I was in town doing some grocery shopping today with my fiance and children and we passed one of the funeral homes in my town. I told my fiance as we passed it that I wonder who important died and because there was so many people in attendance. Literally. The funeral home itself is very large and has a large parking lot and has a large parking lot. What shocked me about it was that the two stores on either side of it, Walgreens and CVS, and the learning center behind it parking lots were all full, plus there were several cars parked alongside the road. There was a line several people long, fifty or more, to get into the funeral home. I was amazed at the amount of people who had shown up. The last time I had seen a funeral procession that large was when one of my friends died in a car crash in high school several years ago.
After we got home from our two-hour shopping trip and putting away groceries (my fiance volunteered to cook dinner tonight), I got online and did a search on the local newspaper in the obituaries; there were no visitations or funerals scheduled for today in the paper. It took some time, but I eventually remembered the name of the funeral home and searched it on google, finding the web address. I went to the site and went through the “current services” and when I found the service for today I wanted to throw up. I just started crying.
Today’s service was a visitation for a little boy only two and a half years old, six months older than my youngest child.
I cried for several minutes. It could have been five; it could have been ten. All I know is that I sat at the computer screen staring at the little boy, the image of his innocent face staring back with eyes that will never see again.
Thoughts kept running through my head: “It could have been my child” “What if it had been my child?”
And then I felt callous for the way I originally reacted; I thought that it was an important person in the community that had died – someone older, wiser, more known in the area. I felt like a horrible person and more tears flowed.
My realization is this: you don’t have to be old and wise to be well-known and loved in a community. I realize that the majority of the people at the visitation were more than likely there to comfort the child’s parents and family, but it’s not that. The child died. He died before his parents. He was only two years old.
No parent should have to feel the pain of their child dying before them.
As I read the obituary for the little boy, it sounded as if he was well-loved and very smart. He was and had been attending an early learning preschool and was a very active child, both with other children and his parents and family.
Just because a child is young doesn’t mean that he’s not well-known and it most definitely does not mean that he’s not well-loved. In fact, it probably means the very opposite. Children are a community’s backbone; it’s who we become in the future. Every child lost is something to mourn.
I cry for the loss of the child. I cry for everyone, including myself, who didn’t have the chance to know this little life before it was taken from him. I cry for the life that he could’ve lived.
Tonight, when I go to bed, I will light a candle for this little life in honor of his soul’s passing. May he be blessed wherever he may be.