Gone Too Soon: Qudry Underwood

I’m often asked what prompts me to post about people that have passed and I generally don’t dedicate a memorial post unless I know the person or they have touched the lives of those living in the community and Qudry Underwood has met and exceeded those requirements. Not only have he touched my life but he touched the lives of many others during his short journey here on earth. I count it a privilege that I was afforded the opportunity to see Qudry grow into a mighty man of valor. I attend church with him, his father, Rev. Eugene Underwood and mother, Vanessa “Neat” Underwood. Qudry was always quiet but as he grew, he blossomed while possessing the attributes that everyone cherished. I recall him sitting quietly in church and I remember how his parents beamed with joy at his graduation celebration and they radiated with pride as he completed college. Qudry could be described as quizzical, quixotic, quirky, quiet, never quarrelsome but he was always, quintessentially Qudry and he will be sorely missed.

When I heard the news that Qudry had transitioned into eternity, I didn't know what to do or say because my first thought was his mother. Just six short years ago, she received the same tragic news about her other son. There are no words for a parent who loses a child and I can’t imagine the sorrow a mother feels when she’s faced with the agony of burying another child. A mother’s love knows no bound because she carries another person in her body for nine months and during this gestation period; she develops a bond where she carries that child in her heart for an eternity. I must admit, I had a moment when I wanted to be angry with God but then I remembered a passage from Job. So I realized that it was okay to question God but I shouldn’t charge God foolishly. (Job 1:22). In other words, I had to remind myself that I shouldn’t attribute to God anything inconsistent with wisdom and goodness. Regardless of how many times it’s said at a funeral, God does not have a garden that had an empty space that led him to look down on earth to take away a mother’s only living son to make His garden beautiful. When I heard about Qudry’s death, I realized that it was the work of the enemy, a thief, because he comes to “steal, kill and destroy.” (John 10:10)

The thief has robbed these parents of the opportunity to see their son continue to grow and live a productive life; relatives have been robbed of a bond that was beyond blood; co-workers were robbed of a person that brought joy to the work place and we all have been robbed of the possibility of what Qudry was destined to become. For that reason, we mourn with the family as they reflect on the moments they shared with Qudry. Although he was quiet, he was also humorous, caring and served as a pillar of strength for his mother, father, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and co-workers. I doubt there’s anyone that could say they had a bad encounter with Qudry and that is a testament of the type of person he was and the type of life he lived. Qudry was a parent’s dream come true; he was the child no one had to worry about.

There are names given to people left behind after death. A wife who loses her husband is called a widower. A child who loses his parents is called an orphan but there’s no word for a parent who loses a child. It is said that when a parent dies you lose your past but when a child dies, you lose your future. Sadly, Qudry did not get the opportunity to know what it was like to be a father, a husband, a grand-parent. Qudry expressed his love for his family, friends, and co-workers every chance he could and in a few days, because of the love shown towards them, friends, co-workers and associates will express that love to the family as they bid an earthly farewell to a gentle giant that touched so many lives in many different ways.

I would like Neat and Eugene as well as the immediate and distant relatives and friends of Qudry Underwood to know that the loss of a loved one is never easy, even when it’s anticipated, and it’s even harder when they are taken too soon. I would like to offer my sincere condolences and deepest sympathy. May the outpouring of sympathy, the kind acts of friends and strangers and the comfort in knowing that the entire community is grieving with you, help you through this difficult time. I ask for God’s blessing on you and your wonderful family. May you find the courage and strength to move forward in peace and confidence and in knowing that Qudry was well loved and his was a life well-lived.

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