(This post was inspired by the tragedy that occurred at Schlitterbahn in Kansas City Sunday, August, 7th. And dedicated to all my friends who have lost their child.)
A parent should never have to bury their child.
That is not the natural order or progression of life. It makes no sense. And such is life: nonsensical at times.
I am overwhelmed and feel like I’ve been kicked in the gut when I read of a child dying in a senseless accident (that is not placing blame for yesterday’s accident) such as being forgotten or locked in a car that overheats. No matter the instance, no matter the accident, illness, or malicious intent of someone, a parent burying their own child is an absolute tragedy.
I’m only one person and know of too many friends who have had to bury their own child. Think of what I just said:
Bury. Their. Own. Child.
If you don’t have children I’m not discounting your ability to understand this scenario but the rush of love that fills your life when you have a child is astronomical. Words can’t explain the amount of love that coarses through your life. I didn’t (couldn’t) understand this before I had my two sons.
But then, to have the focus of your love taken from you – feeling helpless and impotent and frozen. With NOTHING able to fill that void.
As friends we think of the parents the day the tragedy happens and maybe periodically afterwards (not a guilt trip, just reality) but the parents have to live with the heartache every single hour of every single day.
To all my friends who have had this tragedy happen, I am so sorry. I love you. I can not fathom or empathize what it is like to be in your shoes – to experience a heart-wrenching loss. My heart breaks when I hear of your tragedies. But please know I am here for you.
To everyone else, please keep your children safe.
Walk alongside your friends who have experienced this tragedy. If you’re a flesh and blood friend don’t tritely offer to pray. If they are religious they might be questioning a whole helluva lot of faith’s worth and don’t want to hear a hollow offer. I know I wouldn’t.
Here’s a song by the band Needtobreathe singing of the importance of friends and community and how we should be there for each other during times in our life that can rock our foundation, crush our spirits, tear our souls to shreds.
At the same time, their faith could be their only shred of hope they have to cling on to as they feel the walls of the natural order crumbling around them. Everyone reacts different.
They need continual, tangible help; a shoulder, an ear, or a body to just sit with them. Be there and be available for them as they need you.
Lord be with us all.
I am here for you.
Thy kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.