Sadly Seeking Peace, llvl

It always seems unthinkable when a child dies. All that promise suddenly disappearing from life. The laughter, the scents, the quirky mind, the strengths and the foibles — all gone in an instant.

A million whys, a thousand: well how did it happens can’t change the sad reality — can’t help us escape which is really what we’re wanting.

I’ve been thinking about child death a lot recently: the news reeks with it. I’m too familiar with this — too many dead children in my life. Too many dead children in the world that has become immured to the sight and forgotten the individual horror in these mass killings…

And then a chance encounter in the back yard with my senior high neighbor whose friend had just died with that agonizing burden of a friend, recently seen, now gone. Asking the hows and the whys but really, just wanting his friend back.

As a minister, I need to call those in my community whose hearts are breaking, the parents, the kids — oh the kids. Making dates to enfold and love. Standing steady for those who have collapsed in grief… Thinking gratefully that I have been so filled up from this summer that I can stand firmly in love for them. This is their tragedy not mine…

But inside, as a sister, oh, I missed my sister as I recall receiving my father’s call about my nephew and making the call about my niece. Sweet and Holy One, can I really have had to tell my sister and her husband their only remaining child was dead? And we were the ones who always called each other when bad news broke.

Please, my dears, say nothing other than oh, I’m so sorry, Oh, your poor hearts, O your blessed child. Release the I don’t know how you bear its because they have no choice… They don’t know how they bear it either. I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry. Call your family together, gather with your neighbors, immerse yourselves in Love, because Life is so damned precious and so damned fleeting. Peace eludes us in these moments. Hope is too far away. Only Love can keep our hearts beating in one common humanity of grief and eventually acceptance and then the far off healing of a grievous scar. Let us tend to one another and let us weep… Each child in each vida local, precious and needed. Each parent’s loving heart…

LLVL34Aug23

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