Death is a difficult concept to grasp and becomes entirely incomprehensible when it's the death of a child. How do we find an explanation for the ending of a life barely begun? Like a storybook that abruptly ends after just a few chapters, the loss of a child leaves a feeling of nonsensical incompleteness in the world they've left behind.
Though loved ones will mourn the absence of the little soul in their life, they grieve even more heavily for the life that little soul never experienced. All the milestones one strives to achieve, the experiences that make a life memorable and the missed meeting of people who may have crossed paths.
It will forever remain a mystery what this child could have, would have, should have become.
What they may have achieved, conquered and learned. What they would like and dislike, who their friends would be, who they would have married. The family left behind is left to eternally ponder and hypothesize about who their little one would have become and what more they would have contributed to the world.
The only solace to relieve a grief such as this lies in the knowledge that this child has been spared becoming witness to the horrors of the world.
Death in innocence means never knowing the reality of the suffering and pain of the world. It means never experiencing heartbreak or longing. It means never having to know the flooding emotions, one experiences with age, that cause us an aching despair.
It is mercy.
Though the loss of a child always causes the light of the world to become a bit dimmer, God calls us home when the time is right. We are all brought to Earth with a purpose, a destiny to change the lives of those around us. Some of us fulfill our destiny a little faster than others and thus are blessed to be called Home a little sooner.
It is not the quantity of time spent on Earth that holds significance, but rather the quality of our impact on others that makes our lives meaningful. Children are sources of light, laughter and pure enjoyment of life. Anyone whose life has been graced with the privilege to know and love a child will confirm what a life-altering gift it is.
With that, I leave bereaved parents who have experienced the tragic death of a child and to all who grieve, the following quotes. I hope that in the words of others you may find inspiration to keep the memories of lost children alive.
Richard Hooker, British theologian:
"Think of your child then, not as dead, but as living; not as a flower that has withered, but as one that is transplanted, and touched by a Divine hand is blooming in richer colors and sweeter shades than those of earth."
The Bible, Matthew 19:14
"But Jesus said, 'Let the little children come to me and do not try to stop them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.'"
This article is written in loving memory of Trenton and is dedicated to his family and loved ones. May he continue to share his contagious smile with those in the kingdom of Heaven.
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