It’s been a somber few days for our extended family since we learned of the tragic passing of an amazing young man. Erica and I heard the news on Saturday afternoon, that our sister-in-law’s brother, Jeff Stoltzfus, had died in a snowmobiling accident. He was only 20 years old.
In light of his passing, people are saying things about Jeff that you hear about many people when they die. That he was a good kid, that he had a good heart, and all these things.
But make no mistake about Jeff, these aren’t just things people are saying because they don’t know what else to say. These are the things that defined him. Ask anyone who knew him well and they will tell you that he had a great heart, that he was kind, that he loved to smile and laugh, that he had an amazing work ethic, that he was grounded by his faith in God, and that he was a dreamer.
I didn’t know Jeff very well…I only saw him once or twice a year. But I always walked away impressed. In a world of cocky punks and kids who don’t understand what respect is, he stood out as someone that was impossible not to like. It was truly a pleasure knowing him, and I’m burdened with sadness at his passing and the loss it has left with those who knew him best.
Here’s a few things you can do if you feel compelled to act in light of this tragedy.
1. Please say a prayer for the Stoltzfus family as they mourn this loss and attempt to heal. They need the peace that only God can give now more than ever, and your prayers matter.
2. You can visit the Facebook page that’s been set up in memory of Jeff. Look through the pictures and read what some of his friends are saying about him.
3. Be more intentional this holiday season (and in the coming year) about spending time with the ones you love. Life is fragile, time is fleeting, and love is only love when it’s given away.