Diagnosed with bone cancer at the age of 14, Zach Sobiech didn’t let it stop him. Although the osteosarcoma impaired his walking, it didn’t stop him. He continued living his life as a normal teen. Even after being told he had just months to live, 3 years later, he was determined to live life to the fullest. ChurchLeaders shared Zach’s video “Last Days” (produced by SoulPancake) which showed Zach’s acceptance of his fate and willing spirit to continue on.1 He and his family grew closer, he wrote a hit song on YouTube, and he inspired millions through his story. He even had the opportunity to take his endearing girlfriend to prom.2 Then just one month later, the news came.
Zach Sobiech died at age 18 only a few months after his YouTube goodbye song “Clouds” received more than four million YouTube viewers. Zach Sobiech wrote his viral hit “Clouds” during his bone-cancer fight and his farewell song touched the hearts of millions. On Monday, May 20, 2013, the Children’s Cancer Research Fund announced Zach’s death on its website.
“With heavy hearts, we are saddened to share that Zach Sobiech passed away this morning. Zach was at home and at peace with those he loved most. Zach’s life ended just as he lived, embraced by the love of his family, friends, grace and music.”4
It is a beautiful story and it will certainly make you cry (I know I did). His life was rightfully featured on CNN, People, Star Tribune, Pioneer Press and others. The only problem I have with the video is its placement on ChurchLeaders.com.
The closest thing which comes to Christ is when Zach talks about his youngest sister helping him keep his “faith”. Zach is even recorded saying, “Death is only scary because you don’t know what’s next … or if there is a next.” That isn’t to say he doesn’t have faith in Christ or that he never said it while they were filming; only that it was left out of the final product. In one video he can be seen with his family making the Sign of the Cross and praying to the “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.”5
Please don’t think I am putting Zach or this video down. I just don’t want people putting their faith in uncertainties. Even more so, I don’t want Churches led to believe that the world is good on its own. God alone is mighty to save. However much we cherish music, family, or happiness, they are not good or holy things solely in themselves.
My sentiment is expressed in the words of one who commented on the ChurchLeaders post:
Thank you for sharing this wonderful movie. I am praying for this family and hope that they in all their beautification to themselves also will find their way to the truth that it was God who gave it all.
It is only because of Him that we can feel, experience and know such beauty in the world, we all know how dark, I mean dark, dark life otherwise can be. And I love my Christ so much that He cannot be left out of live or in its description of it as love, because I feel Him amputated from the beauty He has given.
The one and only who gave, of whom we take daily should be mentioned, as I cry and feel and suffer in my Love to Him and His beauty not been seen.
In love to my MY Father, OUR Father and in love to this wonderful and inspiring family, please don’t forget that He loved you first and that He is the reason for ANY beauty in this world. And if we can applaud and feel grateful for such wonderful people, how much more should we love Him our first love.
And as you cry for Zach for not being with you, I cry for my Father’s name not once being mentioned as He is my love and should be grieved and seen and admired even more.
In love to all.
It is inspiring to many how he accepted the bad news that he was given. I just pray that he was able to hear (and accept) the Good News before he died. His death is a reminder that we are all terminal and we all need Jesus for the life after this.
1 Eiman, Ashley. “Meet Zach Sobiech, a Man You’ll Never Forget.” ChurchLeaders.com. N.p., 26 May 2013. Web. 07 June 2013. <http://www.churchleaders.com/pastors/videos-for-pastors/167893-meet-zach-sobiech-a-man-you-ll-never-forget.html?utm_source=newsletter >.
2 Although I am not subscribed to <http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/zacharysobiech >, one subscriber quoted the site saying, “His mother noted on CaringBridge that Zach turned 18 on May 3, and was even able to muster the strength to attend prom the night after with his girlfriend Amy. Sadly, the resurgence was temporary.” He can also be seen asking Amy to prom on radio KS95 94.5 here: <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54ATV–2q68 >
3 “Zach Sobiech: Finding Peace through Music.” Children’s Cancer Research Fund, n.d. Web. 07 June 2013. <http://www.childrenscancer.org/zach/ >.
4 Burgess, Tina. “Zach Sobiech Dies at Age 18: Zach Sobiech Said Goodbye in ‘Clouds’ Song Lyrics.” Examiner.com. N.p., 22 May 2013. Web. 07 June 2013. <http://www.examiner.com/article/zach-sobiech-dies-at-age-18-zach-sobiech-said-goodbye-clouds-song-lyrics >.
5 “Video: Sharing the Load with Zach.” YouTube. PioneerPress, 7 Mar. 2013. Web. 07 June 2013. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1 >.