Why? Teenagers and death

He was just 17 when  his life ended. A typical teen-age male having a blast at summer’s end with a bunch of his cronies.His fatal mistake…he tried to beat a bus across a strip where busses move quickly. The bus won and his family’s world crashed.

As I walked as I do very early along the beautiful boardwalk I spied the inchoate cries of rage plastered all over a public building near the scene of his death. Typical teen-age cries in the night when the unthinkable happens: Why Jimmy? We’ll never forget you.He was a sweet kid.

This is the way a growing lost generation of young people grieves today. Disconnected from Christianity for whatever reasons, they are totally oiut of touch with communal wisdom and liturgy which could help them on  one of life’s many boundary situations.

This is where the conservative voice rings true.Sadly it has become  an almost bitter voice at the loss of the Church’s power.It has become accusatory, lacking much compassion or understanding as to why the Church has lost much voice. Secularization it must be said has nio deep answers to life’s rude and hard edges.

These poor floundering kids felt it was OK to assuage their grief by defacing a public building. They mourned in the way many do today.They placed flowers near the tragic death. This should not be mocked.It is a real cri de coeur but it falls radically short.

Sadly most churches have not found ways to connect their deep wisdom to young lives today.They pontificate from on high, talk at the young.Few really know how to walk withythem.

Pity, these kids who defaced that building could have used intelligent succour. One family’s pain could have been more easlly born


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