6. Something you hope you never have to do.
Painfully simple: I hope I never have to bury one of my children.
In the summer of 2014, my high-school best friend lost her son. He was so young! Joseph was a week shy of his 12th birthday. I cannot even imagine the pain she must’ve truly felt, but the small glimpse I had of her heartache was enough. I’m sure I never thought it would be easy, but I never thought about how devastatingly difficult it is. Sure, people say it’s hard. I know it’s hard, but to witness it… it changes the way you think. The experience becomes real – tangible heartache, instead of theoretical what-if.
The numbness of shock was a welcome respite from the confusion of trying to wrap my thoughts around what had happened, and I lived there for a long while. I didn’t want to think about having to live that reality for myself. But every time I looked at my own beautiful children I wanted to hug them and never let go. I tried to imagine life without my precious babies – for whether they are 2 or 20 or 60, they will always be my babies – and I simply couldn’t.
My own son has since moved away, but he is still here. I can call him, and his voice is still fresh in my mind. My daughter is here – I see her every morning, can hug her daily if I like. Her laugh regularly brightens our home. I have my family. I thank God – though not nearly enough! – for His good and gracious gift of this family, husband, children, parents and siblings. In the natural order of things, I know I will have to let go of the elders of this extended unit. Perhaps even my contemporaries. But please, God, let me never have to bury my little ones.