Goodbye, Kevin (A Guest Post by Christopher Salter)

     There are times in all of our lives when we experience things that will forever affect us. The day that we get married, the birth of a child, the death of a family member; all of these are events that forever leave a mark on us.  As Christians we also include into this list of events things such as the day we were saved, the day we were baptized, and sometimes the day that we heard God calling our names clearly for the first time.  Sadly, for me, yesterday was one of those days.  But even more tragically, it was for a reason devastating enough that even still today I have a problem fathoming the extent to which I will be affected by it.

     Yesterday I, as well as many of my friends from my days as an EMT, were touched by the loss of one of the most amazing people that we knew.  Kevin was an EMT with me when I worked for a small private ambulance service.  Kevin was a bright, funny, caring and giving individual who had an easy smile, an infectious laugh, and above all a heart that was much bigger than his skinny 6 foot, 2 inch frame would suggest.   Yet for some reason, life became too much for Kevin to bear, and Saturday night he took his own life. 

     The details are still a bit fuzzy, so I will not speculate.  However, I have been trying to decide how to best express my loss and my pain in such as way as to MEAN something to someone—to anyone who might draw something from this little post.  So the following is the letter that I would write to Kevin, if he could actually still read it.  Maybe these words will help someone else.  I hope above all that they will help me.

     Dear Kevin,

     I wish I knew what to say my friend.  It seems that life has thrown us both a few curves over the last year and a half.  Life is funny that way.  I know that things haven’t turned out the way that we planned them.  I still remember the days at Ambu-Med, sitting in that huge warehouse, everyone around those tables in the bay.  We laughed, we joked, and above all we shared a part of ourselves with one another that anyone that didn’t work in our field would never understand.  We shared laughter, pain, happiness and sorrow; many times doing so in order to keep what little sanity there was to be found as an EMT.  Looking back it’s funny how much I remember little more than our laughter…

     I wish that I could go back to those days, Bro, and say some things that I have found now to be absolute truths.  I wish that I could share with you the things that I have found and the peace that came from these lessons.  That they would make a difference to you can never be known but the fact that I never was man enough to speak of these things breaks my heart.  So my friend, I will speak them now, and pray that someone else will hear them; and understand.

     First let me tell you that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that there IS a GOD above that truly loves and adores you.  Even when we are in our deepest nightmares and we are suffering our greatest pain, he is right there as close as our breath; and even more intrinsically valuable.  That same GOD that created us and loves us understands our sorrows, our trials, and our pain.  So much so that he sent his son Jesus to pay the heaviest price imaginable so that we may one day become close to him and spend an eternity receiving an eternal reward—His very presence.  I know that this is hard to fathom when we see so many times as EMT’s the pain and suffering that this life has to offer.  We see the senseless, the cruel, and the unexplainable; we see what happens when a person’s worst fears really do happen.  I can’t offer you explanations for things such as why bad things happen to good people or why someone had to die needlessly and alone at 3am on a deserted country road.  I can’t tell you why someone’s newborn stopped breathing or why a drunk can take a parent’s only child in the blink of an eye.  All I CAN tell you is that wherever these things happen there is the hand of God, reaching out to comfort the broken and to support the crushed spirits of those left behind. 

     These things that we see so much of are simply a part of life.  God never said that life would be easy or that we would understand it.  God simply said “I Love You” and sent his son as proof.  Would either you or I ever love anyone enough to allow our child to be tortured, ridiculed, and then murdered in order to take the place of ANYONE??? Much less millions of people that would never understand it or even appreciate it?  I doubt it, but I can only hope that having spent so much time making others feel safe, giving others hope, and doing our best to save lives; we would be able to see that hand of God moving through people’s lives and realize that the only way to navigate the stormy seas of life is to allow Jesus to become our Captain… to guide our ships, our very lives, through the storms that come.

     Kevin, I don’t know what happened that took your spark, and in all honesty I am mad as hell that the enemy of my God was able to sneak in and steal your life.  Your daughter, your family, and your friends were all cheated out of one of the most amazing people that we will ever know.  Your laughter, your smile, and your care and concern for people that simply knew that you were coming to help them when they called 911 is something that I cannot put a price on; but I will feel the void left by its absence for the rest of my life.

     I can only pray that someone will be around that loved you and shared in your life when the times were good; to pass on to your daughter the stories about what a great guy you truly were.  You were selfless, you were caring, and you made everyone around you feel like they truly mattered.  I regret that we never discussed Eternity or how important it is that Jesus be your personal Savior.  I have no idea if I will ever see you again.  For that I am sorrier than I can ever say.  I let you down buddy and for that “I’m sorry” just doesn’t come close.

     I pray that God gives you the rest now that apparently you needed.  I can only pray that somehow, some way, and some where someone shared the gospel message with you… and that you accepted it.  I will miss you, as will all of those that knew you. 

Your Friend Forever, Chris

Dear Lord,

    Bless his daughter and his family, bless his friends.  Take this grief that we are all feeling and that seems to be sitting heavy on our shoulders and let it pass away.  Lord help us to gain understanding and to see things as you would have us see them, with YOUR eyes and not our own.  Help us to lean not on our own understanding, but instead to lean on the arms that you have wrapped around us, and that cling so desperately to those of us that you call your own.  Help us to grieve Lord, and to move forward.  In Jesus precious name I pray, Amen 

About Sarah Salter


  1. God bless Kevin and his family. And God bless you, Chris.

  2. That poor man. That poor family. May God’s people surround the survivors with comfort and love.

  3. Very nicely done Chris… May the peace that passes all understanding surround them..


  4. Thanks for coming by my blog today. Tell Cheyenne and her mom we are praying…

  5. Beautifullly written, Chris. So sorry to hear this news. So sorry for you and for this young man’s family and all who knew and loved him. Praying for peace and comfort for all of you.

  6. I’m so sorry for your loss, Chris. Your tribute was beautiful and a reminder not to take the people we love for granted.

  7. Vanessa Weestrand says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Thanks for sharing. You and your friend will be in my prayers..

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