Though it often happens, one of the most unnatural things in life is when a parent must bury their child.
Tuesday night, as I joined John in his study for a few minutes before bedtime, he recounted a news article which told of the horrific, accidental death of a little six-year-old boy in Connecticut earlier that same day. I felt an immediate and intense sorrow and had a difficult time falling asleep that night.
The next morning, as I watched my own sweet boy - also six and in the first grade - take his shower and get ready for school, I was still thinking of the little boy from the night before and the nightmare in which his family now finds themselves, and I was reminded of a poem my sister received in a card several years ago when her teenage son was killed in an automobile accident. It is a feeling I hope I never have to know first hand.
Lent for a While
"I'll lend you for a little time a child of Mine," He said,
"for you to love the while he lives and mourn for when he's dead.
It may be six or seven years, or twenty-two or three,
but will you till I call him back take care of him for Me?
He'll bring his charms to gladden you, and should his stay be brief, you'll have his lovely memories as solace for your grief.
I cannot promise he will stay since all from earth return,
but there are lessons taught down there I want this child to learn.
I've looked the wide-world over in my search for teachers true, and from the throngs that crowd life's lanes I have selected you.
Now will you give him all your love, nor think the labor vain, nor hate me when I come to call to take him back again?"
I fancied that I heard them say, "Dear Lord, Thy will be done. For all the joy Thy child shall bring, the risk of grief we'll run. We'll shelter him with tenderness, we'll love him while we may, and for the happiness we have known, forever grateful stay.
And should the angels call for him much sooner than we've planned, we'll brave the bitter grief that comes and try to understand."
- Author Unknown -
In memory of Jeffrey B. and all those who have left this world too soon.