 year olds mother on Friday and a 14 year olds mother the next day. From the same church. It's weird.
I've attended 3 funerals in the last few weeks. All a result of cancer. Last week I heard that the person who played the role of King Nebuchadnezzar at a camporee I was at with 50,000 other people, died as a result of a fall while climbing Mt Washington on his day off from working at a summer camp. It's so tragic when someone so young, gifted and so healthy, goes in such an untimely way.
And now this week. Another church summer camp worker, again on his day off, dies in Yosemite National Park, the home of my local church camp - Camp Wawona. And so many students of my congregation knew him - a really great guy I'm hearing.
I don't know why these things happen in multiples. I have my theories, but none that help.
I do know why people die though. I have seen how fragile we are in a world that is full of hazards. We can't do this in our current condition. Even the strongest, loveliest, most gifted succumb.
So I will resort to God cliches. Not only is it all I've got faced with tragedy, but the cliches exist because they are true: Jesus has beaten death. Love has triumphed against evil and selfishness is ugly, and destroys. Plus, and I believe this with everything I have, . . . Jesus is the answer. To it all.
May God comfort all those who hurt, but must go on living.