Last month, I attended the funeral of a co-worker’s daughter. She was only twenty-seven years old. A beautiful soul, inside and out. She and her mother were connected by the hip. As a mother myself, I could only imagine the thoughts rolling around in this mother’s head, the depth of the pain in her heart, the weight of the burden upon her shoulders, and the hundreds of unanswered questions that most likely wanted to consume her.
This week, I attended yet another funeral for the untimely death of a mother’s child. This son was just twenty-two years old and had even served in the military. He was his mother’s pride and joy: strong, handsome, charming; his whole life ahead of him. To witness the pain in this mother’s eyes, touched me with every fiber of my being.
For these families, I imagine there will be many tomorrows before the pain eases.
I don’t care how tough you think you are, a parent having to bury their child will bring anyone to their knees! For a parent to have to bury a child, is a bitter pill to swallow. A myriad of emotions run rampant. The mind replays a flood of memories. The inner voices and screams cry out in despair and in utter darkness in mid-day!
For this tragedy to have happened to these families – any family – my heart grieves for them. But especially for the mother. I can only fathom the sheer loneliness of a mother’s heartbeat for the loss of her child, no matter what age. Surely, every tear that escape serves as an expression of a genuine love embedded in a mother’s heart for a lifetime, more so than the nine months she carried that child in her womb.
I’ve asked myself why many times. But I think I know the reason why I tend to weep upon hearing the first sound of a newborn’s cry. I am reminded that a little miracle came out of me! A fresh start. New beginnings. Those cries remind me of that special moment in time when I first felt pure joy, hope, and thanksgiving. I am awakened to a sea of memories of the dreams and plans for this gift of a new life after giving birth. As fate would have it, not every dream comes to fruition, and not every wish becomes a reality. There are many joys and sorrows in caring for children. But I imagine no sorrow can compare to having to say goodbye to your little one (young or old), knowing that it should have been the other way around.
I hurt for these mothers. Although they may never get over the loss of their child, I pray in time, they will get through it.