In the back of my mind, I still wonder why bad things happen to good people. As we sat in a packed church in memory and honor of 29-year-old Jamie Hahn and listened to her husband, friends, and clients speak of her unforgettable influence, it was as if we had all become one. We were linked by this precious soul being laid to rest. In the back of my mind, I still struggled.
I mean, we need all the warriors we can get as we push through life– the warrior types who stand for life, love, and the pursuit of happiness. Those who advocate for the marginalized. Believe in justice. Yes, even the idealistic and optimistic. If we could all rally together around common good and work toward making our world a better, safer place to live in, we’d make better progress. So, I still can’t help thinking that progress is stilted when one of us is taken away.
But what I do know is that it is not for me– or any of us– to understand. Senseless acts of violence–a redundancy in and of itself– should move us to action.
I was sitting with friend and colleague Lisa Sullivan, who also blogged about Jamie’s influence. Lisa and I struggled together during the service to maintain our composures. We pushed through the shock and the grief because we both know that it is up to us to keep Jamie’s light shining. After all, she died trying to right a wrong.
So, I’m suppressing that which only raises more questions in order that my strength might be saved for action. Jamie’s husband Nation said they both admired the Kennedys. Her service program bore this quote from Robert Kennedy:
“Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of those acts will be written the history of this generation.”
During Jamie’s service, we were encouraged to “remember her with deep thanksgiving,” as a “bridge-builder”, an idealist who was pragmatic enough to know that in order to achieve change, resources are needed.
Above all, Nation said, she made everyone feel like they mattered. She was a class act among the “total” Kennedy referenced. Her spirit is still with us, prodding us to link up and do good.
Thank you Jamie. My “Whys?” have now become “What?”