When children die, the natural response is to vehemently seek answers explaining why.
It's important to answer such questions in an attempt to prevent future tragedies, but we must not forget to celebrate the beauty of the young lives lived.
To those who knew her best, Amera Abu-Hakmeh left plenty of beautiful memories in the wake of her 17 years of life.
Amera, a Chesterton High School honors student, died Tuesday in a tragic car crash on U.S. 20 in Portage that also injured her sister and killed an 85-year-old woman who police believe caused the crash. The accident remains under investigation, and the public rightly wants and deserves to know why this happened.
But Amera's family appears to be taking some solace in a life beautifully lived by the teen.
We all can and should follow suit.
After her death, Amera's family found a copy of her living will written in 2014.
Then in her early teens, Amera wrote of donating her body to science, her eyes to someone who couldn't see and her heart to rejuvenate the life of a hard worker.
Not many young people want to take the time to think about how their deaths could benefit others. Certainly no one expects someone so young to consider such heavy matters.
But Amera, described as a selfless "guiding light" by her family, put her unselfish wishes into writing at so young an age.
Her simple selflessness ought to be a guiding light for all of us.
Amera won't realize her dreams of attending Johns Hopkins Medical School, a career dream ultimately bent on helping others.
But her loving and caring nature can live on through anyone willing to carry themselves with civility, empathy and charity.
Amera had a plan in life to provide aid to people who needed it. She clearly also desired to continue good works even after death.
We all should aspire to such plans of human fellowship.
It's a shining opportunity, born from painful and sobering circumstances, to think about the gifts we can leave to society, both in life and after death.