Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Mourning A Child

Last week, we learned that the younger brother of one of my son's best friends had passed away- he was two.

Quite literally, I sent out a birthday party invitation and a sympathy card to the family on two consecutive days.

It is staggering. Heartbreaking. Devastating.

People seem to keep asking this one question:

Was he sick before?

The answer is yes, but I can't help wondering... does that really make a difference? Is the grief less real or intense because the child has suffered all along? Should everyone have seen it coming even though this courageous child had triumphed over adversity for over two years? I don't know for sure. I am fortunate enough not to know...

But I DO know that so many expected C. to not make it. So many were, essentially, waiting for the news that she was gone. Given the statistical odds, so many anticipated the worst.

It could easily have gone the other way. We never forget how lucky we've been. I can bring back those feelings of helplessness, terror, and panic in a heartbeat.

Would it have been easier to lose C. than my son or other daughter simply because she was born under less than perfect circumstances?

I don't think so.

And, as we mourn this precious little boy who touched his family in so very many ways, I don't think it much matters that he didn't spend his short life in perfect health.

I think it matters that he lived. That he was beloved. That he made a difference in the world...

And he will be missed.

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