American in Arabia laments with the families of Newtown, Connecticut
Losing a child is worse than death itself. When a person dies, their pain is over. But when a mother or father loses a child, their hell has just begun. Almost every plan or dream they ever had is immediately stripped of all its worth.
Like ivy on a tree, families are so interwoven that to tear a branch out is like killing them all; holidays turn from laughter to a burden and birthdays go from joy to a dagger in the heart. Children’s songs become toxic, pictures painful and even the sight of old toys will knock a grown man to the ground.
Every memory of that sweet little soul is like a paddle floating on the river—out of reach but still very real and visible. The current stays moving, life keeps going but we’re screaming for it all to stop-- ‘We have got to go back! ‘
But like a wall of ice and death, life keeps pushing us forward even when the only place we want to be is in the past. In a boat without an oar, bereaved families are stuck, floating without purpose and entering each day numb and vacuous.
Each and every family from the school in Newtown, Connecticut, who has sacrificed a six or a seven-year-old, is forever changed. On the other side of the globe, 50 Egyptian families are also crushed, along with the train-bus carnage that wrecked their lives at a level crossing. Kindergarten children between four and six years-old, just one month ago, formed a mangled mess of infant-body parts, books, schoolbags and tiny socks strewn along Egypt's rail tracks.
And now, these American and Egyptian families are drafted into a battle they never wanted to fight-- everyone who loses a child enters into this ‘Society of the Bereaved’. In this guild we remain, against our will and with this request:
Dear world, grant the families of Connecticut space and healing. Don’t offer advice or rationale or try to tie in God’s will. Please just love them and leave them alone, if that is what they need. Allow them thier shock and let the bereaved look back for as long as they want, as we all float away together.
By Brett Weer