I had never heard the name Josh Level before this morning.
Wednesday morning, I read the tragic story of how Josh Level collapsed and passed away shortly after during a basketball game on Tuesday evening and later passed away. I couldn’t believe something like that had happened to someone so young, doing what they loved.
No, I had never heard the name Josh Level before this morning, and honestly, I didn’t think I would hear it much more. But if I had paid more attention to those around me, been more observant, I definitely would have.
Josh Level’s brother, Joseph, is also in my Branding of Me class. This class is not exactly your typical class. We literally have spent the past two weeks learning about each other’s life experiences, goals and everything else. From this unique format, we all have began to develop a special respect and empathy towards one another. I haven’t gotten to know Joseph very well this semester yet, but was interested to hear his story just like everyone else’s.
It’s hard to really grasp the magnitude of a tragedy until you realize your own connection to it. As a class, we watched the tribute video and there weren’t many words to be said. Each of us were indirectly connected to what had happened and a member of our own little Branding of Me family was going through what might be one of the toughest times in his life. It’s hard to think about, but what if that had been my brother? My best friends brother? My best friend? Your brother? Your best friend? I can’t even imagine and even though I haven’t gotten to know Joseph very well yet this semester, but my heart is breaking for him.
It might be hard sometimes to connect the names and pictures in the news to the people around you. But undoubtedly, the connection might be closer than you think.
“Dedicate yourself to today, because tomorrow is never promised.”
Rest in peace Josh. Thoughts and prayers to your family and community.
Update (Feb. 24): Read about Josh Level’s funeral service here.