Jul 7, 2009


In the old days, going off to college usually meant leaving high school friends behind. Sure there was the occasional letter, and sometimes there were opportunities to catch-up at holidays or during the summer—provided of course that you or your friend came home for a visit. But sadly, it wasn’t unusual to lose contact and learn of significant life events long after the fact.

Times have changed. Today’s college students come away from high school with a fabulous quilt of friendships nurtured and maintained through the high tech world that surrounds us. The magic of Facebook or MySpace or any number of social networking outlets allows them to know in an instant what’s going on with relationships, travel, interests, or even the most mundane of day-to-day activities. All this social contact may be time-consuming and sometimes frivolous, but it obviously pays off as these kids really seem to care.

And thus, the death of a dear friend sends immediate shock waves rippling through networks all over the country and the world. Several days ago, my son’s high school friend Katie was killed in a freak automobile accident in a remote corner of Colorado. A student at Boston University, Katie was driving back across country from a church conference she attended in Salt Lake City. Within hours, the stunning news made its way from Colorado to Peru to California, Boston, Virginia through all the people and to all the places touched by Katie’s way-too-brief life. Grieving friends consoled one another and constructed touching memorials on Facebook. Katie’s death did not go unnoticed, and her life is being celebrated in the best possible way through the thoughts and prayers of a huge circle of friends.

Godspeed, Katie. You will be missed by everyone who loved you.

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