I haven’t felt much like writing lately. It’s because of something that happened recently, to a complete stranger, that has been bothering me for the last week. A few months ago I began reading another blog by the name of “Because I Said So”. I have mentioned the blog before, authored by Dawn Meehan. Dawn has a friend whose young son, Julian, has been suffering with cancer for quite some time. Thanks to Dawn’s blog, I have been following the plight of this child through the regular updates posted by his mom, Mimi, on carepages.com. Saturday evening came the post that Julian had passed away. I read the news Sunday morning, and his funeral was Wednesday. Julian was 4 ½ years old.
I have been struggling with this. Why? He was a stranger, his mother is a stranger. In fact, I know no one in his family. I certainly can’t relate, I’ve not lost a child. For one thing, no parent should ever have to bury their child, no matter how old. (Incidentally, I am aware that there may be one or more parents out there reading this that have lost a child. I apologize if this opens old wounds, and I have nothing but the utmost respect for you and the deepest of sympathies for your loss. I cannot imagine what you must have gone through, and still go through every day.) But the fact that someone, whose story I have become entwined in just through reading about their terrible situation, has lost a child very close to the same age as my own daughter, strikes the fear of God in me.
Appropriate phraseology, I suppose, since it has also made me reflect on my own faith. Mimi has handled the whole ordeal with amazing, unshakable faith. She has put her trust in God, and believes that Julian is now safe with Him, and that someday she will be with him again. I, on the other hand, cannot imagine how she is able to do this. It makes me wonder, would my faith be a support for me in a situation like this? Or would it be a burden? Those of you who know me well know that I have never been a big supporter of organized religion. I won’t go into the reasons for that here, as I do not intend to use this as a soapbox to preach about what I view as wrong with organized religion today. However, I do believe in God. I have no doubt He exists, and I have always had faith in Him. But I wonder, if my daughter was taken from me like Julian was taken from Mimi, would I still have that faith? Would I still believe that there is a reason for everything? How could I not be utterly, bitterly, eternally angry for the loss (or theft) of my child?
In a situation like Julian’s, there isn’t anyone to blame. It’s no one’s fault Julian had cancer. It’s no one’s fault he could not beat it, though he fought hard and long. But we humans always need someone or something to blame. We always need a place to direct our anger, even if misplaced. I can’t help but feel like, were it my child, I would be blaming God. I can’t imagine not being angry at Him for stealing such a wonderful being from me. And I have no doubt that is how I would view it. I know I would be so angry at the unfairness of it all, that someone so small and defenseless had to suffer so much, and never got the chance to experience all life has to offer. And that I would never experience all she had to offer. I imagine Mimi must feel at least some of this, though she handles it all with a strength I can’t fathom, but that I certainly admire. How do you put your life back together after something so tragic? I suppose you just continue to live each day as it comes, and find a way to deal with the pain a little at a time. Mimi’s way seems to be her faith. I don’t know what my way would be. I pray I never have to find out.
In the meantime, I am thankful for what I have. I realize how very lucky I am to have the people I have in my life, and I intend to let them know it. I am thankful that we are all healthy and safe, and that we have each other. My heart breaks for Mimi and her family, and I do keep them in my prayers.