Those of you who read my blog with any sort of frequency have no doubt noticed that I try to avoid Truly Depressing Things. I complain, grouse, whine, murmur, grumble, groan and bemoan various trivial things in my life, but for the most part, I try to keep things chipper around Bryce’s Ramblings.
Today, I can’t really muster a whole lot of chipper out of myself. So if you want to stay sun-shiny and happy, I’d advise you to move along and not read the rest of this post.
Well, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
A family in my ward (church, for you non-Mormons out there) lost a child last Friday. Seven years old. Cancer. She’d been diagnosed three years ago. I have known about this and watched events unfold from a relatively distant perch. When I moved out here to Maine, they were already two years into the ordeal, and I haven’t really had a chance to get to know them well. I have refrained from posting at all about their experiences–and my reactions/thoughts to those experiences–mainly because I don’t think it’s any of my business, and certainly not any of yours. So I’ve kept mum, and I still intend on keeping mum except to fill you in on those brief details above.
So what am I posting about, if not about that?
Well, I feel I can talk about my personal reaction to what I’ve seen happen. Not this case in particular, but losing a child in general. I went to the viewing last night, and it was a very sad occasion for me, imagining what it would be like to lose TRC or DC–or DKC or anyone else close to me. For a long time in my life, I didn’t have to deal with death. No one I knew close to me died. Yes, there were some kids at school who passed away, but they weren’t close friends. I had a step grandmother and step grandfather who died, but I never really knew them that well. When you’re young, old people die. You come to expect it. Then an uncle died, then another, then a grandmother and then another . . . death is becoming increasingly unavoidable–as it will no doubt continue to be the older I get. And it’s not just that it’s becoming unavoidable. It’s hitting closer to home. It’s forcing me to acknowledge that I might die, or anyone else. Not just “old people.”
But something about children dying . . . it just doesn’t seem right. Not right at all. And the idea that one of my children might die gives me nightmares, literally. I have no idea how I would respond if that happened, and I’m superstitious enough to not want to discuss it. I don’t know . . . I realize that this post is fairly rambling, and that’s the way it goes with my posts sometimes. I suppose I just have a question for all of you:
What do you think happens after we die?
Fellow Mormons, please realize I’m already well aware of what you think. I’m more interested in what other people think. Because for me, the only thing that keeps me from getting really angry with unfairness of it all is the belief that life goes on after this one, and that families are eternal. None of this “till death do you part” crap in my theology. TRC and DC are my children forever. DKC is my wife forever. The little girl who passed away Friday will be reunited with her parents in the world to come. And for me, that makes everything even out. It all Makes Sense.
So I wonder what it’s like for those not of my faith. How do they make sense of it all? Because I think that in one way or another, this is a question we all deal with–we’re forced to. Death happens. I’d love to hear some comments from some of you–here or as an email. Mormons are allowed to post, too–naturally. 🙂
In any case, my condolences go out to the family. There is no way I can know or understand what you’re going through, but I wish you well and pray you continue to find comfort.
And that’s all I have to say about that.