When I’m at a loss for words, I write whatever comes to my mind. I do this in an effort to figure out whatever it is I’m feeling. It’s 4:30am on June 11, 2016. A few hours ago, 22-year-old YouTube sensation and star of ‘The Voice’ Christina Grimmie was shot and killed after a concert in Orlando, Florida. She was only 22. I am only 22. All life taken breaks my heart and leaves me wondering why people can be so cruel. This life taken affects me in a way I can’t quite explain. She was only 22. I am only 22. Along with Tiffany Alvord and Megan & Liz, Christina Grimmie was one of the first YouTube stars I ever listened to after learning there was any such thing as “YouTube stars” and “covers.” I have a YouTube channel now. I don’t have many followers and I have a lot of improving to do, but I have a YouTube channel. Seeing all that Tiffany Alvord, Megan & Liz, Christina Grimmie and many others have accomplished has inspired me to reach for my dreams no matter how unattainable they may seem to be. Christina was only 22 and I am only 22. Ideally, 22 year olds should have 50, 60, 90 years left to live! Life should just be beginning for Christina Grimmie. She was only 22. I am only 22. My life is just beginning and sadly, hers has just ended. How is this even real?
I didn’t know Christina, so I have no right to speak or write about her as if I did, so I won’t. I did know of her though. I knew she was a YouTube sensation and a star of ‘The Voice.’ I knew she seemed to be a genuinely sweet and caring person with a heart of gold that was after God’s own heart even when being catapulted into the bright lights of Hollywood. I don’t know Tiffany Alvord either, not really, but I know her about as well as I know any other person I rarely see in person but always see on social media. I actually receive Tiffany’s tweets to my phone because I always love to see what she has to say. Tonight, I did not love to hear what she had to say. Still though, like I often do, I clung to every word she shared. This time it was with a desperate hope that everything would be okay and that maybe I was just viewing the evidence of a sick prank or horrible nightmare. Alas, every word was true though. Christina Grimmie was shot at her concert in Orlando and she did survive. Tiffany said in a Tweet/Instagram post after Christina’s fate was revealed that “Christina has always been so amazing, so sweet, so caring, and loving.” Megan Mace said, “Christina is the kindest, sweetest soul.” I didn’t know Christina, but I do know enough about Tiffany and Megan to know that what they say about people is often true. Therefore, I know that Christina is a beautiful soul. I say this in the present tense, because souls don’t die. They only pass on. As far as I’m aware, Christina was a strong woman of faith, so we can live well in knowing that though she is gone, she is in a better place. Megan Mace also said, “God must have had bigger plans for your beautiful soul than any one of us could see here on Earth.” I know that’s true. I don’t know how, but I know it is. Christina knew this to be true as well, because three years ago she tweeted, “God knows the plans He has for us. So worry not. Which of [you] adds another hour to [your] life by worrying? #constantlesson.” I know she tweeted this because Tiffany, who most of gone through all of Christina’s tweets, retweeted it. I’m glad she knew this. I’m glad she shared this, because it is a beautiful reminder that even through something so heartbreaking, God is with us and using it for our good. Even still, knowing this truth does not mean it is not heartbreaking to lose someone so young. She was only 22. I am only 22.
I didn’t know Christina, but I do know she was only 22. Because I am only 22, I know that no matter how far she had come in following her dreams, her life was still just beginning. In the grand scheme of things, it was like that she was only quarter or even a fifth of the way through what should have been the span of her life. I am only a quarter or even a fifth of the way through what will ideally be the span of my life. It breaks my heart when any life is taken. The taking of Christina’s life breaks my heart in an unexplainable kind of way. She was only 22. I am only 22. It seems impossible that someone my age who was accomplishing so much in the way of her dreams is now gone. She was only 22. I am only 22. How is this even real? How is the world still spinning? For the past four hours since I read Tiffany’s first tweet about what was happening I’ve been refreshing my social media pages every few minutes to see what I can see about Christina. Originally it was for updates in hopes that a miracle would happen. After the confirmation it was in a dazed denial. I didn’t know Christina, but I knew she was only 22. I am only 22. It doesn’t seem real that someone could be taken from this world at 22. I know it happens all the time. I know it happens to people much younger. Still it doesn’t seem real. I’ve scrolled through my social media apps for answers and maybe even to see someone finally say it isn’t real. I don’t know, maybe that she did die but then started breathing again. It doesn’t happen often I know, but it does happen.
In comparison to God, no one in is good, but from a human stand point and a flawed point of view, some people are good in comparison to other people. In our world, there are good guys and bad guys. Christina was good. Even without knowing her, I knew that much. Even without knowing her and without knowing she was good, I know that her fellow YouTube stars/friends are good. Or at least, Tiffany Alvord and Megan & Liz are good. Why do bad things happen to good people? Because just like there is darkness where there is no light, there is evil where there is no God. Sometimes the darkness of this world creeps in as the shadows of those in the light. The darkness of the shooters world unfortunately creeped in as the shadows of Christina’s light. Her light will not be put out though. She may not be here with us physically any longer, but she will always be with us in spirit. Her life and legacy will live on through the music was able to release and through the lives she was able to touch. Her family and friends and fans will not her light go out. Whatever God’s plan is, it likely involves keeping Christina’s light burning in such a way that she can touch more lives than she could have ever dreamed touching when she was still with us.
I didn’t know Christina, but I knew of her. I knew she was only 22 and I am only 22. I cannot believe someone my age was fatally shot in the past 12 hours. Sadly, it is heartbreakingly true though. Among other lost lives I may never know about, Christina’s life was taken from us not twelve hours ago. She will live on though. Even at 22 she left a legacy that will not soon be forgotten. At 22, I will sit her with my phone in my hand and computer on my lap and contemplate the unfathomability of a lost life at only 22. It seems so unbelievable. A girl my age was fatally shot not 12 hours ago. How is this possible? I don’t know. It’s unexplainable, but it true. I have to finish writing this post with the heartbreaking knowledge that yes, it is true. She was only 22 and I am only 22. My life is just beginning and hers has sadly just ended.
With these last words, I will click publish, then close my laptop and lie down to sleep all while whispering a constant prayer in my heart for Christina’s family and friends and fans. I’ll even be praying for the family and friends of the man who shot her. He may have committed a horrible crime, but his family and friends don’t deserve to live a life knowing that someone I’m sure they loved and cared about not only ended someone else’s life, but also proceeded to end his own life. Rest in Peace, Christina, and Rest in Paradise. Sing to Jesus you beautiful girl and if it’s possible for you know to know what’s going on down her on earth, know that I and millions of other people are praying for your family and friends and remembering you as a beautiful human being. Thank you for your legacy. You shan’t soon be forgotten.