I recently attended the Yale University commencement exercises for the class of 2012, which included a young man I adore. The beaming families and friends of the graduating seniors didn’t let the torrential rain dampen a single spirit. Their kids would be leaving New Haven, CT, with diplomas from one of the country’s most respected institutions. Many already had jobs or were going on to graduate programs. Their futures held nothing but promise.
Now one of the graduates, a beautiful young woman named Marina, is dead. The car her boyfriend was driving last weekend hit a guardrail and rolled over twice. Marina died at the scene and her boyfriend, also a recent Yale graduate, was uninjured.
Marina, a wonderful writer, was planning to move to Brooklyn with a group of friends and start a coveted job as an editorial assistant at the iconic New Yorker magazine.
Her parents, who were celebrating their daughter’s accomplishments days ago, have suffered a loss greater than any of us can fathom. We will never have the privilege to read Marina’s prose. Her boyfriend will undoubtedly never be the same. All their lives have been inexorably altered.
Why was this young woman taken from the world at such a pivotal moment in her life? Marina’s parents were quoted as saying she was a brilliant light for everyone around her. “She was an amazing, wise soul that was given to us as a gift,” her mother said. One of her professors called her “wise beyond measure.”
I am deeply sad for Marina’s parents, two brothers, boyfriend, and for all those who lives Marina touched. I hope their faith is strong and will help them through this horrible time.
We are constantly reminded of the fragility of life. The thought is sometimes so unsettling that the only thing we can do is force it from our minds and forge ahead.